Urinating on your tomato plants could give you fruit four times larger

From the Daily Mail in the UK:
Gardeners keen to boost their crop of tomatoes may be surprised to learn they can turn to an unusual and free source of fertiliser.

Allotment growers can enrich the soil and therefore their plants using their own wee, according to a new study.
Scientists discovered the unusual addition made crops up to four times larger.

A team of Finnish researchers found that sprinkling tomatoes with human urine mixed with wood ash was the ultimate eco-friendly fertiliser.
It worked just as well with cucumber, corn, cabbage and other crops.
Although scientists have previously tested urine on plants, this is the first one to mix it with wood ash.

The mixture produced bumper harvests when compared to untreated plants.

It could one day be substituted for costly synthetic fertilisers.

The university study, published in this month's Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, found using nitrogen-rich urine does not carry any risk of disease.

When combined with wood ash is perfect to provide minerals and reduce the acidity of soil.

Report author Surenda Pradhen said the findings could lead to a new source of cheap fertiliser without the need to use potentially dangerous chemicals.

'The results suggest that urine with or without wood ash can be used as a substitute for mineral fertiliser to increase the yields of tomato without posing any microbial or chemical risks,' she concluded.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1214346/Urinating-tomato-plants-fruit-times-larger.html

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Comment by Sealander on October 8, 2009 at 2:56pm
I'll give it a try when I am at home alone ;)
Comment by Kali on October 2, 2009 at 8:51pm
This seems to be a hot topic this season! I have read about it in several different sources recently, but of course it is not a new idea, but one which deserves closer inspection. I have used diluted urine in my garden for a few years now, after reading a book at my local library called 'liquid gold-the lore and logic of using urine to grow plants' Apparently it is sterile when it comes from the body. I have been using a weak dilution to water my tomato seedlings this year but too early to tell if its an advantage. I will continue to use it as fertiliser because its free and its wasted and pollutes when flushed away. The photos in the book are certainly compelling, corn apparently does very well on it too.
Comment by Sealander on September 29, 2009 at 12:21pm
Well, I remember a picture I saw of this incredibly tall sunflower - supposedly the gardener had added some birth control pills to the soil, and that had stimulated it to grow extra tall. So maybe that sort of urine is actually even more of a growth booster?
Comment by Katherine Lucas on September 28, 2009 at 9:18pm
I am always a bit alarmed when I read about using human waste as a fertiliser because of the medications that people take, including the pill. I would be careful to use uncontaminated urine. I have friends with composting toilets and I am loathe to use their toilets for that very reason. Regards Katherine


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