One topic that I became interested in
enough to do some research is the potential to use human urine as a
fertilizer. That research turned up a news article about a study done in
southern Vermont, the state where I live, where a hay field was treated with urine.
The treated parts had substantially higher yields than the untreated areas.
I found a journal article about the study of human urine used to fertilize
maize in Uganda. Their results indicated that the maize where a lower amount was
applied had better yields than where 25% more was applied. To conduct my own
experiment I have set up three different areas in the meadow around my house, each
with three plots. In each of the three areas there is one control plot, with no
application, one light application plot and one heavy application plot. I will be
collecting the urine eliminated each night by my family and dumping it in
each heavy application plot every four days and each light application plot
every 12 days which we are home. As you probably noticed I cut the grass
and plots B and C on July 30th. I was away for two months as my parents
continued the experiment and by the time I returned the grass had grown up to
such a degree that you couldn’t really see any difference so I wanted to look
at how it would regrow from a base. Area and ended up having variation and
vegetation between the plots. The results from B and C show that the plots which
were treated had very little, if any, difference between them but were both
substantially taller and greener grass than the untreated plots. In this photo
you can see the difference between the growth in the treated and untreated
plots The heavily treated plots at 60-person nights of year and while the
lightly treated plots had nineteen person nights of urine throughout the
summer. My theory is that in the study on maize in Uganda the heavier
application over fertilized the crop. In my little experiment I don’t think there
is either enough applied or the rainy summer that we had washed any over
fertilization out so there’s no stunting of growth due to or over fertilization.
In order to test this and continue this experiment I plan to continue this
experiment next summer.