It seems that urine is just what every tomato plant needs to produce ripe, red and juicy fruits, according to a 2009 study from Finland.
Tomatoes are a popular fresh-tasting produce, especially during the warmer months. Over the years, farmers have experimented with different methods for fertilizing the plant. However, a study by three professors from the University of Kuopio revealed that human urine – yes, you read that correctly – can also act as an alternative fertilizer.
Researchers Mark Their Study with Urine
In the winter of 2007-2008, professors Surendra K. Pradhan, K. Holopainen and Helvi-Heinonen-Tanski undertook a very unusual expedition. They knocked on doors and asked permission from home-owners to extract human urine from eco-toilets. They stored the collected urine in a container for six months, at 45 degrees F and analyzed it for microbes and bacteria. The researchers mixed the urine samples with wood ash, to create a fertilizer for tomatoes.
In the results, researchers found that plants that were fertilized by human urine yielded 4.2 times more fruit in comparison to other chemical fertilizers. Now, you might be wondering… what do urine-fertilized tomatoes taste like? Don’t worry, the researchers ask themselves the same question.
The study asked 20 volunteers to blind taste two sets of tomatoes, one that was fertilized with pee and the other with garden-variety fertilizers. The volunteers found that the tomatoes fertilized by human urine tasted just as good as the others.
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Human urine was impactful in the production of tomatoes for several different reasons:
- It contained more protein
- It had a healthy mix of nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphate, all of which are core elements in the creation of organic plants
Other Natural Tomato Fertilizers
We understand not everyone will start using human urine for fertilization, so here are some other potential organic fertilizers to consider using when dealing with tomatoes!
- Epsom salt
- Coffee grounds
- Used tea bags
- Fish emulsion
- Organic Cottonseed Meal
- Vegetable fertilizers like alfalfa meal or seaweed
- Blackstrap molasses
If you are looking for an organic and healthy way to fertilize your heirloom tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes, you might want to give human urination a try because it’s not only free but also environmentally friendly.
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