7th October, 2020.
Give your garden dilute urine drenches to replace the beneficial effect of animals in regenerative gardening.
As mentioned previously, regenerative gardening is about building soil. You can add organic material and biological drenches but the most effective drivers of soil health are the plants themselves through their leaking root sugars.
However the organic additives help in the beginning to boost soil life, and once the soil is healthier the plant's photosynthetic ability is enhanced and a virtuous cycle commences of positive feedback between plant and soil that increases fertility and builds good, living soil.
In large scale regenerative agriculture, frequently moved herds are used to regenerate soil by boosting photosynthesis in the grasses in natural grassland with the herd's grazing, trampling and waste.
I'm trying to imitate the good effect of the cows in regenerative agriculture. Yesterday I clipped and trampled the grass in and area in which I'm growing soil. Today I sprinkled the area with urine. The urine is diluted in order not to burn plants, and it is fermented to increase its biological activity and reduce odor.
A large amount of fresh undiluted urine in a limited space does make the garden smell like a urinal. But the diluted and fermented urine really doesn't smell bad. The soil soaks it up and the alchemy goes to work.
Above you can see the fermented urine in the bucket and the worm tea in the large plastic flagon. I diluted these with rain water and used the watering can to spread it around in a fine spray.
Urine contains plant macro nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Phosphorus is becoming a scarcer resource, which may run out globally in this century. Yet we produce it ourselves ! It is such a pity to flush away this valuable resource and put it into a waste stream.
But its not just about the nutrients in the dilute urine, which are phenomenal, but also that it feeds other organisms in the soil, and boosts biological activity. I used highly biologically active, fermented urine, and while I was at it, I thought I would add worm tea which is also a phenomenal booster of soil life as the worm's gut has a rich soil related microbiome. Later blog posts will delve into keeping worms.
Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.
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