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Is it an old wives tale or the truth, that urine on plants will deter nasty bugs? I have a 3 year old Trumpet vine that is dropping a lot of leaves. Looks like something is eating the new growth at the base. We also are experiencing forest fires; a lot of smoke. Can this affect it's growth? Thank you.
By maggie d from OYAMA, BC Canada
Urine = nitrogen. You find nitrogen in many industrial fertilizers. If you check the list of the ingredients of the "bio" or "green" fertilizers you often find "bovine urea". (I suppose if they would indicate "human urea" it would not sell so well ! ) I dont know if it can kill worms but I know it is a fertilizer for the plants that need nitrogen. Nettles love nitrogen and you can make nettle liquid manure which is a very good and cheap fertilizer. Nettle liquid manure as two stages in its process at the first stage it is used as worm and parasite killer. Here is the process instructions in case someone is interested in testing this old french "recipe".
nettle manure :
You need a 10 liter wood or plastic container (avoid metal container) and 1 kilo fresh nettles.
It must be fully grown nettles but you have to pick them up before they got flowers. When picked up too young they have more nitrogen but less other minerals.
Grossly cut the nettles (it will be easier to stir and turn over the mixture) put them in the container and pour 10 liters of water on the nettles (avoid hard water).
The mixture should be right to the top of the container so that there is no air left between the surface and the lid to help fermentation.
Put strong lid or cover so that no air can come in or out, because the only inconvenient to this real garden panacea is the smell.
Stir and turn over every 48 hours. A white foam appears on the surface it signals the begining of fermentation.
It can be used as insecticidal or fungicidal after soaking 12 or or 24 hours at 18°. Filter, dilute with water to 5% and spray on the leaves.
If left to soak the white foam disappears and is replaced by big bubbles on the surface. When the big bubbles disappears the manure is ready.
It takes 12 to 14 days depending on the temperature and the quality of the nettles to reach this stage.
The manure once filtered can be stored for many years or be diluted to 10 or 20 % and used to water the plants as a fertilizer and a fortifier.
The mixture should be filtered and either used or stored as soon as the big bubbles disappear as if left to soak more it would not get stronger but would just rot.
You can watch the process on this video :
(and Yes ! at the end of the video she does drink a little dilution of the manure as a fortifier for herself ! But you don't have to!)
Happy gardening with the nettles !