23 Apr 2024

Shower Thoughts: Does peeing on lemon trees actually work?

From Nights, 9:15 pm on 23 April 2024

Every Tuesday, Nights answers the ponderous questions you have about life, the universe, and everything.

Tonight's Shower Thought: Does peeing on a lemon tree actually help it grow? Is this old trick good gardening, or just a bit weird?

Landscape designer Justin Newcombe joins Emile Donovan to put the issue to rest.

lemon tree

Photo: Brienne Hong / Unsplash

In short, the answer is yes, he tells Nights.

“I’m definitely a proponent of it, and it works really well. But there's a few caveats as well, it relies on a healthy human being and that sort of thing.

“But generally speaking, it does work. It's particularly good on trees. I think the main thing with a lemon tree though is to make sure that you've got some padding around the tree.”

That padding should be in the form of mulch, he says.

“It acts as a bit of a pillow between you and the tree.”

Sickly container plants will also benefit from a splash, he says.

“If you've got container plants as well, container trees, it works really well, they can go a little bit yellow, and look a little bit sad. So wee is really effective.”

Urine contains a number of trace elements, he says.

“It's got potassium, phosphorus, it's got a lot of nitrogen”

Anything leafy relies on nitrogen, he says, but dilute the urine first.

“You can use your own urine for a lawn, put it in a spray bottle, and dilute it five to one.

“If it's really dry, you probably want to dilute it a bit more, because the moisture content in the ground will also dilute the urine as well.”

It is also an effective compost activator.

“The decomposition process requires a lot of nitrogen., so it's really beneficial and it acts as an activator. Your standard bucket of water is about nine litres so put a litre of urine in that and just water it into your compost, it’ll have a lot of benefits for your compost as well.”

If you want to pee directly onto something, use a straw bale, it will help turn It into healthy soil, he says.

“It’s good thing to do over winter while you're while your vegetable gardens fallow. What that does is compost down the straw, and then then you can spread it out once it's composted.”