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Lifestyle

Peeing on your yard: good or bad? Science has the answer

A traditional way to maintain a yard would be to use sprinklers. But one report, which cites a professor, states spreading urine mixed with water on the grass could help a yard even more.
A traditional way to maintain a yard would be to use sprinklers. But one report, which cites a professor, states spreading urine mixed with water on the grass could help a yard even more.

Many of us have had that moment when we just couldn’t hold it anymore and urinated on the lawn.

Then we were left to wonder, did we harm the grass?

If that sounds familiar, ... maybe you should seek medical treatment or at least learn to hold it until you can reach a bathroom.

But the question remains: Is peeing on a yard bad for the lawn? Any chance that it could actually help?

An article in the September issue of Popular Mechanics examined the science and concluded: It comes down to your, umm, technique.

Urine contains a number of beneficial nutrients also found in commercial fertilizer, such as “nitrogen, a little bit of phosphorus and potassium, which are all needed for a healthy lawn,” Owen Duckworth, associate professor of biogeochemistry at North Carolina State University, told Popular Mechanics.

A Lifehack.org article adds that “plants generally need more nitrogen than any other element, as it’s used to synthesize amino acids, enzymes, proteins, and chlorophyll.”

But pee also is high in salt and could burn and kill plants at full strength.

The “solution,” if you may, is to dilute the urine.

So rather than wildly going about your business in the yard, how about urinating in a watering can (your neighbors certainly will be much happier), then adding water before pouring it through the container’s spout.

“I generally recommend a 2-to-1 [water-to-urine] dilution to be safe,” Ray Weil, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland, told Popular Mechanics. “Urine is simply too concentrated for most plants to withstand when either applied to the leaves or even to the soil around especially younger plants.”

Remember, practice makes perfect.

Just practice on your yard and not anyone else’s.

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©2017 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

Visit The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.) at www.fresnobee.com

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