gardener picking tomatoes

Is It Safe To Pee In Your Garden?

Peeing. We all do it. And for the most part, we pee right into the toilet, flush it, and never think about it again. Hopefully by the time you’re finished with this article, you’ll be thinking about your pee a little bit differently though. Urine can actually be a good source of nutrients for your garden. So before you go flushing your urine, let’s talk about why you should pee in your garden.

Why you should pee in your garden

I’m putting this section first because, frankly, I think you should pee in your garden. The pros vastly outweigh the cons.


Plants love your pee. They’re kinky like that. Your urine is full of nutrients that plants crave, like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. There are some other trace minerals in your urine that plants can use. Your pee also contains water. It’s about 95% water, in fact. A little water is a treat for plants.


Also, your urine doesn’t need to be processed or composted before use. It can be immediately used by plants.


And of course, there’s the environmental factor. Humans urinate about 10 times a day. Each flus of a toilet uses about 1.6 gallons of water on average per flush. So in a day, we’re flushing about 16 gallons of water all in the name of disposing of pee. Save some water and make your plants happy by peeing on them.


Reasons you might not want to pee in your garden

I am strongly in favor of peeing in your garden and compost. But there are some reasons why you might want to think twice before unleashing a golden stream of goodness unto your plants.


Diseases spread by urine

Urine is known to transmit some diseases. Leptospirosis is one such disease. It normally effects animals but can make humans ill. Still, Lepto is rare in humans. There are approximately 150 cases of the disease in the US each year according to the CDC. Not really a huge concern.


More common is Cytomegalovirus, or CMV. This virus presents as mild flu symptoms in those infected by it. CMV, once you’ve had it, is dormant in your urine. If you’ve had CMV, you can still pass it on. But most people get CMV at some point in their lives, so the risk of spreading it by peeing in your garden is not particularly high.


Lastly, Urinary Tract Infections, caused by various bacteria, can be spread by your urine. But again, there is minimal risk of spreading a UTI by urinating in your garden. Still, if you have a UTI, you may want to abstain from peeing in your garden.


Medications in your urine

The byproducts of medication that are expelled in your urine can negatively impact your garden. For example, if you are taking an antibiotic or antifungal, some of the medication may be shed through urine. Just as these medications fight bacteria and fungus in your body, they can also kill these micro-organisms in the soil. If you’re taking one of these drugs, it’s best to abstain from peeing in your garden until you’ve taken the full course of drugs.


Privacy concerns

Here’s something to consider: urinating outdoors is illegal in every single state in the United States. If caught, you can be charged with public lewdness or exposure and be forced to register as a sex offender. If there’s a chance that someone could see you peeing in your garden, don’t do it. If you’re committed to it, consider using a special container to transport your pee outside.

Tips for using urine in your garden

Before you go fire hosing urine all over your garden, there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. Let’s talk tips.

First, if you’re doing a lot of peeing in your garden, you may consider diluting it with water. It is a powerful fertilizer, and too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. If you’re doing this a lot, consider peeing into a bucket, adding water, and at the end of the day, spreading it on your plants.

Additionally, if you’re applying urine to edible plants, be careful about where your stream goes. If you have a big beautiful tomato plant ready for harvest, it’s best not to urinate directly onto the fruiting portion of the plant. Aim for the soil around it, not the planet itself.

Lastly, if you’re concerned about any aspect of urinating in your garden, you can pee in your compost instead.

Read More: How Long Does It Take To Make Compost?

Peeing on your compost

I was first introduced to the concept of peeing on your compost after going to a music festival in which large hay bales, destined for a local farm’s compost heap, served as the receptacle for human urine. (No number 2 here)

Since then, I’ve learned that peeing in your compost is a safe way to apply urine to a garden. By peeing in your compost, you give it all the opportunity to break down a bit and mix in with the compost. There is very little chance of spreading disease and the smell should not be noticeable at all.

My verdict? Pee in your garden. Pee in your garden often. Do so with vigor. You have my blessing.

Cody Medina
Freelance Writer
Cody was born on the western slope of Colorado. In his high school career, Cody was nominated and awarded the Amazing Youth Leadership Award by the HRC for establishing one of the first Gay Straight Alliances which then inspired the creation of several other GSAs on the western slope. Cody’s interest in environmentalism stemmed from that experience as well. Cody now resides in Oregon with his partner and beloved animals. He enjoys hiking, camping, running, climbing, watching movies, writing, reading, walking his dog, driving to the ocean, and hanging out with his friends when possible.