Posts tagged ‘nitrogen’

Man-Eating Plants

You may have thought that you were in charge, but your garden wants to eat you.

Seriously, the human body provides an excellent source of nutrients to your plants that you may not have considered:

Hair: chemical (dye/perm) free hair provides an excellent source of slow release nitrogen to your soil.
Finger/toenails:  Put your clippings in the garden.  They’re a source of calcium.
Blood: an excellent source of nitrogen.  If you use a menstrual cup, or have a nasty blood spill to clean up, empty it out in the garden. Of course, blood meal works too.
Bones: bones are very high in calcium and phosphorous, which is essential for healthy root and fruit development.  If you don’t want your plants to eye your limbs hungrily, I recommend bone meal.

Urine: is a convenient nitrogen-packed liquid fertilizer.  It’s safe to pee directly on most mature plants, but it’s easier and safer if you just pee in your watering can and dilute it.  The smell of your territorial markings will also help deter animals that want to steal your food.
Feces: Human waste is sold as “malorganite”  in garden stores.  General knowledge tells us that we should never use manure from animals that aren’t vegetarian, but no one told the guys who make this shit.  What you should never use is waste from animals that eat chemicals that they can’t pronounce, and are passing things like fluoride and lead through their bodies.  Did you hear about the lead contamination in the Michelle Obama’s organic Whitehouse garden?  From malorganite being used on the lawn.   It’s a great way to poison yourself twice: the lead that passes through your system can be absorbed by your plants so that you can eat it again.  yum!  That being said, vegitarians can make excellent use of composting toilets for an eco-friendly way to flush, to recycle those waste nutrients.

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July 9, 2009 at 8:43 pm Leave a comment

Garden Warfare: Deer

One of my gardening clients has a terrible deer problem. The deer have a taste for her phlox. The entire property is surrounded with wild phlox, but the deer would rather destroy the domestic ones in her garden. They just have a bad attitude.

I told her that Irish Spring keeps deer away. It’s not surprising, given the smell. I would stay away too. Just use an old stocking to tie the soap to shrubs that are a problem. She wasn’t interested in decorating her garden with soap (again, I don’t blame her). You can also string fishing line around the garden, because it confuses the deer when they walk into it. But if you’re like me, you’ll probably also walk into it yourself.

Human hair is also a good solution. Sprinkling it around the garden means that the deer are deterred by human scent, and your plants get nitrogen. But unless you have a deal with a barber, or spend a lot of time cutting your hair, a fresh supply of human hair is hard to come by.

The thing that finally worked was so simple it’s absolutely brilliant. She cut a small hole in a little garbage can, put a radio inside with an outdoor extension cord running through the hole, and tuned it into the CBC. Unlike some fear-based deterrents, the diverse range of music and talk radio changes enough to keep the deer away. For now, anyway.

June 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm 1 comment


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