Vegetative growth response of beets and lettuce to stored human urine
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In this work, we present the experimental results of the effect of stored human urine (SHU) on the growth of beets (Beta vulgaris L) and lettuce (Lactuca sativaL). We apply different amounts of SHU according to the recommended dose of nitrogen, considering soil from farmland and vermiculite as substrates. The last allows us to determine with high precision the isolated effect of SHU over the vegetative development of beet plants, without considering other nutrients present in common soils. Experimental results demonstrate that the application of SHU has no significant effects on lettuce vegetative growth under our soil conditions. In contrast, SHU can be used successfully as a fertilizer of beets. The optimum dose was found at 120kgN ha-1and resulted in average dry weight of 125g. However, if the dose exceeds the optimum levels, the growth of the plant is inhibited. Beets fertilized with SHU does not pose any hygienic risk for human consumption. Our findings represent a promising alternative to propose expanding the use of SHU as fertilizer in medium-sized greenhouses and to provide benefits to families in rural areas, with little or no available water supplies.