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WHY YES, THOSE ARE DISPOSABLE DIAPERS HANGING ON THE LINE TO DRY. DO YOU SEE A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

April 6, 2015

I realize that the continuum from completely normal to slightly odd to definitely eccentric to mad as a hatter is as fluid as a drop of mercury on a seesaw. It’s all a matter of changing perspectives, as we find ourselves going from curious to immersed in something, and then going all the way to completely gaga.

My latest foray from the land of normal began with one of those life hack videos I saw on Facebook about dismantling disposable diapers and adding them to potting soil. The absorbent center contains cotton, wood pulp and sodium polyacrylate crystals, which hold many times their weight in water, and then slowly release it as the diaper dries out. If you add the innards of these diapers to your potted plants, (1) you can’t really overwater because the crystals soak up the excess water so it doesn’t stand around rotting the roots of your plants, and (2) when the soil starts to dry out, the roots can harvest all that stored water in the crystals.

Wow! What a great idea! Especially when you are using small containers or keep your potted plant out in the sun and you forget to water on schedule! When I saw this video, I immediately remembered that I had seen several boxes of adult diapers at the Goodwill the week before, so I rushed out to buy some.

Wow, again! Although those things are HUGE! (that’s good. More for my baby plants), they are more expensive than I thought they would be (that’s bad). Even at the Goodwill, they were $10 a box. But they worked pretty well. Mixing the stuffing with potting soil did stretch the soil, and I could see how those little crystals soaked up water. Excited, I thought about going out to get the rest of the boxes languishing on the shelves of the Goodwill, but then realized, “Hey, we have a baby in the house. . .”

Which led to, “I wonder if urine is toxic to plants,” which led to my good friend Google, which led to the discovery that, Surprise! HUMAN URINE IS AN EXCELLENT FERTELIZER!! Ta da! Zip me on down the seesaw to the Mad as a Hatter category! Right after I read the article where a Swedish scientist has restructured his whole toilet system to capture all the urine produced by his family to fertilize his garden! Actually, I’m not even close to the “Hatter” Category. That scientist is. He claims his beets are the sweetest in town. (Thanks to the narrow-mindedness of Durham officials, I am saved from that irksome label).

This weekend, I came close, however, when I found myself in the greenhouse, ripping apart Wells’ wet diapers, tearing them into shreds, mixing them with potting soil, stuffing them into pots for my geraniums, and chortling with glee. “Free! Recycling! Reducing landfill waste!” I gloat. “Saving the environment! Organic!” (Yes, the diapers ARE organic, according to the label, but I am sort of suspicious that those sodium polyacrylate crystals might not qualify).

So now, I’m a just-this-side-of-the-edge convert, saving up wet diapers for use in my potting shed. Parents and Grandparents, if you are the squeamish type who doesn’t feel “normal” ripping up pee-soaked diapers to put in your flowerpots, bring them over to me. I’ll just hang them on the line to dry and store them until I’m ready to start my new seedlings. Who knew baby piss could save the environment and grow sweeter sweet potatoes and peppier peppers? Now we all do. I hope to see you soon just down the lane from Normal.

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2 Comments
  1. Wanda Lunsford permalink

    Follow up when growing season is over!

    Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2015 19:17:12 +0000 To: wanda3rd@hotmail.com

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  1. WHY YES, THOSE ARE DISPOSABLE DIAPERS HANGING ON THE LINE TO DRY. DO YOU SEE A PROBLEM WITH THAT? | deborahghining

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