The theory goes that some animals piss and mark their territory. Apparently, it works for them; something along the lines of the scent keeping other animals away. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been working on my garden. Have been for years. What does marking territory have to do with this? Well, there are several factors that contribute to the success or failure of healthy blooms, or just plain flowering, for that matter. The obvious are sunshine and water. Then there’s the cruel decapitation factor. Yes, I mean decapitation by deer. Their mouths are flower bud guillotines. I’ll spend days watching the slow process of budding and it’ll be so close to bloom and then a sudden chop! Deer have no heart or manners. Mostly, I’ll just have to take my squashed heart, hide my tears and return home cursing those monsters. Please stop if you think deer are so cute. Why don’t you try planting something only to have it be eaten away a couple of days before they bloom?
So anyway, this year, I got a gardener. He seems quite knowledgeable on keeping deer away. His first attempt was to put dog poop around the plants. Did not work. He assured me that he had another fail proof plan – to smear the dog poop on the underside of the leaves of my plants. He said it would smell for a day or so, and it would keep the deer away after that. Well, it’s worked. Mostly.
This past week, the deer rummaged through my favorite decorative sedum, they ate my yaro buds (a flowering herb that apparently deer do not like), and they chopped off the top of my black eyed Susan. I don’t even know what this flower looks like. I’ve been waiting for it to bloom. Needless to say, I am not happy. My gardener came to re-treat all my plants with the dog poop but somewhere I did not feel satisfied.
This past weekend was Eid and my family got together and while we sat outside my friend’s home, we were discussing deer and how to keep them away. My friend said that she had heard human pee could be used to mark territory. We all joked. I told her to get her whole family, herself included, to get their act together and start contributing in a real sense with their pee! My friend joked back and told me to go do it first and to report on how efficient it was. Everyone laughed. I said, why not and then everyone laughed about avoiding cups in my bathroom because you never know what I might have used them for.
As my husband and I drove home, I told him that it would be worth a try. Animals do it! Maybe the deer won’t even get close. They may never have to taste the dog poop on the leaves. I am not trying to be kind to the deer. Secretly, I wished they tasted the dog poop and were disgusted and never came back, but with pee, they would hopefully smell the pee from much further away and not even bother. To be very honest, I don’t really know what I expected or how to go about marking my territory. They don’t sell pee at the stores, do they? I didn’t look, but I figured asking would raise some eyebrows. Who knows? It might get one arrested? All I knew was that I needed to collect my pee which means I needed to pee in a cup.
The adventure so begins. I took my warm cup of pee outside and lined an area of my garden closer to my sedum. Some of the pee got on the sedum. I thought to myself, “Ha! There you go deer. Dog poop and human pee. Deal with that!” I felt quite smug. So, this peeing in the cup and marking an area of my garden continued 3 more times. I tried to talk my husband into going outside and doing his business. He asked me what the neighbors would think. I told him to do it when no one was watching, obviously. He just shook his head at me, and I wondered what husbands were for, if they couldn’t perform such a small favor.
It was 11pm when I poured my last cup of pee outside. I gave up on my husband helping me but I was happy and grinning from ear to ear. I just had to figure out a way to keep this up though. Four cups of pee didn’t give me much area, and there’s the whole wait factor between one pee to the next, but I was determined. As I was figuring out my strategy for marking my territory, it dawned on me that the whole thing started as a joke. Would this effort work at all? Perhaps I should Google it, and so I did.
I found an article about human pee and plants. Do NOT pee on plants because the acidity will kill the plants. There was a whole bunch of warnings about using full strength pee. If you are using pee to provide nitrogen for plants, make sure you dilute 20:1. That’s 20 parts water. I had just spilled some full strength, fresh pee earlier that evening on my favorite sedum. Noooooo! In my attempt to save my plants, have I gone on an accidental killing rage? Death by pee acid.
The article continued to talk about using early morning pee as it contained more hormones and stuff. Great, I’d been using evening pee. The kicker is the article stated male pee not female pee should be used to mark territory because male hormones could imply aggression? Apparently, a guy should use his morning pee and pee high (at the level of a deer) at a nearby tree. Oh, and get this. They did not even know for sure if it worked as they didn’t know anyone who had tried it. Is this a joke? Seemed legit, but oh my!
In desperation, at 11:15pm, I go to my husband and tell him about the pee spill on my sedum and a small part of my phlox. He suggested I go outside and pour water to dilute the areas. So, there I am at 11:15pm outside in the dark, pouring water on my plants, hoping to dilute my stupidity.
The good news. A couple of good news. I don’t have to pee in a cup anymore. I’m glad my husband declined my request to pee outside. Apparently, if you get caught, you’ll be put on the sex offender registry for the rest of your life! Ya. I don’t think my husband wants to be on that.
That’s my story for this week. I hope you all enjoyed the read and I’m sure you guys have a better head on your shoulders than I do!
Best to all,