Gardening in South Africa When I was a Child


I have been talking to my father about gardening, when I was a child in South Africa in the 1950’s One thing that most people here would never do is use human manure for fertilizer.  Back then we would take the waste from an out door toilet and dig it directly in the ground to fertilize the garden.  We never put it directly on the plants it was always spread prior to planting.  One thing that I can remember is that we always got a great crop of volunteer tomato plants.

Today I know that most people would never think of using human manure in this manner, however neither one of us could remember anyone getting sick from it.

Another problem that we remembered was that moles were always a big problem, until one of our neighbors told us how to get rid of them.  At that time, my younger brother was still using a baby pot, so as per instructions we would pour the urine in the mole holes.  It worked the moles would move out of the yard.  You might wonder why the human fertilizer didn’t keep them out of the yard, it did at first but the urine smell would go away and the moles would come back.

In recent years, I have poured urine in mole holes in my own yard and the yard is soon mole free.  This really works.

I see many people turn up their nose at the idea of using both of these methods in gardening.  Farmers have used human waste as fertilizer for centuries.  In many countries they still do.  With the knowledge that I have today I would not hesitate to use human manure for gardening, however I would let it compose for a season prior to use.


An 80% solution on time is better than a 100% solution late”

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