One thing that you should know about our intro to veganic gardening is that it’s not just for vegans.
We love a plant-based diet, of course, but it’s not essential to only eat vegan food to remove any form of animal cruelty while growing vegetables.
In fact, we like to think that is desirable for everyone.
What Is Veganic Gardening?
Veganic gardeners try not to use anything in growing a garden that is derived from animals.
This includes any obvious animal products (such as manure or urine, bone or blood, etc.) but also anything that is made from these products and then offered as a chemical treatment.
This means that they fertilize and maintain the garden’s soil using wholly natural and plant-based means.
They also try to ensure that, wherever possible, the things they use on their gardens are sustainable – it’s not that they don’t use potash, lime, gypsum, etc. but it’s that they try to keep their use to a minimum.
All told, a veganic gardener tries to rely on the environment to sustain their environment and they only bring in outside help when absolutely necessary.
How Do You Maintain Soil Health When Veganic Gardening?
There are four main methods for a veganic gardener to maintain soil health without relying on chemicals or animal products:
- They don’t till the soil. Tilling can upset the chemical balance of the soil and spoil all the hard work that your worms are doing aerating it. The veganic gardener prefers to let nature do nature.
- They cover the soil. This is a very simple way to prevent erosion of the soil – it cannot be washed away or damaged if it’s covered and the way to do that is plant plenty of plants to cover it.
- They rely on polyculture. You may know this idea as “crop rotation”, by changing the mix of plants they grow regularly the veganic gardener ensures fresh nutrients in the soil replace those used up by previous crop types.
- They plant perennials. Perennial crops like tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. have deep root systems and they bring nutrients to the surface of the soil. They also tend to require less care and maintenance than other crop types and grow easily almost anywhere.
How Do You Fertilize A Veganic Garden?
There are five easy ways to fertilize a veganic garden!
You can make compost. Get some composting bins and add worms and waste material and get free fertilizer! Easy, right?
You can add mulch. Mulch is basically decomposing leaves, hay and straw and it provides wonderful soil coverage and nutrients for your plants.
You can add green manure. Green manure means growing nitrogen rich plants and then cutting them down and digging them into the soil.
You can add leaf mold. Just get a plastic bag, fill it with some leaves, poke a few holes in the bag, add some water and leave it for 12 months. Then spread it on.
You can use “dynamic accumulators”. These are plants that help to draw up nutrients from the soil at the lowest layers. You can mulch or manure these or just let them grow.
How Do You Start Working On A Veganic Garden?
It takes time to make compost, mulch, green manure, etc. and that shouldn’t stop you from starting a veganic garden today.
While you wait for those products to mature, you can buy vegan compost and go from there – it’s not expensive and most garden centers will stock it.
It’s also worth taking some time at the garden center to talk to the staff about organic pest control – keeping chemicals out of your fertilizer is good, but not using pesticides is better.
Try to grow seasonal crops that are local to your area – this makes it very easy to do crop rotation that works without having to get a degree in permaculture.
Oh and if you don’t have a garden, you can still use veganic gardening principles on any crop that you grow in a pot.
Final Thoughts On Veganic Gardening
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our intro to veganic gardening and are thinking about implementing these principles in your own garden.
There’s no need to be cruel to animals to grow vegetables, we’re sure that you’ll agree.
If you enjoyed this article you might enjoy learning about seed saving or edible forest gardens too.
* For more vegan related articles check out our Vegan Life directory here.
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