Jaipi Sixbear is an established author of hundreds of helpful online articles. Jaipi learned to garden at an early age. She has old and new tips and tricks for growing your best garden ever.
As an organic gardener, you might have been told that animal manure is a necessary garden component. What if you’re also a vegan? Are you hesitant or unwilling to incorporate animal use into your vegetable, herb or flower garden? The good news is, you don’t have to. Your garden can get it’s nutrients from vegetable matter, just like you (and the animals) do.
There are many different ways to get nitrogen into your soil. Animal manure is the most common. That doesn’t mean it’s the only one, or even the best. You’ll be happy to know that the best vegan source of nitrogen for the garden is readily available to most backyard gardeners. It’s called grass. That’s right, those grass clippings you already add to your vegetable based compost provide all the nitrogen you need in your garden. You can also plant other quick growing grasses into spring garden beds. When it’s time to plant your veggies, just till them in for the ultimate nitrogen boost.
If you’re an organic, vegan gardener, where do you get calcium for your plants? Unfortunately, many conventional calcium supplements contain animal products. One that doesn’t is lime. Use it sparingly, though. It’s not a renewable resource. The same is true for gypsum, another great source of calcium. But guess what? You know all that kale you grew last year? It’s loaded with calcium and makes a healthy, calcium rich addition to your compost heap. Or, you can skip the middle man. Try growing tomatoes in your old kale bed instead.
Rock potash adds the potassium you need to your garden beds. It’s available in most garden supply stores and used by vegans and non-vegans alike.
Magnesium is an essential element for all gardeners. The best source may already be in your home. It’s Epsom salts. That’s right. The same substance you use in the bath to ease sore muscles provides a valuable nutrient for your garden.
Skip the risk
In the past few years, there have been quite a few incidences of food poisoning associated with vegetables. Now, why is that? One does not normally associate vegetables with food poisoning. Although it hasn’t been widely publicized, one of the contributing factors to this problem is fertilization with improperly composted and sanitized animal manure. As a vegan, keeping your compost vegetable based might just help you avoid those risks.
So, there you go. If you’re vegan, you don’t need to use animal manure, bone meal or other animal based products to have a successful garden. There is a vegan “substitute” for every garden nutrient you can think of. Still stumped? Trying to find a source not mentioned above? There are so many vegan gardeners online these days, a little light research will easily turn up the answers you seek.