Vegan organic gardening or veganic gardening is a system of gardening that does not use toxic sprays, chemicals and animal products or by-products. Vegan gardening methods allow us to minimize the harm to any animal that occurs in food production. Pesticides are not applied, which would indiscriminately kill bumblebees, butterflies and other insects, then washed into streams and groundwater to cause further harm to fishes and other aquatic animals.
Vegan gardening refuses all fertilizers such as blood and bone meal, fish products, manures, or other animal-origin matter, as they are sourced from industries that exploit and enslave sentient beings. As these products may carry diseases that breed in intensive animal husbandry operations, veganic gardening is also a safer, healthier way to grow our food.
In veganic gardening, soil fertility is maintained using vegetable compost, green manures, crop rotation, mulching, and other sustainable, ecological methods. Some vegan gardeners may supplement this with human urine from vegans (which provides nitrogen) and ‘humanure’ from vegans, produced from compost toilets.
A compost pile consists of kitchen waste (“green” matter), such as fruit and vegetable rinds, along with coarse materials (“brown” matter), such as leaves, grass clippings or dry straw. The ideal ratio for the compost is approximately two parts of “green” matter to one part of “brown”. Along with the right ratio of materials, a compost pile needs adequate aeration, which is usually achieved by turning or stirring the pile. It also needs the right level of moisture. The pile must be covered in order to protect it from the rain, while the covering must not prevent air from circulating.
Green manure is a cover crop of plants, which is grown with the specific purpose of being tilled into the soil. Fast-growing plants such as wheat, oats, rye, vetch, or clover, can be grown as cover crops between gardening seasons then tilled into the garden as it is prepared for the next planting. Green manure crops absorb and use nutrients from the soil that might otherwise be lost through leaching, then return these nutrients to the soil when they are tilled under. The root system of cover crops improves soil structure and helps prevent erosion.
Liquid Feeds or ‘Compost Tea’
Growers can make liquid feeds or ‘compost tea’, a fermented solution of plants such as comfrey, dandelion or nettle, left to break down in water and then applied in diluted form to the soil to feed plant roots and encourage soil microorganisms.
Using a thick layer of hay to cover the earth feeds the soil with organic matter as it breaks down. It also suppresses weeds and encourages worms to live in your soil. When putting gardens to sleep over the winter, cover them with a very thick layer of hay mulch.
Respecting Animal Habitat
Vegan organic growing also means respecting animal habitat, rather than driving all animals away. Rather than killing ‘problem’ invertebrates such as slugs, aphids and flea beetles, vegan gardeners try to allow a natural balance in their garden. Predation from crows and pigeons would be prevented by completely enclosing certain crops (such as strawberries) in netting and wire fencing.
Plants can be made healthier by employing techniques such as intercropping, companion planting, succession planting and mulching where appropriate. A border of marigolds helps to deter certain insects, and they also have a root system that improves the soil. Building the soil leads to plants which are higher in nutrients and much less likely to become diseased or attacked by insects.
Known as the wonder tree in India, Neem has been in use for centuries in Indian agriculture as the best natural pest repellent and organic fertilizer with insect sterilization properties.