Veganic gardening is a type of growing technique places a focus on organic, natural, plant-based growing methods. It does not allow the use of chemicals or unnatural substances.
This not only has environmental-benefits, but benefits for the grower as well. So, what are those benefits? And how can you get started with veganic gardening?
What is Veganic Gardening?
Veganic gardening may sound like a strange and foreign term, but the concept is really quite simple. This method of growing simply combines veganism and organic gardening. Veganism of course, is a lifestyle that does not include any animal products or byproducts. Organic gardening is simply ensuring that no chemicals or unnatural substances are used in the garden. As such, veganic gardening uses only natural, plant-based derivatives in its nutrients, soils, and more.
Veganics in Cannabis Cultivation
Veganics may sound like something new, but it really began in the middle of the last century. While people were turning to organics, they were still using animal-based nutrients and fertilizers.
Growers started to find that keeping things natural, while also focusing on plant-derived products, benefits their crops. Decades later, veganic gardening is becoming increasingly popular, particularly among cannabis growers.
Kyle Kushman is perhaps the most well-known veganics gardener. He is founder of Kushman Veganics and has won the High Times Cannabis cup five times. Although he wasn’t one of the first to start practicing veganics overall, he was certainly one of the first to bring it to the world of cannabis. And there’s no questioning that he’s one of the very best.
It was Kushman that realized the difference animal compounds made in cannabis. He was also the first to recognize that animal byproducts are unnatural to the marijuana plant. They aren’t often exposed to them in nature. When that natural environment is altered, the cannabis plant suffers for it.
On the other hand, in veganic gardening, microbes are added to the soil. This helps the plant break down the plant-based nutrients. In turn, the plant can more readily absorb as many plant-based nutrients as possible. The relationship is a delicate one, with the plant and the microbes both relying on each for healthy growth.
The Benefits of Veganic Gardening
Veganic gardening holds many benefits for growers that want to use it. However, the biggest one has to be that it contributes to a much purer final product. Growers will find their buds taste better and more natural. Synthetic fertilizers and nutrients can sometimes leave behind a bitter, chemical taste.
The better taste of buds grown through veganics isn’t just more pleasurable, either. It’s actually healthier for anyone that consumes the buds. When those synthetic fertilizers leave behind their chemical residue, it’s not as healthy to consume those buds. This is why growers that use them must flush the plants before harvesting.
While humans can certainly benefit from veganics, this type of growing is also more environmentally-friendly. Chemicals found in fertilizers and nutrients today are very harmful to the environment. When growers use them outdoors, they are eventually deposited into waterways, which harms natural flora and fauna.
Lastly, veganics greatly benefits the cannabis plant. It takes a lot of work for a plant to absorb animal-based nutrients. When veganics is used, those nutrients are absorbed much faster, meaning that the plant can absorb more of them. In addition, it can focus its energy on other things such as producing terpenes and other compounds.
While any grower will reap all of these benefits when using veganics, not all growers may find it’s feasible for them. Veganics takes a great deal of time, money, and space, and some growers may run into challenges with any one of those things.
How to Begin with Veganic Growing
When starting off in veganic gardening, it’s important to focus on the soil first. You’ll want to ensure you have a soil rich in microbes and lots of organic, plant-based material. This will help the microbes thrive. The soil can include grass clippings, vegetable scraps, organic tea, herb scraps, and any other plant waste. Starting a compost is a great way to create your own soil for veganics.
Nitrogen can be added to the soil through items such as alfalfa, nettle, spiraling algae, and kelp. This nutrient is extremely important for the plant during its vegetative stage. Adding it to the soil will help you grow big, healthy plants. Remember not to add things like bat guano that is commonly used in soil, and this is animal-based.
Your plant will also need phosphorous and potassium during the flowering stage. This helps produce big, dense buds. Root vegetables such as yams and burdock are great sources of phosphorous and potassium. Banana peels can also help boost potassium levels, as can apples, peaches, and plums.
Using these items, it can be fairly easy to come up with your own nutrients to feed your plants. If you’re not up to the task though, there are many products that can help. Kyle Kushman has his own line of Vegamatrix, and Dragonfly Earth Medicine is also a great option. Both of these products have different varieties depending on the stage of life your plant is in.
Veganic gardening may not have been around in cannabis culture for long, but it’s may soon become the industry standard. Growers and consumers want natural, healthy products. As long as growers focus on simply eliminating chemicals and animal byproducts, and incorporating more plant-based products, it can also be very simple to do.