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VEGANIC FARMING AND GARDENING. Veganic farming and gardening is a willingness to balance our existence with the natural world.

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Veganic farming and gardening is a willingness to balance our existence with the natural world.

the soil microorganisms we try not to disturb with excessive tillage, the birds, butterflies, and insects we do not poison with insecticides, the weeds that are not killed with herbicides, and the animals who are not killed for food.


Unlike conventional organic
Unlike Conventional Organic, our existence with the natural world.

Tillage to manage weeds and water


Veganic is livestock free and does not use manure as a fertilizer
Veganic our existence with the natural world. is livestock-free and does not use manure as a fertilizer…..

Manure problems: herbicide contamination, nitrate-N leaching into ground water, human pathogens such as ecoli…..


Veganic our existence with the natural world. Works With Nature to Mimic Natural Plant Eco-Systems:

Reduced tillage – keeping soil covered,

Increased plant diversity,

Regular addition of plant residues.


Increased plant diversity, regular additions of plant residues, & keeping the soil covered promotes a healthy soil & Rhizospere (root-soil zone of greatest soil foodweb activity)


There are many ways to add plant residues

To create a healthy residues, & keeping the soil covered promotes a healthy soil & rhizsphere: add plant residues.

There are many ways to add plant residues…..


Alfalfa pellets added to greenhouse tomatoes provide nitrogen phosphorus and potassium
Alfalfa pellets added to greenhouse tomatoes provide nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium


Sheet composting or mulching – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium surface application of grass clippings or hay

In a perfect world we would be able to harvest our own hay for veganic growing and wait until mid July to cut, so most grassland birds (and small mammals) have fledged their young. Though less nitrogen and more viable seed in a late cutting, later cut hay holds up better over time - suppressing weeds longer. A late cutting will allow insects to work flowers - at least until the hay is cut.


Dead nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium Mulch – straw and leaves


Living mulch
Living nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium Mulch

weeds between crop rows


Planted legume living mulch
Planted legume Living Mulch nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium


Living mulch suppresses disease
Living Mulch Suppresses Disease nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium


Cover crops and green manures spring tillage incorporation into soil
Cover Crops and Green Manures nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (spring tillage/incorporation into soil)


Perennials: Rye grass ( nitrogen, phosphorus and potassiumLolium) mixed with hairy vetch – good balance of nitrogen and carbon.


Oats and Red Clover nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium

(combinations of grasses and legumes are usually best for weed suppression)




Annuals – tilled into the soil

Buckwheat accumulates phosphorus.


Rye ( tilled into the soilSecale) – annual – allelopathic (when tilled into the soil, produces biochemicals that inhibit seed germination and seedling growth).





Brassicas established – Rape – allelopathic:

Inhibits weeds and root rot diseases



Which organic residue to use? mulches or cover crops.

Depends on soil type, texture and pH, precipitation, and temperature…and cropping system


composted wood bark – low nitrogen and phosphorus and pH mulches or cover crops.

Soil Pep

5.0

0.2

0.2

0.2

6.3

0.2

0.1

0.1

Clark Fork

composted wood bark/ human waste mix – higher nitrogen and Phosphorus

Ekocompost

5.9

1.0

1.5

0.4

Glacier Gold

5.7

0.5

0.7

0.1

Butte Biologic

6.7

0.8

0.6

0.3

MUSHROOM COMPOST

7.2

1.7

1.7

3.7

GRASS CLIPPINGS

6.6

1.9

0.3

0.8

NUTRIENT CONTENT OF WOODY MATERIALS AND GRASS CLIPPINGS

PH N P K


Green and succulent plant residues (higher nitrogen) vs. mulches or cover crops.brown and dry residues (lower nitrogen, higher carbon)

High carbon materials can temporarily steal nitrogen from crop plants as microorganisms break them down


Brown and dry mulches or cover crops.

Green and succulent

Bio chemical pathways of decomposition both residue types break down to humus, but with different microorganisms and nutrient release rates.Green/succulent = fasterBrown/dry = slower


Green manures suppress disease bare soil fallow more disease
Green Manures Suppress Disease – mulches or cover crops.bare soil (fallow) = more disease.


Organic residues suppressed disease at mulches or cover crops.different levels –alfalfa hay was best.

Suppression of Sclerotinia lettuce drop


TILLAGE AFFECTS DISEASE SUPPRESSION mulches or cover crops.

Pythium Suppression Decreases With Cultivation Intensity

Lourd and Bouhot, 1987


Using living mulches
Using Living Mulches mulches or cover crops.

Case study @ Biodesign Farm




Bed making residue inside beds
Bed making – residue inside beds mulches or cover crops.


Seed new cover between rows in spring, recruits from previous season’s living mulch already re-growing




Benefits of living mulch system balanced nutrient supply
Benefits of Living Mulch System: residue)balanced nutrient supply





New beneficials appeared predateous stink bug attacking cpb larvae
New residue)beneficials appeared – predateous stink bug attacking CPB larvae




LM has different nutrients and C:N ratio at different times of the year. High C:N ratio material (greater than 30-50) may cause temporary unavailability of N and P.


Soil Fertility Summary: Apply plant residue additions of the year. High C:N ratio material (greater than 30-50) may cause temporary unavailability of N and P.throughout the season; mix higher and lower C and N materials


With careful planning, of the year. High C:N ratio material (greater than 30-50) may cause temporary unavailability of N and P.veganic farming and gardening can be bountiful and productive as well as kind to the other organisms with whom we share the earth


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