VEGANIC FARMING AND GARDENING. Veganic farming and gardening is a willingness to balance our existence with the natural world.
VEGANIC FARMING AND GARDENING
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.
Tillage to manage weeds and water
Manure problems: herbicide contamination, nitrate-N leaching into ground water, human pathogens such as ecoli…..
Veganic 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)
To create a healthy rhizsphere: add plant residues.
There are many ways to add plant residues…..
Sheet composting or mulching – 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 Mulch – straw and leaves
weeds between crop rows
Perennials: Rye grass (Lolium) mixed with hairy vetch – good balance of nitrogen and carbon.
Oats and Red Clover
(combinations of grasses and legumes are usually best for weed suppression)
Clovers provide the best levels of nitrogen when mowed or tilled into the soil
Buckwheat accumulates phosphorus.
Rye (Secale) – annual – allelopathic (when tilled into the soil, produces biochemicals that inhibit seed germination and seedling growth).
Parabinga medic – handles high pH and low moisture once established
Snail Medic – drought tolerant once estblished
Winter kills in cold climates
Brassicas – Rape – allelopathic:
Inhibits weeds and root rot diseases
Which organic residue to use?
Depends on soil type, texture and pH, precipitation, and temperature…and cropping system
composted wood bark – low nitrogen and phosphorus and pH
composted wood bark/ human waste mix – higher nitrogen and Phosphorus
NUTRIENT CONTENT OF WOODY MATERIALS AND GRASS CLIPPINGS
PH N P K
High carbon materials can temporarily steal nitrogen from crop plants as microorganisms break them down
Brown and dry
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
Organic residues suppressed disease at different levels –alfalfa hay was best.
Suppression of Sclerotinia lettuce drop
TILLAGE AFFECTS DISEASE SUPPRESSION
Pythium Suppression Decreases With Cultivation Intensity
Lourd and Bouhot, 1987
Case study @ Biodesign Farm
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.
With careful planning, veganic farming and gardening can be bountiful and productive as well as kind to the other organisms with whom we share the earth