Vegan fertilizers are becoming increasingly popular among gardening enthusiasts. In this post, we try to explain why all fertilizers are not vegan and the advantages of using animal-free fertilizers.
Vegan nutrition is currently a very popular trend. It promises improved health while also helping to safeguard the environment and the climate. Many vegans go so far as to abstain from all animal products, such as leather and down.
Animal care and sustainability can also be practiced in the garden: vegan fertilizers guarantee high harvests while avoiding the use of animals. We explain why not all fertilizers are vegan, why it is worthwhile to purchase vegan fertilizers, and what benefits they provide.
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Why Every Fertilizer is Not Vegan
Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium are the three basic nutrients found in fertilizers (K). These, however, might come from a variety of sources. Nutrients derived from animals are the primary source of nutrients in traditional agriculture.
Animal excrement, i.e. urine and feces, or other “organic waste” of animals provide the nutrients. In the fields, for example, manure or slurry is employed. Fertilizers derived from animals, such as horn meal, are also popular among hobby gardeners. As a result, all of these fertilizers are not vegan because they contain animal-derived components.
The following animal products can be found in non-vegan fertilizers:
- Urea from Animal Urine
- Waste from Slaughterhouses
- Horn shreds, shavings
However, there is an alternative to this – purely plant-based fertilizers that also contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Are Vegan-based Fertilizers Beneficial
Vegan fertilizers are becoming increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that animal welfare, as well as sustainability, are becoming increasingly important to many people. But does fertilizer have to be vegan as well? Is this even logical? To address this question, it’s worth looking at the constituents of vegan fertilizers once more.
These are basically separated into two categories: artificial and organic. Fertilizers made from chemicals or minerals promise high yields but are not environmentally friendly. Large amounts of resources are required for their production, a lot of CO2 is emitted, and nature is overexploited.
Because, for example, phosphorus and potassium are only available in finite quantities as minerals. Furthermore, artificial fertilizers are easily leached, and many fertilizers wind up in groundwater or streams and rivers rather than on the plant.
Organic fertilizers are more environmentally friendly and sustainable. However, bacteria must first make the organic material’s components available to the plants. As a result, organic fertilizers have a slower effect than their synthetic counterparts.
The risk of leaching, on the other hand, is not as severe. The nutrients are delivered exactly where they should be: to the plant. One issue with exclusively organic fertilizers is that some essential plant nutrients, particularly phosphorus, are insufficiently present.
As a result, many fertilizers are composed primarily of organic components with a minor mineral component. This way, the plant’s nutrient supply is ensured all around while also taking care to safeguard nature as much as possible.
Organic fertilizers with long-term effects can be comprised of a wide range of components like nitrogenous legumes, biogas plant fermentation wastes, compost, green manure, algae, plant extracts, or waste materials from the food and feed sector. Vegan fertilizers made from industrial byproducts require no new resources to be used; instead, trash is recycled and repurposed.
In general, vegan and organic fertilizers have lower nutritional concentrations than their conventional chemical counterparts. As a result, you normally require a greater quantity of vegan fertilizer. However, this can be just as efficient as fertilizers containing animal products; it all depends on the nutrient content and amount of minerals provided.
Organic vegan fertilizers deliver nutrients to the plants gradually and softly. You can so sit back and relax during this time without having to re-fertilize. Vegan fertilizers, on the other hand, are frequently slightly more expensive than their animal-based equivalents.
Vegan Fertilizers Advantages
The most obvious advantage of vegan fertilizer is that no animal products are utilized, which are blamed for producing massive amounts of greenhouse gases and so considerably contributing to climate change. Furthermore, raising animals requires far more natural resources than farming crops, such as land and water.
Here are some of the major benefits,
- All animal-derived components are omitted.
- When compared to animal and mineral fertilizers, organic manures have a lower CO2 footprint.
- Reduce the germ load.
- Antibiotic and pharmaceutical residue-free.
- Chemical insecticides and pesticides are not present in biofertilizers.
- Because they are fully chemical-free, they are environmentally friendly and safe for humans and animals.
- Increase soil fertility and encourage active and healthy soil life.
- Work slowly and over time, only when the plant requires nutrients.
- There is no obnoxious odor and it is practically dust-free.
- When waste products are utilized, resources are saved.
Vegan fertilizers, which do not contain animal products, are consequently more environmentally friendly and have a lower carbon footprint. Many gardeners are also put off by the possibility that many animal products contain medication residues or pathogens.
Vegan fertilizer has a distinct advantage, particularly when producing your own food, such as in a vegetable patch: germ contamination is substantially reduced, and residues of antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals do not arise.
Vegan fertilizers derived from organic farming methods also have the benefit of not containing any synthetic chemical fertilizers as well as any potentially harmful insecticides or pesticides. They do not necessitate the use of any chemicals. This not only benefits the ecosystem, but it also benefits the gardener.
Vegan fertilizers with an organic long-term effect, unlike many mineral alternatives, are completely safe for humans and animals. This minimizes inconvenient waiting periods after fertilizing, such as not walking on the lawn or collecting the veggies.
Vegan fertilizers have an added benefit in that they ensure the provision of all essential plant nutrients. Organic components boost soil fertility, sustain soil life, improve soil structure, and increase the soil’s water and heat storage capacity. There is no need to worry about the risk of overfertilization or leaching as a result of the delayed conversion.
Finally, vegan fertilizers with organic long-term effects only release nutrients to the plant when it truly requires them. The rate of nutrient conversion is affected by temperature and humidity. This greatly reduces the likelihood of a discharge when there is no plant growth.
Vegan fertilizer can have extra benefits, particularly in the application. Fertilizers derived from animals, such as guano or horn shavings, can have a pungent odor that several gardeners find annoying. Vegan fertilizers, on the other hand, have a much more mild odor that is not viewed as unpleasant or penetrating after fertilization. Also, many vegan fertilizers are almost dust-free, which is a huge benefit, particularly if you want to fertilize during the hot summer months.
Vegan fertilizers, which are made primarily of waste products from the feed or food industries, have an added benefit in terms of sustainability: resources are preserved and items that would otherwise wind up in the trash are recycled. In certain situations, these are genuinely rich in nutrients that can be used in the garden.
Most organic fertilizers offered in stores are vegan, approved for organic farming, devoid of unnecessary chemicals, primarily organic with low mineral content, and primarily composed of plant components recycled from food and feed production recycling processes.