If you are someone interested in growing marijuana, you have probably been looking into the various growing methods. Or maybe you’re someone who’s been growing marijuana for years and is looking to take things to a new level, or looking to lower your impact on the environment.
How To Grow Marijuana With Veganics:
Maybe you’ve been growing organically, and you would like to go a step further. In any of these cases, this article is for you. We’re going to go over the basics of what veganics is as well as how you can use its methodology for your own marijuana grow setup.
What is veganics?
You have probably already guessed it from the name, but it is important to define what veganics is nonetheless. Veganics is a type of organic growing. In this case, we are specifically talking about growing marijuana, of course, but veganics can apply to all sorts of farming and cultivation.
Veganic vs. organic growing
Veganics goes a few steps beyond just organic growing. Like veganism when it comes to eating food, veganics means to grow marijuana without any organic, animal-derived parts involved. While veganism is eliminating not only meat (like vegetarianism) but also all animal products, veganics is eliminating not only harmful fertilizers and chemicals (like organic growing), but also anything that comes from animals.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of organic inputs in “regular” growing that involves products derived from animals. Organic growing uses living soil and compost teas derived from manures, worm castings, guanos, micronized herbs, and so on — all animal-derived products. Organic farmers aren’t using products such as chemical salts, fertilizers that are harsh on your plants and the environment, and pesticides.
Why should you grow with veganics?
Believe it or not, using veganics instead of another method of growing can actually save you money. This, of course, is dependent on your circumstances and how you choose to proceed with it, but it’s an important aspect to keep in mind. It is most successfully done if you have plenty of space and land to spare, so if that applies to you, then it is something to consider.
People who plan it right with their crop cultivation (specifically plants besides marijuana that will serve for nutrients) and composting operations will have everything they need right in front of them. In other words, it’s a true definition of sustainability: a loop of success and production.
In terms of ethics, let’s look at organic growers. They generally use certain animal products such as fish emulsion, bone meal, blood meal, and so on. The problem arises from where the animals came from. Generally speaking, those animals were not raised organically and were probably filled with antibiotics, living in commercial “farms.”
Not only are those chemicals harmful to your plants and therefore you (the consumer), but they are also inconsistent with the ethics of organics since the products used don’t technically qualify as organic. The point of veganics, therefore, is to take out this non-organic component so you can know exactly where every aspect of your growing operation comes from.
Many growers are nervous about switching to veganics because they don’t want to sacrifice the high yields they have been getting with organic or other methods of growing. It should come as good news, then, that yields are just as high with veganics growing operations! The nutrients the plants are receiving are actually the same — the source of those nutrients is the only thing that changes. Therefore, the outcome in terms of quantity is also the same.
Some people would even go as far to say that veganics have the capability of producing higher yields than other growing methods, on top of the fact that smoking them is healthier and more enjoyable. In summary, why wouldn’t you choose to run a veganics operation?
Where did veganics come from?
Believe it or not, the origin of the veganics method of growing stems back to the 1940s. A few farmers were worried about their livestock being the root of their desertification problems (in other words, the reason the soil was becoming unhealthy and depleted), so they wanted to use methods besides manure to give their crops nutrients. Thus, compost arose.
The idea was to make an effective compost mixture based off of simple ingredients, such as vegetable scraps and other leftovers from the yard. During this time, manure was the go-to for just about every farmer. The key was to find a way to get the same nutrients you would get from manure but without the actual manure part of it.
The very word “veganic” comes from two ideas that were already around: vegetarianism and organics. The “ve” was taken from “vegetarian,” and the “ganic” was taken from “organic.” Thus, the term “veganics” was born.
Getting started with veganics
The first thing any new veganics grower must understand is the fact that the soil is critical in this sustainable setup. It all comes down to balance and in order to have a balanced system the soil needs to have the right amount of beneficial bacteria and fungi, also known simply as soil microbes.
To ensure that soil is healthy, organic substances should be used. That includes teas, mulch, and other matter. Leaves, grass, moss, and other plant waste can go into your healthy soil. Don’t bother starting your veganics grow setup without healthy soil first!
In the organic growing of marijuana, products such as bat guano and seabird guano are used for specific nutrients — nitrogen in the case of bat guano, and phosphorus in the case of seabird guano. Both of these nutrients are crucial in different amounts, depending on the stage of growth your marijuana plants are in and if they will use schwazzing.
In veganics, these two types of guano can be substituted with plants that are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Plants such as alfalfa, nettle, spirulina algae, and kelp are all naturally rich in nitrogen. If you can grow one or more of these plants on your land, all the better. If not, you can easily purchase them on store shelves.
Burdock root, rhubarb, and wild yam root work well for phosphorus and potassium — these are also able to be found in specialty stores, or certainly can be ordered online. Phosphorus and potassium can also be found in apples, peaches, and plums, so adding those to your compost tea when you need more of these nutrients is a good idea.
If you want to go “full veganics,” making your own compost makes the most sense. This can be done in a variety of ways, including traditional composting, compost tea, and vermiculture (using worms). Proper research should be done before choosing and trying one (or more) of these methods, but when done properly it can lead to huge, healthy, high-yielding plants. Knowing exactly where everything is coming from might be the best thing that ever happens to you.
The beauty of veganics is it can be made according to your personal tastes as well as just what makes the most sense for you. However, it does not have to be hard. If you are someone who has been growing marijuana for a while and are used to buying the nutrients you need for your plants, rest assure – certain buyable mixes still are in line with veganics. This way, you can still embrace the philosophy and growing style of veganics while not needing to make your own compost.
One line of veganic nutrients is Dragonfly Earth Medicine. They are clear about what is contained in their mixtures, and everything about their company mission has to do with sustainability and organic philosophies. Check out their Lush Roots for the vegetative phase of your plants and their Flat Flowers product for when your plants are flowering.
Another option to try is Kyle Kushman’s Vegamatrix, which is basically a bottle of nutrients like you are used to seeing, except these are in line with veganics. Unfortunately, they aren’t quite as open about what exact ingredients are in each of their products, much like more traditional nutrient products.
Keeping pests away
Of course, pests and mold are always the next thing veganics growers (as well as all growers) need to worry about. Luckily, there are a variety of methods for keeping pests at bay. Specifically, certain companion plants can be grown to help fight off any potential pests. These plants include cilantro, chrysanthemum, dill, foxglove, garlic, marigold, peppermint, sunflower, yarrow, and so on.
Read more about treating pests when you download my free grow bible.
There are even sprays that can be used as natural pesticides for your plants. These sprays include chili spray (spider mites), garlic tea, and tomato leaf spray (grasshoppers and whiteflies). These are not even close to all of the natural pesticide spray options out there, so do some research and even try out your own combinations to see what works best against those pesky pests.