1. Last day to win a Pax2 Vaporizer! Subscribe on YouTube to be entered to win a PAX 2 Vaporizer! Winner will be announced Sept 1
    Dismiss Notice

Vegan or Vegetarian growers

Discussion in 'Organic Growing' started by bodhisattva, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. Any of you out there, whether on purpose or by chance?

    I have been searching for recipes and feeding schedules from anyone who does.

    I'm staring at the down to earth catalog, but I am too much of a greenhorn horticulturist to pretend to know mixing and application rates for dry ferts. They do sell a Vegan mix 3-2-2, but I can't tell if it's a "x amount per gallon" kind of feed, and 3-2-2 doesn't seem like a "use in both veg and flower" ratio..

    any suggestions, or tried and used recipes?
  2. #2 LumperDawgz, Feb 27, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2010

    Depending on what definition one uses for the term 'vegetarian' growing strictly vegan is somewhat more of a challenge. Meaning that if you're okay with organic fish meal (nitrogen) and organic fish bone meal (phosphorus) then things are pretty straight forward.

    The vegan product from DTE is fine but you could probably do better mixing your own seed meal.

    From DTE you could, for example, buy (all are organic and non-GMO varieties) alfalfa meal, soybean meal, linseed meal, canola meal and sunflower meal. Mix all of these in equal amounts (they run 6 lbs. per box).

    So we'll use '6 lbs.' as one unit for the sake of mixing your seed meal.

    Add 2 lbs. of kelp meal to the total mix. Add 1 lb. of neem seed meal.

    This is now your 'seed meal mix' and you will want to add 1.5 cups to 5 gallons of soil. 1 c.f. of soil is approximately 7.5 gallons so if you're mixing 1 c.f. of soil at a time you'd want to adjust the amounts.

    Now you'll need some minerals and again I believe that diversity is the key here. Buy a box of Azomite, soft rock phosophate, glacial rock dust, etc. and mix.

    To 5 gallons of soil mix you'll want to add 2 cups of your mineral mix.

    For feeding you can use the seed meals along with some kelp meal to make a tea that you will want to apply about once per week (or about once every 3 waterings).

    Back to the fish products - if you're okay with using these types of products then you would want to add 6 lbs. of organic fish meal and 6 lbs. of fish bone meal to your seed mix. I would also strongly suggest the addition of crab meal for its chitlin properties to prevent gnats and other insects in your soil mixes.


  3. bodhisattva

    I'm heading out the door to head up to an orchid show in Portland but I was thinking about your question a bit more and thought you might want to consider what type of soil that you're going to be using.

    Buying 'compost' is a tricky mine-field because not all compost is created equally as there are no regulatory standards. Much of the commercial compost is made (in part) with animal manures, i.e. bovine, swine, poultry, etc. Composted correctly the pathogens in animal manures will be eliminated.

    So then you might want to consider using earthworm castings (EWC) and even in this area things are sketchy. Commercial worm operations also use animal manures (some do and some don't) so knowing what the worms were fed will have a huge impact on the microbial activity in a EWC sample.

    Growing your own worms (a fun project) is the best way but that doesn't help a new grower get up and running.

    I'm not trying to dissuade you from your goal of growing using vegetarian and/or vegan methods, but rather I am trying to warn you of the challenges that you'll need to consider and perhaps make some concessions.

    It's what organic farmers term 'transitional growing' to describe farmers who are moving from 'conventional growing' to 'organic growing' and/or certification. Certification in Oregon takes about 5 growing seasons to completely transition to get the mineral salts (chemical fertilizers) out of the growing fields, raised beds, etc.


  4. LD-

    Your help once again is appreciated.

    I ideally would like to grow without using any animals or fish. I am currently running "LC's mix" with promix, perlite, and ewc and dolo lime.

    I plan to start a vermi bin in no time, but I'm using the bagged right now.

    I think I am going to go for it, and do exactly as you said. I really WANT to get away from the bottled fert mentality, and I may as well do it now.

    In your suggested recipe, you said: For feeding you can use the seed meals along with some kelp meal to make a tea that you will want to apply about once per week (or about once every 3 waterings).

    How much of the seed meal and kelp for a 5 gallon brew, and would that be sufficient to use in the every 3 waterings method all the way from Veg to end?

    I do have 10-15lbs of the food blend from keep it simple. Would it be too much to do a single brew of this in Veg and a Single in flower , substituting for one of my seed meal days? I just don't want to waste the food, but don't want to overkill it..

    Thanks again for all of your help!
  5. #5 LumperDawgz, Feb 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2010

    I would use the food blend product from Keep It Simple every 3rd week through both the veg and flower cycle because of the main ingredient in that product, i.e. Alaska Humus (sold under the retail name of 'Denali Gold') and it's the standard for many of the professionals in the AACT deal.

    I get it from Soil Food Web's office over in Corvallis, OR ($25.00 per 1 c.f.) - it's imported to them in huge 'totes' that come out of Alaska on the barges that move commodities and goods between the ports in Tacoma, Washington & Anchorage, Alaska.

    Back to your initial question - for a seed & kelp meal tea I use 1/4 cup of each in a 5-gallon brew. Because you're not trying to grow microbes you only have to aerate it for 12 hours or so and some folks would argue that you don't have to aerate it at all - just let it steep for a couple of days.

    I strongly believe in getting as much oxygen to the roots as possible so I try and aerate all of the water that goes on our food and medical gardens but I'm probably a bit anal about it.



    P.S. - have you considered using humic/fulvic acids on your plants?
  6. You're dancing................

    Get some minerals into your mix and it's best to add the seed meal, minerals and the dolomite lime to the EWC first and then add the ProMix.

    The LC mix is pretty much the deal that potting soil makers use as far as the percentages - where their deal breaks down is because of the mediocre base ingredients they choose - especially peat moss deal compost/EWC that they source. Fox Farms is especially guilty of this in their so-called premium soils.

    Once you have enough of your own EWCs you'll see a major shift in the health and vigor of your plants. That's a fact. Study up on raising worms and how and what to feed them and why you want to add things like crushed oysters shells and minerals to your worm bins. You'll be repaid in spades once you get the EWC deal down.


  7. LD- I do use the 1 Tbs. of the SP-85 from KIS as well, forgot about that.

    I am the same way about the aeration...Even plain water gets the bubbler.

    Looks like finding the DTE products in one spot near me is going to be a challenge, but I am trying to get my local nursery to become a distributor:confused_2:
    There aren't a lot of alternatives where I live, so I might have to pay some shipping costs..
  8. Feed stores and/or farm stores are a good source for seed meals, molasses, kelp meal (cattle, horses, swine, poultry all use this product), etc.

    Check with some landscape contractors for some items like pumice and dolomite lime, etc.

    You might have to get creative but it's not impossible.


  9. Great post bohdi,
    I try to be as vegetarian/vegan, and organic as much as possible. On a persanol level I'm pretty stric, I do ahve a few flaws, although I have been using animal products in my soil mix, bone meal and bat guano. I would be interested in seeing what the DTE is all about. Humans were meant to eat plants, maybe plants are supposed to eat plants too.

    Not to be a stickler, but I get busted on all the time, aren't worms, "animals" ? If your using worm castings then it's not vegan, LOL. Just had to throw that jab out.
  10. GAC- I'm not sure if Vegans consider those "animal products" or not? I wonder if those Vegans eat any produce grown in soil that has any animal/worm wastes in them..Since the worms weren't killed or tortured to produce them, and lived pretty happy lives eating the goodies, I'm not too concerned about that.

    IRL I am a Vegetarian. While I have been growing my veggies and such organically, I have been using Fish Hydrolysate on my inside plants . I need to get away from this as it's been eating at me for a while now..produces GREAT plants though..

    I have no problem planting food or whatnot in soil where animals naturally die and decompose, but paying and encouraging people to burn fossil fuels to boat out and catch fish to specifically use on my plants doesn't "feel" right to me spiritually or philosophically.

    LD's suggested recipe looks killer, and I plan to use it on my next few batches.I'll do a journal on them and we'll find out. My guess, is that as long as all the soil requirements are met, my plants will be stoked.
  11. I completely agree.
    I just had to throw out the ribbing to someone who probably understands it.
    I get the third degree from meat eaters all the time.

    Good luck, I'll be checkin' in.
  12. gacland

    Good question and a good point. The vegan purists (a trying bunch as it turns out) do not even use honey and while I support their position for them - for me it's a bit over the top.

    RE: Worm castings

    I only feed my worms organically grown produce as well as adding glacial rock dust (fungi development) and crushed oyster shell (calcium which is needed by worms for breeding) so I know what is in my worm castings.

    Since the no worms are dying producing the EWC I think that even a strict vegan would find little, if any, problem using the worm feces in a grow.

    I could be wrong - I'm a vegetarian (out of necessity due to my cancer deal) but I'm also a realist. Concessions need to me met in order to grow food, medicine, etc.

    I'm sure that my worms don't mind that I remove their poop from their home.

    Just a thought. As usual.

  13. bodhisattva

    Since you're interested in growing as 'pure' as possible I would like to give you an alternative to the traditional rooting products (Dip n Grow, Olivias, Clonex, et al) as most of the products found at grow stores include the same rooting agent with the usual warning about not using these products on food plants.

    Without boring you with all of the science, products like kelp meal extracts, humic/fulvic acids, B1, et al. all have properties which facilitate root growth.

    You can make your own pretty easily as it turns out..............

    Per 1 gallon of purified water (rain water is the best source) add the following:

    2 tbsp. kelp meal
    2 tbsp. BioAg Golden Fulvic Acid (also available under Down-To-Earth label)
    1/8 tsp. BioAg Humic Acid (also available under Down-To-Earth label)
    1/2 cup alfalfa tea
    1 tsp. vitamin B-1 (health food store is the best and easiest source)

    Bubble/aerate for 3 or 4 days and then do the 'drain and strain' deal and then add 2 tbsp. (10-12 grams) carboxymethyl cellulose and hit it with a kitchen 'boat motor' and it will 'gel up' in less than 30 seconds.

    Place this gunk in the fridge for a couple of days and it will take on the viscosity of motor oil - perfect for rooting cuttings.

    Just a thought.............

  14. LD- WOW man, get outta my head!

    I have been growing a few strains of autoflowers and have been doing well, but have wanted to get back into "regular" growing as well. Since you can't clone an auto, this has never come up till now.

    I just got some strains, and propagation has been on my mind a lot recently. I did use clonex on some plants over a decade ago, but obviously that won't fly these days.

    Your recipe is a treasure.

    I'll be needing it in about 30 days, so when I have anything together and I'm about to mix it, I may hit you up with any questions I have.

    Thanks a million!
  15. LD, you rock.
    I have wondered the same thing, I actually didn't even use any rooting compound on my last cuttings, just cut them, dipped in water, then right into the dirt. I'm not too sure that is a good way to do it, I think it is going to work for some but there are a few dying off now. It's been almost three weeks.

    I will definately mix up a batch of that for the next session.
  16. gacland

    Some organic growers use either honey or organic blue agave nectar as a rooting 'gel' and there's some good, solid science on why this is a viable substitute.

    What I have found is that using the commercial grade germination mixes is more the key to successfully rooting a cutting. These type of products are fairly inert (good for germinating seeds as well) and have a finer grind that standard potting soils which allows the 'soil' to surround the shaft of the cutting - much like rockwool cubes.

    The other benefit on these type of products is that they're sterilized meaning that you can be less concerned with pathogens that can cause damp-off and the other problems that arise.

    Honey and to a lesser degree the agave nectar product has a fairly robust anti-bacterial and anti-fungus properties which works well with the sterilized potting soil products.

    Then again you might want to consider that the Chinese were 'cloning' plants at least 3,500 years ago without the benefit of Sister Olivia, Mr. Dip n Gro, Father Clonex - or GASP! - there were no EZ-Cloner machines throughout the kingdom.

    Tough times indeed.

  17. I wrote, in part, the following...............
    That is the nutrients/additives for making 3 gallons and not for making 1 gallon as I wrote.

    I apologize for the error.

    You can also add micronized mycorrhizae fungi to the gel which I have found to be effective. For this formula I would add 1 tsp. of the powder.

  18. That was my original plan, to just dip in Honey, place in myco rich soil..

    Imagining the Chinese using clonex thousands of years ago made me laugh...hard..

    I've watched and helped my now 80 year old mother do thousands of "clones", either at our home, or at the horticulture gardens at our local university where she taught.

    Her method..place in soil, support cutting if needed.. walk away. Most of my household plants are from that method.
  19. As usual moms are always right.

    Watching the spasms and gyrations that many growers use to root a cutting literally takes my breath away between the 'cloning products' and the obligatory machinery for something that's so straight-forward.

    Oh well.......................


Share This Page