It is the time of year to get ready to grow those tomatoes, beans, squash and other veggies to keep you from having to spend so much at the grocry store. Whether you will be plowing up a spot in your backyard or filling planters on your deck or patio, have you stopped to ask yourself if your garden is vegan?
There are many additives and soil conditioners found on the market today promising massive productivity from your garden and some of these are even mixed into the pre-mix soils you buy in bag form. Miracle-Gro states on the back of the bag that the mix contains manure and poultry droppings. Some others contain blood meal and bone meal, both which are slaughterhouse by-products. Bone meal has also been found to be a carrier of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease). For these reasons it is a good idea to read the labels of the pre-mix soils, if you decide to use them. Beware of the “Organic” soils as they contain as much or more of the additives mentioned. I have found that Scott’s brand soils usually contain no additives.
So, what do you fertilize with if you want to avoid these animal by-products? A compost bin is a great way to re-use certain waste from your home while feeding your garden with essential nutrients at the same time. For calcium deficient soils a treatment of lime will put an end to tomato blossom-end rot, but the treatment is best done the season before planting.
Of course you will always have the bird droppings from fly-overs and a rabbit dropping here or there. That’s ok, those are naturally occuring.
What’s that rabbit doing in the garden anyway? He’s stealing your carrots!