Building veganic living soil

So I’ve been doing a lot of research into building a vegan living soil and pricing out all of the needed amendments and taking into account sustainability.

I based this recipe off of Kyle Kushman’s veganic super soil but I wanted to make a living soil with a smaller carbon footprint. His recipe doesn’t have a big one, but with the growing controversy over using peat I decided instead to opt for coco and sourced my vegan amendments based on what you can easily find at local nurseries and hardware stores.

I also wanted to make sure I can reuse the soil with compost without needing constant amendments and I think I found a good starting point. Just have to make sure to keep one of my compost piles vegan and invest in some compost worms for a more sustainable source of nitrogen. If I worked it all out right I should be able to reuse this soil with very little ammendment by mixing it back into my compost every grow.

Here’s my shopping list with everything needed to get started based on an online organic soil and ammendment retailer.

I hope this helps some of you other growers looking into veganic growing. I know the research can be grueling but Mr. Kushman already did a lot for us and gave us a pretty good guidline on where to start.

It doesn’t seem too expensive so I think I might just go full veganic on my next grow myself.

Happy growing my friends. Remember that sustainability should be our biggest goal with organic and veganic growing. :v::metal::call_me_hand:

1 Like

Thank you so much for this. So helpful

1 Like

Wait soil isn’t vegan?

Soil made with animal byproducts is not vegan no. The only exception is worm castings from vermiculture but even most vegans can’t agree on that so it’s a 50/50 split on that.

So that’s a thing? Vegan weed?

Yes. That’s a thing.

Cool I’d love to try

Growing veganic also, about to switch it up to something similar to yours glad to see someone else thinks it can be done without the peat

1 Like

@Veganninja I’ve experimented with a small pot of this blend i posted. It worked but it depleted too quickly because it had too much aeration with just the coco alone. Even though it retains water water runs right through it too and washes out all of the amendments with it.

Currently searching for other things to add to assist. So far some compost and biochar has allowed it to retain more nutrients but we’ll see if it will work as a seed to harvest living soil or if I need to adjust more.

What about clay pebbles? The promix has perlite in it but if straight coco has too much aeration maybe the clay will help hold some of the nutes in the medium?

@Veganninja biochar works better than clay pebbles imo but they would help. Working on a mulch compost right now that will fix this. Leaves and sticks can work wonders. :joy:

1 Like

@MDBuds leaf mold holds 300 times its weight in water. It was the inspiration for the various water beads/soil amendments that we have now. It also makes excellent food for worms. Your on the right track.

1 Like

@Rye exactly and it also builds up a nice humus which kind of “glues” everything together when it decomposes into compost. Hoping to take advantage of that to keep everything in the soil. Currently working out how much nitrogen I would need to add to compensate for all the extra carbon from the dry leaf material.

In my experience about 1/3 to 1/5 weight wise of plant material. So 1 part brown to 1/5 of a high nitrogen source, by weight. But that’s a outside pile that I plan to let sit for a while.

For inside you can always use a cover crop (micro clover etc) for no till. Or guano if you ok with animal products. For long term slow release theres always rabbit manure, probably the best manure to use both in compost or directly as a slow release nitrogen source.

@Rye oh I use manure in my organic compost. I’m just trying to figure out the veganic bit. Haven’t used alf alfa meal a lot so I’m looking up the average N03 content so I can get the ratio right.

I have bat guano, chicken manure, and steer manure galore sitting around because I am trying to remineralize my back pasture before I do a small greenhouse grow this spring/summer.

Alfalfa or pinto bean would be good. I

@Rye already have the compost for the leaves going. Half much and half twigs and dry leaves with some mycho. Added some humus from my vegan veggie compost to jump start it. Just gotta source my green materials now to throw on top and let it cook.

Raw, nitrogen rich, veganic is gonna be hard to find this time of year. Most the green stuff is gone. Perhaps sprouts of some sort? I’ve seen people do racks of various sprouts as a compost source and a food source.

In the spring will be an excellent time to build a longterm veganic compost. With the new growth bring up minerals from deep and the plethora green.

I planned to do some bean sprouts and cover clover with my winter grow as companions so that’ll help. I’ll probably do a pot or two of alf alfa as well. Already have some basil, mint, and chamomile I can chop and throw in too for some NPK as well.

1 Like