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Anyone who has committed to a vegan diet or a lifestyle that does not use animal products will want to use vegan fertilizers. Of course, since fertilizers often contain many ingredients of animal origin, such as bone meal, this is not an option for people who want to add nutrients to their plants, especially when it comes to vegetables, fruits or herbs. If you don't want to pay extortionate prices for expensive, vegan fertilizers, you can easily make them yourself.

Why "vegan fertilizer"?

It doesn't matter whether you are self-sufficient, a rose lover or the owner of a magnificent lawn, cultivated plants obtain nutrients mainly through the addition of fertilizer. Anyone who eats a vegan diet or gears their entire everyday life towards this lifestyle often wonders what vegan fertilizer actually is and whether it is worth it.

These fertilizers are supplements of nutrients that are completely free from animal components are. The ingredients are of purely plant or mineral origin and are therefore suitable for growing your own food. However, finished fertilizers, even organic based, are often derived from the following animal products:

  • Damn
  • bone
  • slaughterhouse waste
  • urea
  • Feces, such as guano
  • hair
  • feathers

Although faeces, manure and urea could be excretions for fertilization, the products always come from livestock farming and are therefore definitely not acceptable for vegans. Even vegan self-supporters would then have to keep animals such as cows or horses with the aim of producing manure. This may contradict their own interpretation of veganism as it is a form of exploitation can act.

For this reason, it makes sense for you to produce vegan fertilizer yourself. Mineral fertilizer, on the other hand, is of inorganic origin, for example bedrock meal, and can therefore be used without any problems.

tip: The use of artificial fertilizers is not really recommended for vegans, plant owners or gardeners, as they can be of animal origin. In addition, these can have a negative effect on your garden soil in the long term, which is not recommended in any way and can even have a harmful effect on the environment, especially important microorganisms and insects.

7 vegan fertilizers

If you want to fertilize with vegan products, there are numerous methods of making them yourself. Best of all, most of these products can be made from scratch, which is particularly recommended for your own kitchen garden. The following fertilizers are easy to implement on their own, and some even take minutes to set up, making them particularly effective. From classic composting to the production of wood ash, there are numerous methods for vegans to easily produce their own fertilizers.

vegan compost

Compost is the absolute classic in the garden. It is suitable for a variety of plants and can even be made in small batches. It is actually very easy for the vegan gardener to make vegan fertilizer while effectively utilizing kitchen and garden waste.

As long as you only use vegetable waste, the vegan compost is ideal to implement. Important in this are only an increased water intake and the use of raw fruit and vegetable waste. Cooked food breaks down too quickly, preventing the build-up of microorganisms and other beneficial organisms that make fertilizer possible in the first place. The vegan compost is used in the same way as conventional variants and can be ideally mixed with soil due to its fine structure. Because of this, they can be effectively applied to potted plants. Since you can use the fertilizer to fertilize your vegetables and fruit, you always have enough waste available for composting.

plant manure

Plant manure is one of the best ways to fertilize your plants in the garden and in pots in a vegan way. The liquid fertilizers are created over a longer period of time by the fermentation of plant materials in water. The water is enriched with ingredients and nutrients that you can use to fertilize your plants. Numerous plants have proven themselves as a basis for liquid manure and can be cultivated or collected and then processed by you:

  • Stinging nettle (bot. Urtica)
  • Onions (bot. Allium cepa)
  • Comfrey (bot. Symphytum)
  • Garlic (bot. Allium sativum)
  • Field horsetail (bot. Equisetum arvense)
  • goutweed
  • dandelion
  • chamomile

Above all, the nettle species and horsetail are often used as a basis for plant manure. Since nettles are so easy to collect, it makes sense to use them. The production of liquid manure is based on the same method for all plants:

  • Ingredients: 1 kg of plant material, 10 l of water
  • use soft water
  • Place plant material in a bin or large container
  • Containers should be made of plastic, wood, or clay
  • Metal vessels disrupt fermentation
  • Fill container 75 percent full with water
  • let it ferment for two to three weeks
  • stir as often as possible during this time

Don't be surprised, the liquid manure will smell unpleasantly when you stir it. But that's completely normal. Daily stirring ensures a rapid fermentation process. As soon as the mixture stops foaming, the liquid manure is ready and only needs to be sieved off and diluted with water. Ten parts of water are used for one part of liquid manure. Store the manure in a sealed container.

nettle broth

tip: A weaker variant of vegetable manure is vegetable water, in which vegetables are boiled and the cooking water (without salt) is collected and used as additional fertilizer. Potatoes, broccoli, various types of cabbage, cauliflower and asparagus are particularly suitable for vegetable water.

wood ash

In addition to nettle manure and vegan compost, wood ash is ideal as a vegan fertilizer. You can actually use any wood you have on hand for this. However it has to untreated, unvarnished and lit exclusively with black and white newspaper or natural twigs. Alternatively, you can use charcoal, but not real charcoal. The ash contains the following ingredients in high amounts:

  • potassium
  • phosphorus
  • iron
  • lime

For this reason, ash is well suited for crops that do not tolerate a lot of nitrogen. Of course, when using ash you have to be careful to add some nitrogen to the soil, otherwise this will lead to a deficit. Wood ash is particularly effective in improving the soil. It improves acidic locations and enriches the soil with nutrients. You can even spread these in small amounts on the compost, which provides a real nutrient boost. Otherwise, use the ash as follows:

  • Dose: 30 grams per square meter
  • Frequency: 4 to 6 weeks depending on the plant

tip: An alternative to wood is volcanic ash, which is also of vegan origin, but cannot be produced and can only be purchased. Volcanic ash consists mostly of tuff, which improves the soil and provides numerous nutrients for your crops.

banana peel

You can even use banana peels to fertilize vegan. For this, a banana peel is cut into small pieces and distributed directly in the ground. The banana peel contains a lot of potassium and magnesium and little nitrogen, which makes it ideal for classic weak consumers. When buying bananas, be sure to check where they come from. Of course you can put banana peels directly on the vegan compost.


You can either use coffee directly in liquid form or incorporate it directly into the soil as coffee grounds. Coffee has a high concentration of the following nutrients:

  • lots of nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • minerals

For this reason, you should use coffee at regular intervals. This simply has to be folded in after drying. Give liquid coffee cold every two weeks.

Green and black tea

With tea it is similar to coffee grounds. Both contain a lot of nitrogen and are therefore good to use as a nitrogen fertilizer in the garden. Use used tea leaves or bags for this. Green and black tea are recommended here, as white or herbal teas are quite weak. However, green and black tea only offer as additional fertilizer and is best used together with vegan compost. It is used in the following way:

  • Work into soil together with vegan compost
  • Fold in loose tea leaves directly
  • Open tea bags beforehand
  • Fold in the contents with a rake

Never spread the tea on the ground, because that attracts a lot of vermin and can also lead to the formation of mold.

beer fertilizer

Beer is a good one additional fertilizer. For example, if you brew beer yourself or have vegan beer available, you can dilute the leftovers with the irrigation water and administer them every two weeks. This method is particularly suitable for green plants. Flowering plants are not really enthusiastic about it. Just let the beer sit for a while before applying. Beer brewed in Germany is always vegan due to the German Purity Law. You should be careful with imported beers and mixed beer drinks. These might be clarified with gelatin or honey.

Tip: Beer can also be used as a foliar fertilizer if you rub it on the leaves. This works particularly well against potential pests.


Possible vegan fertilizers could still be here algae and fossil shell limestone mentioned, but these are remedies that you can't actually make yourself. You can only buy the fossil shell limestone and it is also not possible to collect algae. However, you can use these two products effectively in the garden, because algae in particular have a positive effect on numerous plants, even when kept in tubs.

tip: Please note that for many ornamental plants such as orchids there are special fertilizers that allow the plant to survive in the local latitudes. These are often of synthetic or animal origin and therefore have to be avoided if you want to switch completely to vegan fertilizers.

Worm tea: vegan or not?

Worm tea is a popular liquid fertilizer for plants that don't want too much nitrogen. For this, compost worms are placed in a worm composter, which has a separate collection tray and is filled with compost. The worms then set about breaking down the plant debris, causing them to secrete a liquid that is collected as worm tea. Worm tea can be described as vegan because normal compost is also made with the help of worms. However, for worm tea you buy farmed worms, which can already be seen as non-vegan behavior. The decision to use worm tea is therefore up to you.

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