07/03/2012 11:52 am ET

Animal-Free Fertilizers For Your Healthy Home Garden

By Networx's Sayward Rebhal:

Did you know that many of the traditional organic fertilizers, for hobby home gardeners, for professional landscapers and for large-scale commercial farmers, are derived from animals and their by-products? Blood meal, bone meal, manure, fish emulsion, the list goes on and on. Animal parts can pop up in almost every phase of a standard growing season. So much so, that using them can almost seem unavoidable.

But these days, a lot of people are choosing to grow their gardens without the addition of animal products, and for many different reasons: they may be vegan or have an ethical objection, they may have religious limitations, or they may have allergies, just to name a few. In water-strapped communities that are over-tapped by local plumbing demands, like San Diego, non-animal fertilizing practices like mulching can help to conserve water. So for those folks, here’s animal-friendly list. A handy dandy cheat sheet, if you will. Your options are as follows.

Do you have any other animal-free fertilizing tips or tricks? Let us all know down in the comments!

List and captions courtesy of Networx