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Buy Organics: Where and How?

Growing Organically

General

Organic Potting Soil


Use Organic Gardening Tips

Organic potting soil is the best choice to use in your organic container gardening plan. Organic garden pest control and organic fertilizer are also good organic gardening tips for a natural garden.

When you’re trying to go 'green' in your garden, organic soil is a great way to begin. This is especially true if you’re going to be developing an organic container gardening plan.

By providing your plants with living soil, you give them good nourishment and know that the soil has no chemical treatments that you do not want in your plants (particularly food bearing ones).

We use a mix of organic potting soil and organic compost to grow organic cherry tomatoes on our patio. Those tomatoes have an outstanding burst of flavor when ripe. We also grow our organic herbs in planters with organic soil; those pots sit on our kitchen windowsill and on our deck.




Organic Potting Soil: Cost Factors

Organic soil will cost you more (about $10 for 20 qts in the U.S.), but bear in mind that you will be able to use this soil for more than one season of growing. That decreases the overall cost and increases the value of the product.

organic potting soil

It is additionally important to recognize that the cost variance (comparing organic to non organic soil) is tied to the organic nature of the product; that is, that the soil was developed and blended without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides that are bad for the land, the water table, animals and the environment.

If you’re going green, part of that commitment includes spending a little more to get an ecologically friendly product, and thereby keeping such items available to consumers.




Organic Garden Pest Control

One thing many gardeners do not know is that organic garden pest control begins with good soil! The healthier your soil, the less it attracts unwanted insects. This is also true for organic container gardening; make sure you use organic pest control methods to manage your containers and organic potting soil.




What is Organic? Read the Labels

To be sure you’re getting an organic product, look for markings from the country of origin and/or a label from the manufacturer.

For example, in the U.K. the Soil Association provides certification; in the United States, look for certification from the USDA (a certified organic seal). Alternatively, watch for labels that indicate the product is OMRI listed (this is the Organic Materials Review Institute).

The OMRI is a great organization that's wholly not-for-profit, and they take a very close look at 'green' products to ensure they're suitable for organic applications.

Most countries have a certified organic program. But do check carefully, there are people who may claim organic certification when it is not at all the case.




What's in Organic Soil?

Some enterprising individuals have begun making their own organic potting soil. By composting household materials you can create your own organic soil and extend it by adding sand, and then ongoing compost.

Sometimes, it's best to go to a nearby farm or dig in your own garden if you’ve been free of chemical treatments for three years. To the soil, the following items can be added in different quantities depending on what you plan to grow:

  • Sand: excellent for tall plants that need strong foundations;
  • Compost: something else that you can make on your own, but you can buy pre-made organic compost too;
  • Generally speaking, it’s just easier to buy organic soil rather than to hope you get the proportions correct.



Organic Gardening Tips

As with any garden, an organic garden needs a good location with about 6 hours of sunlight daily. You can put your garden pots in regions around your yard if you don’t have a good central location for them all.

If you’re going to add the organic potting soil to the ground, mix it in with some good organic compost to evenly enrich the loam. Sow your organic seeds into the containers according to the recommendations provided on the package and give them a good watering.

Once your seeds sprout, you can separate them into other containers and give the top of the soil a healthy layer of mulch. This will not only deter weeds but help with moisture retention and also keep feeding the soil as it decomposes.




Organic Container Gardening: Getting Dirty

Using organic potting soil isn’t difficult. In fact, it’s as easy as regular potting soil with which to work.

The soil provides better nutrients for your organic seeds and it’s also a far better choice for your vegetables, fruits and herbs - resulting in a flavorful, nutritious harvest. So dig it!




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