What is organic?
Just because a gardening product claims to be organic, doesn't always make it so. So, what is organic? More than a label; organic is a commitment to making products using proven organic methods and ingredients.
Originally, organic was used to describe any plant or animal by-product. As more companies claim to produce organic products, the meaning of the word has evolved. Today, manufacturers of organic products must adhere to strict guidelines in order to make good on their claims. This is particularly true when it comes to organic gardening products.
What is organic gardening?
Organic gardening refers to the method of growing plants that most closely resembles nature — that is, without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers that can be harmful to the soil, people, pets, and the planet. Organic gardening uses organic materials to support healthy, sustainable gardens. What's more, gardening organically typically means growing the right plants for your particular micro-climate, location and site.
It starts with the soil.
Organic gardening focuses not just on growing the biggest plants, but on nurturing the health of your garden's entire ecosystem — particularly the soil. In fact, the success of your organic garden starts with the soil.
Ideally, you want your soil to support a rich life of beneficial micro-organisms that promote plant growth. Healthy soil will also produce more pest-resistant gardens that are more sustainable and are easier to maintain. To promote the healthiest soil possible, you're going to need the right organic products.
Choosing the right organic gardening products.
To ensure optimal soil quality, organic gardeners will often enrich the soil with the appropriate, proven organic gardening products, like organic planting mix, organic garden soil, organic fertilizer and/or organic mulch.
But with so many “organic" gardening products out there, it's hard to know which ones to use. To begin with, don't trust a product just because it claims to be organic on the package. Make sure the organic planting mix, organic garden soil, organic fertilizer, and organic mulch you choose are proven organic through agencies complying with the USDA's National Organic Program.
Is it really organic?
Current USDA National Organic Program standards fill hundreds of pages. As a result, not many organic gardening products are able to meet all those stringent standards. To be USDA National Organic Program-compliant, a gardening product must be free of all genetically modified organisms, synthetic pesticides and harmful synthetic chemicals.
A gardening product may have “organic" ingredients in it, but may not meet USDA National Organic Program standards. Which means it may still contain harmful synthetic or genetically modified ingredients you're trying to avoid. So when comparing organic soils, organic mulch, organic planting mix and organic fertilizers, be sure to look for products that are verified by an independent organization as meeting national standards for organic.
There's one sure way to make sure your organic gardening products meet the highest national standards: Look for the Kellogg or G&B name. All soils and fertilizers in both our Kellogg Garden Organics and G&B Organics brands are verified by the Organic Materials Review Institution (OMRI), the leading non-profit, internationally recognized third-party accreditor of the USDA's National Organic Program.
Our OMRI certification means that our gardening product ingredients, production process and facility are verified as compliant with the USDA's National Organic Program's rigorous standards. Which also means you can trust the health of your garden and your family to our proven organic soils, fertilizers, planting mixes and mulch.
Ready to get growing?
Now that you know what to look for in organic gardening products, it's time to take the next step. See what you'll need to get your organic garden started.