Organic Gardening Blogs

Chosen as one of the Top 30 Organic Gardening Blogs – March 2018

Is Finished Compost the Only Thing You Need for Your Soil and Plants?

If you’re an organic gardener, even a beginner, I can almost bet you’ve heard of and/or read about compost.

Have the articles that you’ve read given their definition of compost? You can’t assume that their definition of compost is the same as the one you have in your mind.

It’s important to have the same meaning or description of compost as the writer. Otherwise, […]

Compost – What it is and Methods used to Get it.

There are literally millions of articles on how to make compost. A Google search turned up 8,560,000. I didn’t even try to get past the first 3 pages, but most of them were instructions for making a “hot compost pile”.

I have just come to realize that some (and I’ll bet there are many) new gardeners think this is the only way to get […]

Compost – Mulch – Residual Herbicides – What You Can Do About Them in Your Garden

The problem of residual herbicides in compost originally surfaced from 1999-2000.

Certain active chemicals in various herbicides that are sprayed on pastures, grass, straw and even some fruits and vegetables don’t break down when they pass through the digestive track of cattle and/or when they’re composted. Thus, enough of the chemical remains to damage susceptible crops in your garden when you use either the […]

Composting – The Whys and Why Nots

If you read anything at all when you get into organic gardening, it doesn’t take long to hear about compost, composting, and how to make a compost pile.

Probably every long-time organic gardener has, at one time or the other, had one. I know I did.  And as much as it is promoted — probably all new organic gardeners will have a compost pile […]

Last Part - Adding Organic Matter - 2nd Key to Soil Improvement

If you are just joining me I recommend you read the articles that preceded this article. Here are the links:

Soil Improvement – Your Foundation for Success;   Soil Preparation – 1st Key to Soil Improvement; Cont’d. Soil Preparation – 1st Key to Soil Improvement; first part of Adding Organic Matter – 2nd Key to Soil Improvement; Cont’d Adding Organic Matter – 2nd Key to Soil Improvement


Many organic gardeners compost. In case you don’t know, ‘to compost’ is to pile up organic material and allow it to totally decay.  There’s more to it than that —-but you get the idea.  The finished product — called compost — can be added to the soil at any time for the purpose of improving the physical condition of the soil and feeding plants.

When I first started gardening I started composting.  I did so for 10 years or more.  I never had enough.  I stopped composting.

I changed to incorporating —–read more—-

Residual Herbicides in Compost Part 2: On Grow Mix, Potting Mix, Compost, Manure, & Mulch

If you are just joining me and have not read the first part, please read through Part 1 to gain a more complete picture of what is being discussed.


As I mentioned at the end of Part 1, my friend was ready to throw in the towel and not buy anymore potting soil and/or grow mix, compost or mulch.

And I must admit that in this day and age it is difficult to find products suitable for organic gardening, but they are out there.

Below are 3 points I think you will find helpful:

  • OMRI Listed – A Visible Indication of Product Suitability –   Organic Materials Review Institute is a non-profit organization that evaluates products for the organic industry. If the product you are looking at is marked “OMRI Listed” it has been reviewed and is consistent with the requirements of the National Organic Standard.

“OMRI Listed” is indeed a excellent indication of product suitability, but remember something very important when you are buying anything —–read more—-

Residual Herbicides in Composts - Part 1

Our area is rural and as I have mentioned before, anyone using organic practices here is in a small minority.  Farmers spray the surrounding fields with herbicides and results can be seen by almost anyone paying attention.  A friend who lives within a few miles of us said, “Around the edges of the field where the spray isn’t concentrated enough to kill the weeds it causes the normally straight stems to grow in a corkscrew spiral.”

Even more alarmingly, he had seen this same symptom on a tomato that he had grown with purchased potting soil and/or compost. And then, to top it off, he saw a program reporting on the growing problem of residual herbicides in compost. Upsetting to say the least.

More About the Problem —–read more—-