Organic Greenhouse Production
At Golden Russet Farm, we grow all of our plants in certified organic potting mix that we buy from Vermont Compost Company (VCC). Our plants have been grown under organic management, in compliance with Vermont Organic Farmers organic certification standards, since 1987. Some technical aspects of the USDA’s National Organic Program (adopted in 2003), mean that we are not able to call all of our greenhouse plants “certified organic.”
To learn more please read our Greenhouse Production Practices Statement.
The Potting Soil We Use is the Potting Soil We Sell!
The VCC soil that we use in our greenhouse is the same soil that we sell, because we love it! This general purpose mix tends to contain enough nutrients to carry the plant to transplanting stage, but we occasionally top dress with an organic fertilizer as needed, to keep the plants healthy and growing in their containers.
The Benefits of Compost-based Potting Soil
There are several benefits to using a compost-based mix, and foremost among them is the fact that most of the plants’ needs are already incorporated in the potting soil, which reduces the need for supplemental nutrients. Most non-organic greenhouses use a “soilless” mix, which is essentially peat moss that has been fortified with soluble fertilizer and other additives. As a result, the nutrients are either quickly used up by the plant, and/or leached out of the pot through frequent watering. This necessitates near-constant additional fertilization, often in the form of “blue water!”
Extensive Root Development & Healthy Plants
The structure of compost-based mixes also serves to mimic natural soil environments in ways that promote extensive root development and healthy plants. The addition of compost to the mix means that it typically does not need to be watered as frequently as soilless mixes, which has real benefits for homeowners and their hanging baskets!