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Organic growing among medical marijuana growers has expanded in popularity for many reasons. Organic gardening is better for the planet, the grower and the patient who will ultimately be consuming the medicine. Some growers, myself included, choose organic gardening methods because we believe it produces a superior product. New labeling and certifications on nutrients and mediums have made strict organic growing for the medical marijuana farmer much easier than just a few years ago. Here are a few things to look at in your garden to see how organic you really are.
Searching For Organic Soil
Many of the potting soils available are not 100% organic. In fact, most potting soils contain chemical nutrients and/or wetting agents. This is especially true of less expensive soils for sale at local hardware or home improvement stores.
Many companies are paying to be “certified organic” by organic certification companies. These will appear on the label as CCOF or OMRI or USDA Certified. It is important to remember that it doesn’t necessarily mean the product is not organic just because a company does not have an organic certification. Paying a yearly certification fee for some smaller manufacturers is just not practical so some opt to forgo the certification process. If the packaging claims a product is organic but there is no certification then examine the label closely.
Contacting the manufacturer may be the best way to find out exact ingredients and their methods of processing. Organic soils will have only organic ingredients. For example, a soil that has its ingredients listed as peat moss, worm castings, gypsum, perlite and coco coir is an organic soil. An example of a non-organic soil would be one that lists its ingredients as peat moss, perlite, coco coir, worm castings, gypsum, added starter nutrient charge derived from calcium nitrate, mono-potassium phosphate, etc. In fact, any soil or medium that has an added fertilizer or nutrient charge listed on its packaging is not organic.
Finding Organic Hydroponic Nutrients
As with soil, the best way to ensure you are getting organic nutrients is to look for an organic certification. Only very small companies may have organic products that are not certified organic. Any major fertilizer company, regardless of the product description, that isn’t certified by an organic certification company should be considered not organic.
Many of these companies are almost organic but use certain chemical compounds that will not let them pass organic certification. Most commonly, fertilizer companies claim to be organic but they contain potassium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, and calcium carbonate. These compounds are not certifiable as organic and this is why fertilizers that contain them, even though the company labels them as organic, are not really organic.
Smaller companies that claim to be organic may very well be just that. Carefully read the label to make sure the ingredients are organic. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, it’s probably not organic. A quick call to the manufacturer can place your mind at ease if there is a questionable ingredient.
Organic Pesticides Much Be Certified
For this category trust only companies that have undergone the organic certification process to be truly organic. Also, remember that just because it’s organic doesn’t mean that it is safe to breath or consume. Read directions carefully before applying any insecticide or fungicide to your garden.
Although you do not have to grow organically to produce a quality medicine, growing medical marijuana organically is a way to ensure your patients are receiving safe medicine without any harmful chemical residues.
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Monday, 14 January 2013
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Jan. 14th 2013