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One advantage to organic potting soil is the ability to make it at home. When a gardener must purchase it, he or she is sometimes supporting small businesses. Gardeners can save money by making their own all-natural soil at home, sometimes without having to buy ingredients. In addition, several companies that make organic potting soil only supply small businesses rather than chain stores. Some disadvantages of organic potting soil is the possibility of a misleading label and the cost if purchasing rather than making it from scratch.
A potential con of organic potting soil is the possibility of deceptive labeling. In many countries, businesses can call their products organic without it being first certified. As long as the product is not grossly mis-advertised — for example, not being potting soil at all — selling it is usually legal. If organic potting soil matters to a gardener, he or she should make sure the product is officially certified by a reputable organization. One way the soil may not be completely organic is if poultry litter is used as an ingredient but the chickens that produce this product are not fed organic feed.
Another disadvantage to going green in this aspect of living is cost. Organic potting soil is often more expensive than potting soil mixed with various unnatural chemicals. This is because the latter is easier and usually less expensive to make. A lot of green products cost more than their non-organic counterparts because the cost of manufacturing goes up; for example, the manufacturers may now have to buy by-products of organically fed chickens rather than accepting the products of the lowest bidder.
Organic potting soil can be homemade to save money and precious minerals from being mined in certain regions of the world. Sawdust, leaf mold, and other basic ingredients are blended and left to rot until needed. There are literally dozens of recipes to create the perfect blend of nutrients for all vegetables and trees. In addition, a gardener who makes his or her own organic potting soil mix is no longer supporting companies that mine increasingly rare minerals.
Another advantage of buying all-natural potting soil is that some makers of this product do not sell to chain stores. By purchasing this type of soil, the gardener is supporting small businesses. On the other hand, this can be a disadvantage if there are no small businesses nearby or none willing to stock the product. In some cases, it is possible to order directly from the manufacturer, however.