What is the difference between organic products and organic-based?

Organic veggie garden

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between garden products that claim to be “organic” or “organic-based”. What do these terms mean? Here are a few explanations that will help you make the right choice.



Certified Organic means the products are from 100% plant or animal derived sources and have undergone 3rd party verification to ensure the integrity of ingredients meet and exceed organic standards.

For example, in an organic potting mix, you will find components such as Sphagnum Peat Moss, peat humus, compost, perlite and coco fiber.



The term “Organic-based ” mean the product contains a minimum of 15% of organic material/matter. The other part of the ingredients of the fertilizer are non-organic, mostly synthetized.


Organic Fertilizers

Fertilizers are either natural or synthetic. For example, a common organic fertilizer component is turkey litter. Turkey litter consists of manure and the softwood shavings that is used as bedding.


Synthetic Fertilizers

Synthetic fertilizers, on the other hand, are inorganic compounds made artificially by chemical reactions. They are not genuine or natural and not derived from natural origins (usually prepared or made artificially).

Synthetic fertilizers are generally available in higher concentrations, compared to organic fertilizers, and are readily available for plant uptake. Organic fertilizers are not readily available for plant uptake, but have to be broken down overtime by microorganisms.