KONSUMENT potting soil test: On the safe side with the Ecolabel
According to the latest KONSUMENT test, those who pay attention to the Austrian Ecolabel buy ecological potting soil. Peat, guano or other exhaustible raw materials are replaced in eco-labelled potting soils by suitable sustainable materials in order to achieve circular economy. Both products in the test were also free of germs.
Eco-labelled potting soils are ranked third and fifth in the KONSUMENT test, namely "ökohum" and "Guter Grund". With a price of 1.80 euros per 10 litres, the "Guter Grund" is one of the cheapest products in the test.
Better not to eat from the garden bed
Listeria monocytogenes was detected in six products during the test for bacterial contamination. Listeria in potting soil does not spread to plants, but can be found on herbs or vegetables contaminated with soil and can cause listeriosis, a dangerous disease in humans. It is therefore advisable to wear gloves when working and not to eat from the bed with earthy fingers. No listeria was found in the two Austria Ecolabel products.
Still potting soils with peat
As before, many commercially available garden and potting soils consist of up to 90 percent peat - as did the test winner. The peat remained flawless in the assessment criteria nutrients, microbiology, plant compatibility, heavy metals as well as foreign substances and dietary fibres. However, peat extraction is highly problematic for the environment. Peat is produced in bogs from dead plant parts. The growth of a one meter high peat layer takes a thousand years. Product claims like "from sustainable peat extraction" are therefore complete nonsense. Because even if a peat extraction area is replanted: the peat bog is irretrievably lost. Not least: During decomposition, peat releases the CO2 bound in it again. Anyone who buys peat-free potting soil is not only contributing to habitat protection and biodiversity, but above all actively contributing to climate protection!
Planting with organic
Anyone who thinks that "organic" generally means "environmentally friendly" and therefore peat-free is mistaken. Two tested products that are advertised as "organic" contain peat. In contrast to organic food, there are no special requirements as to what "organic soil" must be made of, it only has to be approved for organic farming. So once again the conclusion of KONSUMENT - with the Austrian Ecolabel on the safe side!
The test results in detail are currently available at https://www.konsument.at/test-blumenerde052020 and from 28.5. in the test magazine KONSUMENT.