How useful bogs are destroyed around the world during the production of potting soil…

For the April edition (2013) of the magazine Öko-Test there was a study done where the consumer magazine tested potting soil which had been labeled “peat-free” by their manufacturers. The result: manufacturers don’t really take the term “peat-free” very seriously. In all tested soil brands, there were traces of peat.

While harvesting peat, bogs are destroyed – but bogs are particularly important for climate protection. They can hold at least twice as much CO2 as all the world’s forests together. Therefore, the Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation in Germany (BUND) appeals to consumers, in terms of environmental protection, to refrain from potting soil that contains peat.

No potting soil is completely “peat-free”

It is, therefore, important that when shopping at the garden center, it can be seen whether a soil is peat-free. A recent analysis from the consumer magazine Öko-Test shows that while nine out of ten of the examined soil brands can, by law, be labelled “peat-free”, in a laboratory, substantial amounts of peat can still be found. The other contained small amounts, which is due to a contamination by the mixing equipment.

No traceable control

Öko-Test criticizes that manufacturers’ work is very nontransparent: No one could provide a test report on whether and how it is checked that in products declared as “peat-free soil”, there is actually no peat. When asked where the peat from the products containing it came from, there was s also no clear answer. “Here, a little more transparency would be desirable”, criticized the consumer magazine.

Questionable laboratory results when investigated potting

The laboratory analysis also revealed that cadmium was in three potting soils, in significant quantities. This heavy metal can be absorbed by plants. In another potting soil, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were found. Some compounds belonging to this group of substances are carcinogenic. Another criticism: Although all providers have the content of soluble nutrients, salinity and pH declared on the packaging, the laboratories couldn’t not always detect those same values.

The detailed test with all results can be found  here.

Basically, finished fertilizer is not only expensive. The risk to contaminate the soil and the plants with poor products is very large. Only your own composting gives you the security that you aren’t filling your plants with pollutants. If you add self-produced compost to your vegetable or fruit crops, you can harvest these in absolute organic quality and free from contaminants.


This could also interest you:

I am skeptical because you always hear that compost stinks…

This is often also true. Conventional compost piles are frequently laid out incorrectly and also don’t get moved and re-layered enough. This annoying, “stinky” work is often just left out. There is  little to no ventilation

here, creating rotting nests that lead to these unpleasant smells. This also makes the compost process falter and take much longer.

Many of our customers were dissatisfied with their methods of composting, where the same problems occurred. The reason is that – mostly – cheap composters are nothing but compost piles “enveloped” in plastic, without any technological inner workings. This also leads to lack of air and the same problems.

That’s why manufacturers of this type of composter recommend moving the pile, like normal compost piles – meaning that the composter needs to be taken apart, the pile has to be moved, then the whole thing needs to be put back together and re-layered. This also has to be done regularly (at least every 14 days) to keep the compost process going.

Note: Studies on compost plants with conventional windrow composting showed that even 24 hours (!) after moving the pile, there already are air deficiencies.

A SUPERCOMP, being in the class of the “no turn”-composters, eliminates this problem. Due to the patented device supporting the compost heap, it is also completely vertically ventilated (chimney effect) and there are no bad  smells.

The compost process is therefore greatly speeded up, so that you can fill it up with up to 3 times the amount of waste.

There is no more of that annoying moving of the pile  since on the floor there is a divide which holds the pile loosely, so that you can easily remove ready compost from the harvest chamber. If the pile – as with conventional composting – were too compressed, it would make it almost impossible to remove ready compost from the bottom of a pile that weighs 100kg.


This could also interest you:

Compost creatures are indeed very useful, but I do not want to have to look at them …

In SUPERCOMP you will never see these helpers because you do not have to move the heap. Only if you, for example, add a bucket of compost to your SUPERCOMP for an optimal start, you will briefly see the precious animals, which themselves are scared of light and creep away quickly, becoming henceforth invisible, but hopefully not unappreciated for their service!


This could also interest you:

What should I do if I “only” want to compost kitchen waste?

Of course you can compost “only” kitchen waste with a SUPERCOMP. However, this sort of waste has a high nitrogen content, which should be offset with carbon (i.e. “woody” materials such as trimmings from trees, shrubs and hedges, bark, straw, hay, wood shavings, sawdust, napkins or sachets). The valuable compost worms especially worms love the added paper waste. 1 kg of compost worms cost more on the market than the best meat from your butcher and produce expensive worm humus. worm humus.


This could also interest you:

Why you should not want to use standardized pre-fabricated earth from the garden market …

DIY composting has many advantages. The most important reason is sure that you know exactly what is in your compost. Good compost is also very expensive, making composting on your own worth it  in just a short period of time.

In addition to saving money on the purchase, bought garden soil usually doesn’t have the same quality as self-produced compost and is (unfortunately) often mixed with harmful substances, as has been found out in a test of the magazine Öko-Test.

The most important reviews from the article:

Fertilization tailored to suit a market need requires soil analysis. Nevertheless, hobby gardeners like to use universal-typed fertilizers that claim to contain all important nutrients – but that also include heavy metals. Since many products are also declared inadequate in our test, we can only recommended 3 out of 20.

The test result of 20 products (Öko-Test)

Only the three mineral fertilizers by Obi, Toom and Compo passed our rigorous evaluation with an “outstanding”. They are followed by a wide midfield in which most products land because they add heavy metals into the soil and often still have faults in their declarations. Six fertilizers, all with organic content, are “poor” or even “unsatisfactory”.

Some fertilizers add more than three times the amount of heavy metal into the ground, as can be withdrawn over the course of a growing season. “In the course of time, this increases the heavy metal content of the products produced; thus, there is a risk of entry into the groundwater,” explains Professor Ewald Schnug, lecturer at the University of Technology of Braunschweig and President of the International Scientific Centre for Fertilizers (CIEC). Five fertilizer have a uranium content which is higher than the limit of 50 milligrams per kilogram of phosphate, which was recommended by the Federal Environment Agency. Uranium as well as cadmium passes as rock phosphate in the fertilizer. For years, it has been discussed whether there should be a legal limit for uranium in fertilizers, but so far, nothing has been done.

For the first time we have also depreciated fertilizers which add more than three times as much phosphate into the ground as can be taken from it. The background: Regulatory measurements have shown that in most gardens  there is enough phosphate, in some even too much. “If phosphate is washed out, it may contribute to the overfertilisation of waters,” says fertilizer expert Ewald Schnug. “We should be particularly economical with phosphate: It is obtained from fossil deposits that are slowly but surely running out, while simultaneously increasing the global demand for fertilizer.”

Since our garden fertilizer test in 2013, residues of perchlorate and chlorate have been found in several samples of fruits and vegetables. Both substances can inhibit, among other things, the inclusion of iodide into the thyroid gland. One possible source of contamination in food appears to be fertilizer. In fact, the laboratory commissioned by us pointed out chlorate in twelve fertilizers; six contained perchlorate. In the current state of science, the measured levels are too small too show harmful effects. Nevertheless, we evaluate them from, since the pollution is completely unnecessary.

Pesticides are registered with organic components in the fertilizer. Here, the laboratory found traces in nine cases; in two products, there were even six different types of pesticide. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are carcinogenic, were only found in conspicuous amounts in Beckmann products. None of the tested fertilizers showed signs of  E. coli or salmonella bacteria.

If hobby gardeners want to fertilize according to specific requirements, they have bad cards in most fertilizers – the discrepancy between what is claimed on the packaging and the actual measured content is just too big. We found deviations in the nutrient content of more than 50 percent, or more than one percentage point, in more than half of the products. Some fertilizers have been devalued because the manufacturers should have identified certain nutrients or heavy metals according to fertilizer ordinance but did not. The ASB Greenworld Garden Fertilizer Blue was particularly striking: The values for nitrogen and water-soluble phosphate differ  by more than two percentage points; the trace elements boron and zinc do not even reach ten percent of the values marked. Another problem with ready-bought soil is also the associated  destruction of bogs…


This could also interest you:

What composting performance do I need for my budget and what costs are to be expected?

When purchasing a composter, performance should be considered (similar to when, for example, purchasing a car), as this is what decides whether only one composter is enough, or if a second or a third one are needed. Since a SUPERCOMP  reduces waste by 80%, within 6 weeks, up to 3x as much waste can be processed than in traditional composting, where the compost heap is laying on the ground with full weight. This of course, also increases the cost and work involved. Saving money in the wrong place then often leads to frustration, as we know it from emails from new customers who are finally looking for a composter that “really” works.

About the price

Composter come for free in the form of compost heaps. Cheap composters are usually barrels coated in plastic without internal technology (= enveloped compost heap) and may have the problems described on Professional composters with internal technology are more than just “tons”, have many more advantages and are,  in comparison, also more expensive. SUPERCOMP composters are  rapid composters with the 3-benefits-technology, and process organic waste up to 3 times faster than compost piles resting on the ground. For this reason, a SUPERCOMP (305/350 liters) is usually enough for an average household with a garden size of up to 500 m2. Many of our customers are surprised about how much waste you can fill in a SUPERCOMP and how quickly the piles reduce.

Determine your required SUPERCOMP composting performance with a simple formula:

Number of 10-litre-pails fully filled with organic per week x 52 weeks = Required SUPERCOMP liters

Example of required composting performance in an average household with a garden:

ø 3 x 10l-bucket / week x 52 weeks = 1,560 litres or 156 buckets

The SUPERCOMP year Transcript:


  • Thermo Wood Composter 650 L volume: 5,400 litres / year = 540 buckets
  • Thermo Wood Composter 305 L volume: 2,500 litres / year = 250 buckets
  • Recycling PP Composter 350 L volume: 2,800 litres / year = 280 buckets


Note: This formula applies to waste in normal domestic setting and applies to the SUPERCOMP (not other composters)


This could also interest you:

Can I relieve the environment through composting?

Of course.

DIY Composting has many benefits and protects the climate and environment:

  • Waste Prevention: bio waste lands neither in the residual waste nor do you need a separate bin for it. Around one third of all waste is organic waste.
  • Climate protection: In self-composted manure there are no carbon emissions for neither production nor transport as is the case with synthetic fertilizers, plant earth or plant protection products.
  • Nature Conservation: Compost can replace peat in the garden, thus protecting the bogs.
  • Natural fertilizer: compost provides natural nutrients from which the plants take only as much as they need. No nitrate is washed out into the groundwater.
  • Soil Improvement: compost has a high storage capacity for water and ensures good ventilation of the soil.
  • Pest control: plants fertilized with compost are more resistant to pests.


This could also interest you: