Green garden products could soon carry an official organic label.
The move is aimed at cutting confusion over eco-friendly claims, branded ‘greenwash’ by environmentalists.
Charity Garden Organic has issued a set of traffic light-style organic guidelines. Red lights show what is not acceptable while a green light indicates best practice.
The guidelines say peat is “never acceptable in an organic garden” and that soluble chemical fertilisers, GM products, hydroponics, copper-based fungicides and patio heaters are off-limits, too.
Also unacceptable is using carpet as mulch, creosote-treated railway sleepers and leafmould from woodlands on domestic gardens.
The calls were made at a conference this month, hosted at Garden Organic’s garden centre in Warwickshire.
Garden Organic chief executive Myles Bremner said a “mechanism to differentiate between organic and non organic” could be desirable.
He said it was “frustrating” that, at the same time as more people are growing their own and taking up gardening, there is a “corresponding increase in use of weedkillers and peat”.
Myles explained: “We know that consumers want to make better informed choices from an environmentally sound perspective.” He said products such as Fiskars weed puller should replace weedkillers.
“We don’t see a place for peat in the organic garden”, summed up Myles, calling for the government’s 2020 peat ban to be brought forward to 2016 for amateur gardeners.
Organic products have taken a significant hit during the economic downturn.
In the UK, sales of organic goods fell by 5.9 per cent to £1.73billion during 2010, reports the Soil Association