About MSC Certification

How do you know a good mulch or soil before you buy it?

Know What You Buy
Today’s garden mulches and soils are sophisticated blends of natural forest products, other organic materials and special additives. They can be very complex in order to meet the needs of both beginning and advanced home gardeners.

Simply stated, you can’t tell a good product from a bad one just by its appearance. Even a lab test can’t tell you everything. That is why the Mulch & Soil Council developed a product certification program that tells the whole story...lab analysis and greenhouse growth testing.

In 2003, the MSC launched its Product Certification Program. Products that pass the review and testing requirements and comply with ongoing audit testing of products in retail markets earn the badge of the MSC certification logo for their packaging.

Why Product Certification?
The MSC Product Certification Program was developed to help consumers, retailers, regulators  and others identify products that conform to the Voluntary Uniform Product Guidelines for Horticultural Mulches, Growing Media and Landscape Soils (VUPG).

These guidelines were developed over a five-year period of industry debate among Council members and non-members to define product nomenclature, uniform product characteristics, minimal performance objectives and proper labeling requirements to inform and protect end users.

Certified products must:

  • Conform to proper labeling requirements
  • Pass laboratory testing.
  • Pass greenhouse growth testing (soils) and chemical testing for CCA-treated wood contaminants (mulches)
  • Pass random audit testing in retail markets

Mulch & Soil Council Disclaimer (click here)
All information provided by the Mulch & Soil Council ("MSC") is provided for general information and reference purposes only and may change periodically. Users should review the information regularly to ensure that you have the most current version. The information, and use of the information, is subject to the following legal disclaimer that users are responsible for reviewing now and periodically, as program limitations may be modified from time to time.

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