Talking Talborne: The Value in Vita

For 22 years we have been manufacturing and distributing the Vita range of certified organic fertilizers. Products that are tried, trusted, and loved by many. But what is the story and value in our Vita range?

Talborne Organics is a South African innovation employing a number of local people throughout the manufacturing, packaging and distribution supply chains. Founded by Mike and Jenny Slabber in a time when the word organic was associated with the “bunny hugger”, “flower power” type of folk… far from it were Mike and Jenny! Decades back they were made aware of and started noticing problems in Europe, where excessive use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture was having severely negative effects on natural water systems and environments throughout Europe. They realised these issues would soon reach South Africa, so they embarked on a journey to initiate a mindset change, educate people and provide them with alternate options to growing healthy, nutritious food and horticulturally commercial ornamentals.

They researched, learned, and upskilled themselves in natural processes, sustainable practices, and product formulations. They created and trialled these pioneering products against a variety of other leading products and based on the results realized they were onto something – they had a winner!

  1. Unique and Incomparable

There are very few companies around the world that manufacture products in the way we do. Our products are scientifically formulated and need to reach certain nutrient levels in order to maintain our group 1 fertilizer registration. Vita Organic Fertilizers cannot be compared to other synthetic chemical or organic fertilizers available on the South African market. The way they’re made matters. This product range is unique in ingredients, formulation, nutrient release profile, quantity and frequency of application, consistent and reliable performance and results, while conserving the environment. There are no chemicals or manures in our products, Vita fertilizers are derived from natural sources i.e. plant, animal, mineral deposits and rocks. When organic matter is broken down by organisms which live in the soil, nutrients are released and made available to the plant. Naturally healthy soil is essential for good plant growth.


  1. Superfood for Soil… Superfood for Plants… Superfood for you!

Most synthetic chemical fertilizer products are made up of 1 – 3 major nutrients… Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium, which are bound in salt to aid in the dissolving process. The rest of the bag contains filler and has low to negligible nutritional value. Plants are fed directly via osmosis. When a plant is fed in this way it has no option but to take what is given to it, even if the plant doesn’t need that particular element. Whatever the plant can’t take up, after its force feeding, then leaches away through the soil. This affects the soil life and often results in plants with soft growth that are weakened over time and more susceptible to pest and disease attack. 

Talborne Organics Vita fertilizers contain 23 nutrients, amino acids + Carbon and are made from original natural materials, scientifically formulated, and blended to make a range of complete fertilizers supplying major, minor and micronutrients essential for optimum plant growth.

There are no fillers in our products, it’s all nutrition and Carbon to feed the microbial and soil life which in turn makes food available for the plant to take up, via the root hairs, as and when it needs it… this mimics nature’s way. The long-term benefit is that the soil life is improved, plants are healthier, stronger and less susceptible to pest and disease attack and all these nutritional elements will end up in our bodies once we’ve eaten the healthy produce grown with our Vita range.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants = Healthy People


  1. No Leaching and Burning of Plants

Unlike synthetic chemical fertilizers, our Vita range of products do not leach. Leaching occurs when excess nutrients from synthetic chemical fertilizers, that have dissolved in water and that the plant can’t uptake, run off and end up in our soil and water sources creating negative environmental problems. 

Vita organic fertilizers do not leach or burn when used as directed as they do not dissolve in water. The microbial life in the soil breaks down our fertilizers and releases nutrients to the plants as and when they need it.


    4. Sustained, Consistent release over a 4-month period = Value for money

Our products are released in a sustained and consistent manner over a 4-month period. So, when looking at prices on the shelf be sure to do the maths and check how many times other fertilizers need to be used in the same 4-month period and at what application rates.

Eg. If fertilizer ‘A’ is applied once every 4-6 weeks and our ‘Vita range’ is applied once every 16 weeks, then you should take the price of fertilizer ‘A’ and multiply if by 3 or 4 to get a fair comparison. You will note that Vita works out at a lower cost and better value for money when compared correctly.

  1. Multi – Purpose application:

The Vita organic fertilizers add additional value as they have multiple applications per product. E.g. Use the Vita Grow 2:3:2(16) on all new plantings of the following types: ornamental and fruit trees, shrubs, flowers, lawns, cycads, succulents, roses, fruiting, root and bulb vegetables, general garden feed for autumn/ winter, and should be applied when pruning. One product fulfils a variety of functions.

You only apply Vita fertilizers at a general application rate of 100g per m² once every 4 months, so a little goes a long way!   


                     Apply as follows:

  • Sprinkle over soil surface and work in lightly, or
  • Broadcast over established plantings, or
  • Mix with compost, topsoil or growing medium when planting, or
  • Add to compost heap to promote composting process and enrich nutrient content

    6. Climate, Carbon, and Water – SMART

The Talborne range of organic fertilizers is Climate friendly and adds Carbon to the Soil. This is critical for microbial life to flourish and conserves water as one doesn’t have to flood plants to dissolve the fertilizer.

  1. Certified Organic – Assurance of chemical and toxin free products

Our Vita range of products are nutritional inputs that have been certified for organic growing for the past 22 years. This means that edible produce grown with our Vita fertilizers, by our large and small-scale farmers, meets specific international standards and requirements for organic classification. The farmers are able to export the produce, meeting European and North American organic standards, without having their produce returned to South Africa after testing in the destination country. Our factory, ingredients, offices, cleaning materials are all tested annually by Control Union to ensure we can keep our organic certification. These annual tests are costly but are important for us to ensure that our products meet high safety standards with no toxic residues. The same products used by our farmers are the same products supplied through our retail channels. 

Vita Fertilizers are Approved Inputs for Certified Organic Growing by Control Union (Cu833864)


  1. Recyclable Packaging – We’re committed to a green and sustainable environment

All our packaging is either fully recyclable or made from recycled material and we are walking our talk by ‘Keeping it Green’ with the development of our new packaging, starting with our 500g Vita Bags (already on the market) which is a renewable and recyclable green bag made from Green PE (plant-based bio-oil). Growing Health with inspired thinking and innovative products helps us all to ensure our planet’s vital ecosystems continue to thrive. It’s all in the bag.

All Talborne Organics products are stocked by Seeds for Africa Online and Retail Store.

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About the Author

Claire Gove is the Managing Director of Talborne Urban Organics the leading South African Organic Fertilizer company. Claire is passionate about organic innovation and growing organically.