mom. Organic Gardening. December 02nd , 2017.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an effective, natural, and organic alternative to pesticides,
The food grade version of DE it is perfectly safe for humans, animals as well as the environment but harmful for slugs, snails, fleas, ants, aphids, and white flies. It’s also rich in nutrients that benefits the micro organisms and earthworms. It’s not only protecting your garden, but also helping it to flourish.
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?
DE is comprised of little fossilised shells of marine plants similar to algae (diatoms). When ground up, they look like talcum powder even have similar (texture). It’s safe for us but not for pests as it has tiny razor sharp edges invisible for our eyes. It also could absorbs liquid rapidly that causes dehydration for the pests; therefore this is the ultimate weapon against pests.
For your vegetable garden, you will need food grade DE not the pool grade one. Pool-grade DE has crystalline silica in it so it’s very harmful for animals and humans. You could buy Food-grade DE online or from retailers.
The best time to apply Organic Diatomaceous Earth to your garden is when it’s not raining or after verylight rain. The rain will wash away the DE powder easily. You’ll also have to make sure the soil around your plant isn’t too wet (damp is OK). If the rain showers your garden, you’ll have to reapply the DE.
To apply effective Diatomaceous Earth on your garden, you’ll need to spread the powder to the soil around the plant (in a ring shape) and to the plant itself.
There is a creative way you can make yourself a DE powder shaker. Get your unused talcum powder container, clean it out and fill it with DE.
Another way is to recycle your old coffee can. Punch some holes on the bottom of the can using a nail and fill it with DE afterwards.
As I can’t stress this enough, beside killing pests and forming a protective barrier for your plants naturally, low cost Diatomaceous Earth wont cost you a fortune. It’s a better alternative to chemicals pesticides as it’s environmentally friendly.
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