Diatomaceous Earth: Organic Pest Control for Your Garden
Did you know Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a natural, organic and highly effective organic different to pesticides?
In its food grade version it is completely safe for humans, pets and the ecosystem, but is truly a potent killer of aphids, white flies, snails, slugs, fleas and ants. Further, it is high in nutrients which is advantageous to micro-organisms and earthworms, so it doesn’t just protect your vegetable garden, it helps it to prosper.
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?
DE is composed of tiny fossilised shells of algae like marine plants (diatoms). When these are ground up, they have the look and texture of talcum powder, which is safe for us, but has razor sharp edges that cut by the protective coverings of pests. As one of the major elements of DE is air, it rapidly absorbs liquid, which leads to the dehydration of the pest, and is consequently an ultimate pest obstacle.
What grade of DE to use for the vegetable garden – Firstly, you will require food grade not pool grade DE for the garden. Pool grade DE contains crystalline silica and is extremely hazardous to humans and animals. Food grade DE can be purchased from online retailers or alternatively, from a livestock satisfy store.
When best to treat your vegetable garden with DE – It is important you apply DE when it is not raining. As it is a powder, the rain will wash it away easily. You will also need to ensure that the soil around the vegetable plant is not too wet. Damp is okay. If you do have rain, you will need to reapply it afterwards.
current, after very light rain or dew is the ideal time to apply the DE.
How to apply DE to your vegetable garden – You will need to shake the powder in a ring around the plant on the soil, in addition as dust the plant itself.
In terms of the actual applicator, there are a associate of ways you can make a DE “powder shaker”. Personally, I went to my local pharmacy, bought a cheap talcum powder, cleaned out the container and reassembled it with the DE as its contents. I have found this to be very effective.
Another popular method is to make a shaker out of an old coffee can by punching holes in the bottom of the can with a nail. Simply cover the end with the holes and fill with DE.
already better – it’s environmentally friendly too!
Worth mentioning again, not only does DE kill pests and form a protective obstacle to your vegetable garden it is a natural and cost effective different to chemicals.