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7 Uses of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Powder In Gardening

In today’s post we will list out the top 7 uses of diatomaceous earth for plants and gardening. 7 benefits of this Magic Powder plus how to use it for each purpose with some precautions.  

Diatomaceous earth also called Diatomite or in short DE, is rightly called MAGIC POWDER because it has got several important uses not only in gardening but also in medical field and multiple other uses. 

This is a naturally occurring organic substance obtained from certain natural rocks. It is made up of fossilized diatoms. Diatoms are single-celled organisms having a silica rich shells. This powder looks and feels like chalk powder and has great porosity and abrasive properties. This is not so expensive and you can purchase this online from HERE!

Now, lets list out the top 7 uses of diatomaceous earth in gardening. 

  • Ant Control
    Why is it so important to control ants in your garden? Actually Mealybugs and Aphids have a symbiotic relationship with Ants which protect these pests from predators and also carry them to the plant tips. The Ants in turn get the honeydew sugars excreted out of their anus as their gift.   
    How to use DE for ant control? Sprinkle DE dust over the infested plants and also over anthills and you should get great results.
  • Get Rid of Slugs and Snails
    These creatures eat away a lot of your plants in your garden overnight. To get rid of slugs and snails,  apply DE powder in a circle around the plant and when their soft bodies come in contact with the powder, the sharp silica particles inflict tiny cuts on the skin. The dehydrating effect of the powder causes them to lose too much fluid and they eventually die.
  • In Compost Bin
    Maggots in your unfinished compost pile can be a nuisance. Just sprinkle this powder in your compost pile and get rid of maggots organically without using any chemical pesticides.
  • Mix it in your Potting Soil
    Although it doesn’t have much to offer by way of nutrition, it has the properties to hold the nutrients from fertilizers and then offer it as a slow release to the roots. Plus it also makes your soil well draining and well aerated.
  • Prevent Rodents and Animals from Entering your Garden
    How to use it for this purpose? Do You know most rodents and animals run away from the smell of citrus and peppermint?
    You can use small containers with DE powder and add few drops of the essential oils of lemon or peppermint and keep these near the entry points of these animals. The DE powder absorbs these oils and retains the smell for a longer period of time unlike some cotton balls or a piece of cloth soaked with these oils.
  • Control Other Insects like Flies, Ticks and Mites
    These are not only troublesome but can transmit diseases in humans and pets and hence dusting DE powder on your plants and around them will keep your garden clean from these insects.

      1. As an Organic Pesticide
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic way to control pests in the garden. It is very effective against all types of pests on your plants like aphids, mites, thrips, mealy bugs, caterpillars and almost every pest. The mechanism of action is it’s a contact poison which kills pests by extreme dehydration.
How to use Diatomaceous earth on plants?
First of all Water your plants for the day. Then dust the plants with an applicator or just sprinkle the powder on your plants.  This will help the powder stick to plant surfaces. Since dehydration is the main mechanism of action, moisture on your plants renders the powder ineffective and also in rainy season – apply when there is no rain.

To avoid killing beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, do not sprinkle on flowers.  

So, there you have it folks. With DE powder and neem oil, you can eliminate most of the pests in your garden safely and organically without using any harmful chemicals.  

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Happy Gardening!

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