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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Post  Little Thumb 5/10/2010, 4:21 pm

Has anyone ever used diatomaceous earth in there garden? How did it work? Where can you get it?

Thanks,

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Post  camprn 5/10/2010, 4:41 pm

I have not used it but THIS is a good read.
I think you can purchase it in any garden center.
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Post  boffer 5/10/2010, 5:16 pm

I've used it for ants-worked great. Some folks use it around their farm animals, by putting it in their bedding and food. Garden centers and feed stores would be a good place to look.
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Post  Little Thumb 5/11/2010, 3:04 pm

Thank you, I will try and find some.

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Post  jenjehle 6/10/2010, 10:41 am

I just recently bought some. And it was NOT all that easy to find! But after some searching, I found it at Lowes. Was between $10-$15. Plan on using it a little around the outside perimeter of each of my boxes with the idea to ward off any pests before I NEED to. I keep hearing about all these nasty, destructive bugs damaging everyone's plants. So I figure I'll do a little prevention before the fact.


Maybe it's not really necessary but I just want the piece of mind. Especially after growing almost everything in my garden from seed this year!!!
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Post  Little Thumb 6/10/2010, 10:43 am

You can sprinkle it on the plants as well, it works well. It just makes things all white.
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Post  1chichi 6/10/2010, 3:40 pm

I mist the plants w/ water and then dust them with DE.
It helps control bugs and acts as a slight sun filter.
I sprinkle it in the chicken coops and runs, and I dust the chickens with it.
Some people regularly consume small doses for intestinal problems.
Make sure you get food grade DE, as I hear there is another kind.
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Post  middlemamma 6/10/2010, 3:55 pm

jenjehle-where did you find it at lowes? what was the brand?
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Post  martha 6/10/2010, 5:02 pm

I will be using it this year for the first time. It is also supposed to be effective against fleas, all you animal lovers!
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Post  pattipan 6/10/2010, 9:17 pm

I bought a bag of DE from Lowes. The brand name is Safer. It's not the food-safe or the type you use in swimming pools. It is listed as organic. I believe it's okay to use in the garden, but it's not meant for ingestion, as it contains a bait ingredient to attract the buggers.

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Post  extremesoccermom 6/10/2010, 9:23 pm

It sounds interesting and worth a try. My only concern is for the beneficial insects. I will be looking for it this weekend I know I saw it in one of my trips to one of the stores. LOL. But I will use it sparingly when I first notice something bad going on.
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Post  jenjehle 6/10/2010, 10:41 pm

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@middlemamma wrote:jenjehle-where did you find it at lowes? what was the brand?

It was on the shelf with all the other de-buggers. The brand is "Safer" and it's in a larger, yellow 4lb bag-kind of stands out with the bright yellow.


The bag says to sprinkle a light dusting around the area you are having problems with. I wasn't sure how to "sprinkle" it so I just got a plastic square plant container with 4 drainage holes in the bottom (something that an Annual would come in) and put some in that. Then used it to dust the white powder over the area. I basically dusted my entire garden just in case. I have a few squash leaves that look more like swiss cheese.

Hope this helps!

Hope this helps!
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Post  martha 6/10/2010, 10:47 pm

Pattypan, it doesn't harm all creatures - only soft bodied ones. (which surprised me about the fleas, because they are so impossible to squish between one's fingers. Ask me how I know!)

But it works for slugs, ants, earwigs, flies, and several others. I know not why, but it won't hurt earthworms.
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Post  Megan 6/26/2010, 10:18 am

How do you spread this stuff? I just got a sack (organic/food-grade) and the bag says to use a duster to apply it (?!)
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Post  boffer 6/26/2010, 10:24 am

I like Jenny's idea in her post above. Or, maybe a larger seasoning jar with holes larger than a salt shaker. I use the 'feed the chickens' technique, but it's not too efficient-it gets heavy in some places!
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Post  Megan 6/26/2010, 10:30 am

@boffer wrote:I like Jenny's idea in her post above. Or, maybe a larger seasoning jar with holes larger than a salt shaker. I use the 'feed the chickens' technique, but it's not too efficient-it gets heavy in some places!

So it won't hurt the plants? (I am pretty sure it won't, I am just paranoid....)
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Post  boffer 6/26/2010, 10:51 am

The DE itself won't hurt the plants. I've never had a problem when I sprinkled it a little too heavy on leaves here and there.
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Post  Megan 6/26/2010, 10:54 am

Thanks... off to spread some DE!

thanks
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Post  jenjehle 6/26/2010, 5:26 pm

I like the idea of using an old seasoning container to shake/dust it onto the plants. My pkg just said to duist the plants & the areas with it lightly. I'm sure there's many ways to accomplish this.
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Post  extremesoccermom 6/26/2010, 5:56 pm

I am having trouble with bugs hiding on the undersides of the leaves. I took a plastic disposable condiment cup, poked holes in one side of the top with my cake tester. I can now give it a little squeeze and the dust flies up to the leaf.
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Post  happyfrog 6/26/2010, 10:38 pm

i use it in our garden as well as for my cat to ward off intestinal worms.

however!!!! becareful what you sprinkle it on - esp stuff like bee attracting plants - squash, etc as this product will KILL bees.

i try to only mix it into the soil - carefully so i don't breathe it in - it's not good for lungs - but i buy feed grade version from granville milling in newark - cost me $12 for a good sized container, and i made a sprayer with water and some DE for spraying on leaves of my brassicas as the cabbage moths are incredible this year. ..

it's drying to the eyes as well so you don't want to be in the dust if you can avoid it.

what it does is dehydrate things. and it's sharp - not to us but to other critters and it cuts them up then dehydrates them so they die.

there's no way for the bug to grow/make/whatever immunity to it as it kills it before it can reproduce.

kills grubs and all sorts of critters.

anyways, hope this helps. . . .
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Post  Amy in Idaho 8/8/2010, 12:57 am

This stuff is a godsend. My plants were getting eaten alive and I dusted some on just by grabbing a pinch and fluffing it all over. All my plants are not totally free of holes and annoying bugs. Then I figured out that I can put it in an empty spice container and shake it on. I haven't had any more damage. When my corn starts making ears I'm going to use it then too.
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Post  sistabelle 4/8/2011, 1:59 pm

I know this is an old post but I had to add my two cents worth.
I have been using DE for several years, I use it in the chicken coop every several days sprinkling it in the nest boxes, on their perches and in the litter. I also throw a little on top of their feed because it kills parasites inside as well as outside. It dries up the poop, keeps away flies and any other critter that might want to reside anywhere near the hens.

I use it in my pantry because it is totally safe for humans but will prevent any weevils or any other insect from taking up residence. In fact I have read if you have food storage, you can even put in the cans of wheat. IT's good for humans too!

In the garden you have to be very careful. One thing is you have to use it very sparingly. You can buy a duster that puts it out in puffs, similar to smoke. (you can get it online anywhere they sell DE) It will kill any insect, so you have to be VERY CAREFUL. i use it under the squash leaves and on the bottom of tomato plants. If the DE gets anywhere a beneficial insect would go it will kill them too. YOu can't use it on a windy day as the dust WILL go to flowers, which you don't want. I wait till the afternoon because most bees are gone by then. If it rains you have to re-dust as the rain washes it away and it is no longer good even if you put a glob down that didn't wash away. If you use too much the bugs will just walk around it.
The reason it works is because it is tiny particles that have very sharp edges that will scratch the exoskeleton of the insect and cause it too dehydrate. It is also important to buy food grade DE. THe other type is used in swimming pools. This stuff is a miracle product as far as I'm concerned . I found out about it when there was a bed bug scare and it's about the only thing that kill them other than heat. I'm amazed that it's not advertised and it's not sold in many stores. I guess they want us to buy chemicals. Another way to kill the bugs is SQUISH THEM ! Twisted Evil
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