Diatomaceous Earth

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justiceman

justiceman

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Hey everyone I have some diatomaceous earth but I'm a bit confused in terms of its usage. I do know it can be used as a top dressing to discourage pest infestations, but I have also heard of it being used as a soil ammendment in order to raise the silica content of the soil and to obviously have broad pest resistance around all the roots.

I've been looking around to try and find general application rates for mixing it into soil but I can't really find any solid information.

So my questions are as follows:

Has anyone used Diatomaceous Earth in a soil mix?
What are the general application rates per gallon or per cubic ft?
Is it worth mixing in or is it a waste of time?
Has anyone had any problems with Diatomaceous Earth and nutrient availability?
 
cannabeans

cannabeans

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i use it...

i also drink it from time to time...but not the brand you have. i purchase large bags from feed stores. many grains that are stored in large quantaties, farmers use food grade "DE" to deter pests.

i have not added directly to soil yet, but keep in mind that it does raise the ph. i have added the food grade DE to my tea's that i brew. the most i have ever used in the brew is 3 cups. that was added to 150 gallons of water. it will kill pests when dusted on the top of the soil, but
IT MUST STAY DRY TO BE EFFECTIVE!
 
symbiote420

symbiote420

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I use D.E. at 1 cup per 3 gallons in my 100% organic soils religiously. It provides calcium, potassium, silica, plus it's pH neutral and provides some other trace minerals as well. I drink a tsp with 6 oz of water once a week my dogs get a tbsp to do an intestinal cleanse it kills parasites too, I say that because people think it's not effective when wet. Great dual purpose amendment!
 
A

azcapr7

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DE is all around good stuff. Powered or chuncked mixed in the soil and/or a top dressing of chunky. IMO, I would not use the DE shown in your picture. Just to be on the safe side, get the food grade DE from a feed store (50lbs $15). The chunky stuff is avail at NAPA under the name of floor dry part# 8822.
 
PrefersHam

PrefersHam

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azcapr7 good look "The chunky stuff is avail at NAPA under the name of floor dry part# 8822."

de is great stuff ive even used the brand pictured it is amazing dry or wet contradictory to popular belief. great on ra's.
 
justiceman

justiceman

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Thanks for the info so far everyone this is very helpful. So that nappa interests me indeed. So I went online looking for the napa floor dry. I couldn't seem to find it for some reason but I did find NAPA oil absorbent and it says part number xxx 8822. It also says diatamecous earth on it so I'm assuming it's a renamed floor dry?

I'll probably stop by my local store and pick some up to check it out as an alternative to perlite in my soil blend.

Ya I have heard about people feeding DE to their pets and also humans ingesting it too. I do admit it sounds like something I might try hehe.
 
H

Honest Abe

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Wow, im suprised no one has mentioned the dangers of DE. It is commonly used in pools as a compliment to the filters. It is, as i understand it, the skeletons of microorganisms. It is dangerous to your health, especially your lungs. If you decide to use this do so with a bit of caution and wear a mask. Breathing this stuff in is like breathing in miniature razor blades that will cut up your lungs. Like i said i have only used it with pools, but what i have used has been pure DE.
 
jean2

jean2

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DE also has many health benefits due to its mineral content, which consists of about 85% amorphous silica and approximately 20 trace minerals. The silica in diatomaceous earth is effective in preventing premature aging. Silica can also make age spots fade and also helps to repair and maintain lung tissue elasticity.

Regular intake of DE also has numerous other health benefits, some of which include: Lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol, Relieving sore joints, Healthier skin and hair, Healthier teeth and gums and Harder nails.
 
B

Buddy Hemphill

Guest
I've never measured. I put about an inch thick layer on the top of my beds. I use it like it was free. I have never had any problems.
 
symbiote420

symbiote420

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Wow, im suprised no one has mentioned the dangers of DE. It is commonly used in pools as a compliment to the filters. It is, as i understand it, the skeletons of microorganisms. It is dangerous to your health, especially your lungs. If you decide to use this do so with a bit of caution and wear a mask. Breathing this stuff in is like breathing in miniature razor blades that will cut up your lungs. Like i said i have only used it with pools, but what i have used has been pure DE.

There are two grades of D.E. one is food grade and that's the safe one. The second is pool grade D.E. do not use in your garden and by all means don't consume it. And you should be wearing a mask when handling.
 
symbiote420

symbiote420

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Hell yea it will but it will not get rid of them all, it can control their numbers but I found it doesn't wipe out the population completely. II use it conjunction with sticky traps, Mosquito Dunks, and I hear Botanigard ES and Met52 kills them completely.
 
justiceman

justiceman

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DE is all around good stuff. Powered or chuncked mixed in the soil and/or a top dressing of chunky. IMO, I would not use the DE shown in your picture. Just to be on the safe side, get the food grade DE from a feed store (50lbs $15). The chunky stuff is avail at NAPA under the name of floor dry part# 8822.

Yo guys I ended up following azcapr7's advice and picked up some floor dry for my soil mix. What do you think? diatomite for increased silica content as well as root protection from pests. Neem seed meal for microbial stimulation as well as root protection from pests.

Soil Mix:
3 cubic ft Master Nursery potting soil
25lb Napa floor dry(diatomite)
.5 cubic ft Ancient Forest Humus
1 1/6 cup mykos(mychorhizae)
3.5 cups insect frass
18oz Neem Seed meal
6oz rock phosphate
9 oz azomite
9oz fish bone meal

Makes almost 4 cubic ft(I think about 3.7 actually)
16oz Dolomite lime
 
M

MDL

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1
So am I right in thinking that DE granules sold as "Soil Improvement" is food grade? Or does this fall under "Pool Grade"?
 
Mr Bee

Mr Bee

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So am I right in thinking that DE granules sold as "Soil Improvement" is food grade? Or does this fall under "Pool Grade"?
Food grade i beleive but im not so certain id bet my life on.
 
Homesteader

Homesteader

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263
There are three grades of DE (food grade, feed grade and filter grade). Any DE that is heated becomes crystalline and should be considered dangerous for lungs, this is what is sold at home depot under "concern and safer name brands" and should not be used. Food grade and feed grade DE are amphorous silica and contain less than 1% of crystalline silica which is milder and safer on the lungs but feed grade (and filter) contains arsenic and other heavies where as food grade are sourced from mines that don't have heavy metals.
 
justiceman

justiceman

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Right on @Homesteader! I think this thread deserves a little bump for any interested in DE
 
Glassdub

Glassdub

1,308
163
Getting ready to use for the first time, kinda confused, read it was worthless when wet, was going to dust my pots after watering, not true? 🤔
 

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