Thursday, June 14, 2007

How to apply diatomaceous earth to plants

I use no pesticides on my veggies (or anywhere in my gardens). From time to time, however, I see some bugs If there are only a few, I use a spray of water, or Safer Soap if there are more. For bugs that are large and the plant is in distress (I'll post photos of the bugs soon), I bring out the diatomaceous earth.

I tried just shaking it on with a spoon or cup, but that was messy and inefficient and wasteful. I was wishing that there was a way to "powder" them like powdering a baby! I then remembered some coffee cans that I had saved before I switched to organic fair trade coffee.

I used a hammer and nail to punch holes in the can, then placed a plastic lid over the holes. I put the diatomaceous earth in the can and then used a lif from another can to keep the diatomaceous earth in the can...a lid on each end until you need to use it.

Here are a couple of pix that may help you to make something like this for your garden needs.



Nope, it isn't snowing on this Beefsteak tomato! I had applied diatomaceous earth the day before.

8 comments:

Jacqueline said...

I had wished the same regarding baby powder shaker and decided to make my wish a reality. I went to the local drug store and bought 2 of the cheapest baby powders in the store. The first bottle I disassembled was a mess, but once I saw how they actually easily snapped apart I've been using/refilling the other one ever since for application of D.E. Much easier than punching metal cans and has the added benefit of being able to create a bellow dusting effect by tilting and giving a slight squeeze.

Stephanie said...

I am so glad I found your blog! Thanks for the coffee can tip. I am new to organic gardening and applied diatomaceous earth for the first time today. We live in south Tx where the pill bugs greedily ate many of my seedlings...grrrr. Guess I will be starting some of them over again.
Steph
www.slsmithphotography.com

Stephanie said...

I am so glad I found your blog! Thanks for the coffee can tip. I am new to organic gardening and applied diatomaceous earth for the first time today. We live in south Tx where the pill bugs greedily ate many of my seedlings...grrrr. Guess I will be starting some of them over again.
Steph
www.slsmithphotography.com

gogardener said...

Thankyou! Also glad to find your site! I have a home vegetable garden and orchard. I have gardened organically as much as possible for ten years. This year, earwigs and ants are destroying everything they can get their greedy little teeth on! I am hoping that your suggestion will make less mess and more economical. If anyone has been successful at controlling earwigs, please speak up!

Mooreganics said...

So glad you made a suggestion of how to apply DE to the plants. I too have been hit by the tiny black bugs (fleas, aphids?) as well as a lot of ants crawling around. This is my first garden so I am pretty bummed that my "babies" are being attacked. I used a canning jar with a mesh lid and it worked well. If I had an extra flour sifter that probably would have worked well too.
Thanks!
Laura
www.holisticnutritionconnection.com

Susan said...

Thanks for the tip to use a baby powder bottle for administering D.E. to my garden veggie plants!! Worked like a charm! Now I wait and see if it works..having a problem with cucumber beetles decimating my squash/cucumber plants! Also what I think are fleabeetles eating my eggplant leaves, and something boring into my orange bell peppers and beefsteak tomatoes. My prayers are said & my fingers are crossed I'll see improvement in a few days.

Whitby said...

Thanks for the post on diatomaceous earth and your plants! I know this is an old-ish thread of discussion, but I have a quick suggestion--I save old parmesan cheese containers to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on my plants. It works fantastic.

Joan Campbell said...

There is a hand-held duster made for broadcasting DE.