Diatomaceous Earth Awesomeness: 5-2-13

Useful information for my fellow gardeners that haven’t heard from me in a while:  The good things diatomaceous earth (DE) does for your garden.  And i promise i will try to stay in touch more regularly.  i have so many blogs that i haven’t published because i get caught up in random things around the homestead.  i just need to set aside a certain time everyday to at least talk about one thing i’ve screwed up, or better yet, learned to make more efficient.

So today has been quite chilly, as we have this bizarre May cold front.  So i’m painting pickets in my living room on a tarp, in front of a fire.  Seriously, a fire in May to warm the house up, in Texas.  Global warming, what?…

Anyways, in the past i had only used DE to help get rid of pesky creepy crawlies that kill the food growing in my garden.  i don’t know if it’s normal garden behavior for others, but when my kale, for example among other plants, start to bolt when it gets warm, there are these nasty, tiny bugs that destroy the poor plants.  i don’t compost those.  So after i pull them up and throw them away, i always put DE in those areas of the garden in case there are more of those gross little things in the soil.  But DE does more than kill unwanted insects.

DE is fossilized shells of tiny water-dwelling organisms called diatoms which, when ground, have microscopically fine, sharp edges.  Diatomite is a natural lethal powder for garden pests who digest or contact it. The razor-sharp dust damages the exoskeleton and causes internal lacerations once consumed, but is perfectly harmless for us humans.  Awesome!  Keep in mind, that it only works when it’s dry, so if you use it for pest contol, make sure not to water for a few days.

But DE is even cooler because it’s made of trace minerals not normally found in fertilzers, like magnesium, calcium, copper, boron, sodium, iron, titanium and manganese. These substances add life to plants by feeding the microorganisms living in the soil.  The only thing i’ve found, besides compost, that adds these nutrients to your soil is Azomite.  i do really like Azomite, but DE adds the nutrients and acts as a pest control.  And it’s cheaper.

Plus, it also has the benefit of acting as a natural mulch.  One of the most important things you can do to maintain your garden is MULCH.  DE increases aeration and water flow in your soil. And it boosts irrigation efficiency by absorbing three times its weight in water. So you can use it in addition to mulch around your entire garden to decrease water usage.  Which is important here in zone 8, when we have droughts during the hottest part of the summer.

We have a complete void of progressive politics in this country right now. The will of the people goes ignored and unrealized. I’m searching for the people that can enter the political system, a strong third party. We need to consolidate. ~Ani Difranco

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