How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Outdoor Plants

This video describes how to apply diatomaceous earth to outdoor plants.  Diatomaceous earth is beneficial for both indoor and outdoor plants.  DE is effective in controlling insects that are harmful to plants.  It is very good to use diatomaceous earth with succulents.  It controls bugs and helps to keep the succulent’s soil from being wet for too long.

Welcome to the Rusted Garden. Today I want to show you how to use diatomaceous earth in a wet form and the dry form.

And basically diatomaceous earth are microscopic creatures called diatoms. And they’ve been around millions of years. They’re in the oceans, rivers lakes they die the shell falls to the bottom the water recedes it dries and we mined it out. And it’s a white powder made up of microscopic shells or silica and it’s really really sharp not to us but to the insects. And what happens is the powder gets into the joint of the insects scrapes away their waxy coating or waxy coating on their shell and then the insects dehydrate and die.

The most important thing to understand about the diatomaceous earth is that it’s not a poison. However, it can also harm good insects because if it gets into the joints of your pollinators it’s going to do the same thing. But it’s very, very, has a very, very, low toxicity, so you can use this as you wish in your garden.

Now it doesn’t contact kill which means it takes time so if you have an infestation you might want to use something different but if you want to use something regularly, regularly, to control something like flea beetles on your eggplant I know that it works for that.

Now diatomaceous earth when it’s wet it’s not effective but when it dries again it becomes effective and I just want to be clear because in the past they said that once it gets wet it’s not effective, it is, once it dries.

Now you have insects the crawl on the underside of your leaves you have insects that crawl on top of your leaves and you know insects crawl everywhere. Now for the wet application this is an inverted nozzle actually sell that at my seed shop I’ll give you the link to that you can spray this upside down so it makes it really easy to get on the undersides of the leaves.

So this is just a one quart soda bottle or water bottle it fits right on there, 1 tablespoon of diatomaceous earth in water mix well and you would spray the undersides of the leaves not to the point that they’re dripping but just as you’re leaving it coat on there and I don’t know how effective this is I haven’t used it regularly but a lot of people swear by it and even though it’s wet it leaves a fine a fine film of the earth on the underside and the microscopic or the smaller insects say like spider mites and beetles crawl through it and they still get it into the joint.

If you have an infestation I’m not sure this would be the best first approach but you could certainly give it a try if you want to stay 100% chemical free but you would just soak the undersides of the leaves.

Easy Ways to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Outdoor Plants

Now what I have found to be effective is the dry powder I’ve used this on anthills around my squash last year and it took care of the entire colony within really 24 hours. So pick yourself up a container. I got this to the thrift store. Fill it halfway you want enough space in there for this to shape holes in here with a knife just put in those probably like 20 to 40 holes in there these are bigger holes for getting to the stem it’s just covered with some duct tape and you just shake it on to the leaf a nice even application of white powder.

Oh let’s get rid of that bee, of white powder on your leaves and the insects will crawl through that will get into their shell joints and it will wear down the waxy coating of their shell. Now the other side is for getting into the stems.

Let me take you to the squash plant. I’ll show you how to do that. So here’s what the DE looks like across all of my eggplants and in my area I always get flea beetles.

How often do you use this? You’re going to want to use it at least once a week to control problems and that’s what I recommend it for is to really stop insects from getting hold. As long as it looks like this a nice dry powder across your leaves you can just keep it like that. Once it rains or if you water a lot of it gets washed off you’re going to want to reapply it but that would be about maybe once a week.

Just want to show you once you have it covered give the plant a little shake let the dust go everywhere because again the goal is to get the dust into the joints of the crawling insects and it works really well on flea beetles I’ve used it before it works on ants and it should work on small beetles too.

And please in the comments let me know how you use it what it’s effective for because I think that will help other viewers to really understand what they can use DE for in their garden.

So here’s one of my zucchini plants this is a great zucchini, it’s growing up a cage. To wet application shake it spray under the leaves and that might be good for hatching insects crawling through that.

Again I don’t use this regularly. Now to get to the stem where you might get the vine borer you may get squash bugs or other insects so dust on the leaves through the one end here just a nice fine dust around and then you have bigger holes on the other side or when it pops open and you would just drop a heavier coating down there you really want the insects to crawl through it.

There’s no flowers on here if there were flowers I’d be a little bit more careful because you don’t want the pollinators to come in. But right now that’s plenty of diatomaceous earth for the squash bugs that crawl through the insects to crawl through and take care of problems. Now this is an option, again, if you want to be a hundred percent chemical free. Hope you understand how to use diatomaceous earth.

Our Summary:  Those were some good tips for applying diatomaceous earth.  It is a little easier to spread DE on outdoor plants.  It is a little trickier to apply diatomaceous earth to indoor houseplants because it can get a little messy.  It works well to just use a large spoon to spread the diatomaceous earth around the roots on top of the soil of your succulents.

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