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​Benefits of Using Diatomaceous Earth in the Organic Garden

Diatomaceous earth, also called diatomite or simply "D.E.", is a chalk-like substance that’s a naturally occurring substance mined from lake beds. It consists of fossilized diatoms, which are a type of single-celled planktonic algae that lived in oceans and freshwater lakes years ago. There are several benefits for using diatomaceous earth in an organic garden, including eliminating the need for chemical pesticides.

Aphid Control

Aphids are rice-sized green pests that feed on plant juices by piercing young plant parts and sucking the sap. This will stunt plant growth and reduce yield. Dust aphid-infested plants with the diatomaceous powder or mix it with water and spray on plants with a sprayer.

Ant Killer

Ants indirectly destroy garden plants through the use of aphids. Ants “farm” aphids by carrying them to new plants and protecting them from predators. The ants then “milk” the honeydew from aphids in return.

Dust garden plants and ant hills with diatomaceous earth to get rid of them.

Organic Pest Control

Diatomaceous earth is a safe, non-toxic way to control pests in the garden. It’s effective against all insect pests that crawl on plants because contact with the powder is extremely dehydrating.

Water plants, then dust with the powder. The moisture will help the powder stick to plants better.

Slug Away

Slugs are nocturnal pests that like to feed on garden plants under the cloak of darkness.

Protect tender plants by creating acircle of diatomaceous earth around plants. When the soft body of a slug comes in contact with the powder, the sharp particles inflict tiny cuts on the skin and they quickly dehydrate.

Fly Deterrent

Flies are an annoyance to gardeners, but they can easily be kept away with an application of diatomaceous earth.

Sprinkle the powdery organic product liberally on all plants and on the ground. Flies tend to avoid treated areas.

Maggot-Free Compost

Fresh manure and compost piles can house the larvae of many types of flies. While maggots aren’t harmful, the resulting flies are a source of aggravation.

To keep the compost pile maggot-free, just sprinkle diatomaceous earth all over it.

Reduce Rodent Population

Rats, moles, mice, and rabbits often do great damage to your garden, but can be deterred from visiting the garden with the use of diatomaceous earth.

Add a few drops of the essential oil of lemon or peppermint (rodents hate both scents) to the powder, then sprinkle it around the garden perimeter. This highly porous substance absorbs the oil and retains the scent for several weeks.

P.S. It’s edible!

You can add it into yogurt, oatmeal, applesauce, smoothies, coctails and more. It is known to be beneficial to one’s hair, skin and nails. You can learn more about the beneficial effects of food grade diatomaceous earth here: