For many people, diatomaceous earth can be something unknown, however, for those passionate about gardening and living life in a sustainable style it can be the opposite. In this post, we teach how to apply diatomaceous earth to plants.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth are unicellular algae that are part of the ecosystems of the waters of seas and rivers. In their structure a cell wall is easily recognizable that is made up of opaline silica or hydrated silicon dioxide that gives it high resistance to mechanical aggressions.
It is precisely the fossilization of this rigid organic wall that allows the formation of the well-known diatomaceous earth or diatomite.
At present, this white earth is given various uses, but the area in which its usefulness stands out the most is gardening. The following lines describe the most important aspects of the use of diatomite in gardening, without neglecting other important properties, which highlights the benefits of such a noble material that nature created in a process of thousands of years.
Properties and Uses of Diatomaceous Earth
It is more than proven that diatomite is an efficient insecticidal, fungicidal and bactericidal agent that acts by dehydrating the cells of insects that constitute pests of crops and garden plants.
The use of diatomaceous earth has become notoriously popular because it is a truly human-friendly product, this means that it is a material that does not affect the health of people when they are in constant contact with it.
Due to its structural qualities, diatomaceous earth has different applications in the home, especially in the garden, standing out among its main applications as an insecticide and plant fertilizer.
Use as an Insecticide
This powerful mechanical insecticidal agent is highly efficient in the fight against undesirable insects in crops and garden plants.
In general, specialized products are used to attack pests, for example, a specific product for mealybugs and another for ants, but in the case of diatomite this can be used to apply a single line of action that attacks different fronts.
This is quite positive from different aspects such as costs, investment of time and risks to health and the ecosystem.
Its secret is found in the way in which this fine powder causes death to these insects, because the diatomaceous earth works by crossing the keratin exoskeleton that covers them and penetrates the cellular structure, interacting with the water inside.
This activity causes dehydration and a sequence of events that prevents the development of the biological functions of all those susceptible insects.
Fertilizer for Plants
The high mineral content of diatomaceous earth is undoubtedly an important source of nutrients that favors the development of plants, especially when they are in their initial growth phase, since magnesium is a mineral that enhances the activity of enzymes that participate in the synthesis of DNA, which results in the stimulation of cell division and plant growth.
How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to Plants
Making use of diatomite to control pests in the garden is something really simple. This is a fairly harmless product for humans, in contrast to the insecticides that are available on the market. So its dosage is linked more than anything with a maximum use of the product and with the magnitude of the pest that plagues the crop or garden.
When it comes to applying diatomite as fertilizer, there is a general recommendation that suggests that it be used at a rate of 40 to 50 gram for each m2 of soil, making a partial mixture with the soil of the crop to be worked.
In the case of the use of diatomite to control pests in the garden, about 100 gram should be spread over each m2 of the crop, and increasing the use of the product when the insects are larger. So, it would not be the same to attack an infestation of lice as with ants.
When looking to reduce the damage caused by aerial pests, it is best to apply diatomite sprays, for which the insecticide solution must be prepared at a ratio of 40 gram of diatomite for each liter of water.
Diatomaceous Earth for Human Consumption
The diatomite, incredible as it may seem, has many health benefits when it comes to food-grade diatomaceous earth.
As it originates from biological organisms, this product has a high content of minerals that facilitate the development of biological functions, including silicon, calcium, sodium and magnesium.
By presenting significant amounts of these minerals, its use as a supplement for the daily diet is recommended, since the benefit of these elements on the general state of health is widely known.
Here are some of the most notable properties of diatomaceous earth for human consumption:
1. Increases the absorption of calcium
It strengthens the musculoskeletal system, as silicon increases the absorption of calcium, which gives greater resistance to the bones and prevents the appearance of osteoporosis.
2. Anti-inflammatory activity
Being a powerful anti-inflammatory, it improves the condition of the joints and ligaments, which translates into less pain and greater willingness to perform physical activity.
3. Biological filter
Thanks to its tubular structure, diatomite works as a biological filter, thus protecting the stomach from attack by pathogens such as viruses and bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal diseases.
4. Silica content
Due to its high content of silica, it increases the synthesis of collagen that provides elasticity to the tissues, thus maintaining a much more effective function and, at the same time, a much more youthful appearance is obtained.
Without a doubt, consuming diatomite is something that should be taken into account if you want to increase your vital force and feel in an optimal state of health.