Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dipel Dust & Diatomaceous Earth ~Helpful Partners Against Garden Pests!

Greetings!  This week I wanted to share with you a couple of important partners I use in my garden when fighting certain pests.  I would never be without these two important powders that are both organic, OMRI certified and safe to use around pets, children and humans in general.

The first of these is Dipel Dust.  This powdered product is used in my garden to ward off any type of pesky worm that may pop up such as pickle worms, cabbage worms, tobacco horn worms or tomato horn worms.  The list goes on as to what Dipel Dust is effective on but you can be sure I would never be without it in my garden.  

The active ingredient in Dipel Dust is B.T. or Bacillus Thuringenesis.  An active bacteria that is deadly to invasive worms and their larvae.  Basically anything that starts as larvae, turns into a worm then cocoons and turns into a moth is effected.

Dipel Dust is a biological insecticide that works by either spraying or dusting the crops i.e. your veggies, and then the caterpillars or worms ingest the dust and the bacteria do their job.  Within three days the problem should be taken care of.

Dipel dust should be reapplied every 10 days right up until harvest.  Make sure you apply after a good rain because you want this to stick to your plants and on the ground surrounding them.  Just to make sure you are using it to the best of its ability.  Use gloves when applying for safety and if you are treating a large area, make sure to use a face mask.  You don't want to inhale the powder.  

I apply by just putting the dust in a repurposed shaker jar and broadcast sprinkling right on my squash, pumpkins, cukes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  

The next product I would never be without is Diatomaceous earth.  This is a gift from mother earth to be sure!  D. E. is a fine powder that is made up of prehistoric fossilized earth.  It is full of great benefits for your garden, your pets and even you!

D.E. is effective in your garden against many pests including aphids, beetles, fleas, flea beetles, ticks, ants, thrips, snail and slugs.  The list is long regarding what this natural wonder will assist you with. When viewed under a microscope, D.E. looks like tiny shards of glass.  These are uncomfortable to things like snails and slugs and deadly to any creature with an exoskeleton.  Whereby the ant or beetle gets the D.E. on it's body and it will immediately begin to break down, and have it's little legs cut off and they die.  Sad, I know, but when we are talking about pests and our gardens, we need to take a heavy handed approach.

Diatomaceous earth is great for your pets!  Mix a bit into their food, either wet or dry and you have an effective hedge against internal worms that many dogs may suffer from.  Dust your dogs and cats with D.E. and you won't have a problem with ticks or fleas.  You will need to do this often, but the D.E. is not expensive and if you have outside pets, they will thank you for it!  

We even puff the powder around window sills and doorways of our home to ward off creepy crawlies during the summer months.  It is quite effective and less expensive than calling an exterminator who will spray your house with toxic poison.

D.E. is even good for you!  You can make capsules and take it for a good infusion of minerals to your system.  You can also mix it in water and drink it but it's kind of like drinking mud so, ICK!  Of course you should always use Diatomacious Earth that is marked Food Grade only!  Never use industrial D.E. for feeding or dusting on pets or people.  

The brand of D.E. I use is Red Lake Earth.  I purchase it from my locally owned feed and seed.  If you have a place in town that sells horse feed etc, this is the place to look, you may not find it in the garden section, but you will find it in the section where they sell livestock feed.  D.E. is used to keep large livestock like horses and cattle healthy.

I hope this gives you some great information about how you can effectively use Dipel Dust and Diatomaceous earth in your garden to help you safely, effectively and organically ward off garden pests that can decimate your harvest!  

Till next time, Happy Planting!