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Mary Smith |

Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Do you have pesky bugs in the garden that eat your veggies and plants before you get to enjoy them? 
How about bugs in the house? 
We have SEVERAL Safe and Non-Toxic Solutions!

Part 1 we talked about Companion Planting

Part 2 we shared DIY recipes and Organic NEEM Oil

As with any form of organic growing, not every method works for everyone.  THIS is why we offer a multi-part series for organic pest control.
Today we're talking about Diatomaceous Earth 

Using Diatomaceous Earth for Non-Toxic, Natural Pest Control

When we had a booth at the local farmer's market, I offered a workshop for 10 Ways to Avoid Chemicals in Your Garden.  One option for non-toxic pest control is  Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

*VERY IMPORTANT*  We ONLY recommend using *FOOD GRADE DE* 
There is a huge difference between food grade DE and the stuff used for pools.  Any form of DE that list "other" as an ingredient is suspect. 
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural, organic garden pest control and household insect killer. Diatomaceous Earth kills by physical action, not chemical. If used properly, It is safe for pets and people. The tiny diatoms scratch off the insect's waxy coating, and dehydrate it. DE kills spiders, roaches, silverfish, ants, fire ants, carpenter ants, bedbugs, lice, mites, earwigs, flies, fleas, box elder bugs, pubic and hair lice, scorpions, crickets and harmful insects. Diatomaceous Earth is used in the home, yard, animal housing, etc. Sprinkle a 2 inch wide border around the foundation of your house to stop insects from entering. 
Diatomaceous Earth
kills aphids, white flies, beetles, loopers, mites, snails, slugs, leaf hoppers, and harmful pests. Use Diatomaceous Earth inside your home, greenhouse or outdoors on fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and grass. Apply Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth up to and including day of harvest.

BEFORE you decide to use ANY form of pest control, it is important to read all of the information provided.  We went one step further and created a video


Tell those garden pests to EAT DIRT!
What is Diatomaceous Earth (DE)?  Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. 

How to Apply Diatomaceous Earth to your Veggie Garden:

-Fill a container (or applicator bottle) with diatomaceous earth. Avoid creating dust by using a spoon to transfer the powder to the container. Although diatomaceous earth is non-toxic, you should not breathe the fine dust. Consider wearing a disposable face mask if you will be working with large quantities of the powder or if you have respiratory issues.

-Sprinkle the powder onto the vegetable plants using a spoon OR use an applicator bottle to reduce dust. The best time to do this is in early morning or late evening, when the plants are wet with dew. The moisture helps the dust to adhere to the plant. Diatomaceous earth won't harm insects when it is wet, but it will be effective once it dries. Shake the powder on the vegetables as well as the leaves; the powder can be easily washed off the vegetables prior to consumption. 

-Apply the powder to the garden bed and to the area surrounding the garden. This will keep many crawling insects from even reaching the vegetable plants.

-Pour a thick ring of diatomaceous earth around the base of plants to deter snails, slugs and squash bugs.

**It is not recommended to use on flowers or flowering plants.  Example, Once your tomato plants begin to flower, use only on the stem and soil surrounding the plant. Never use DE on Milkweed or flower gardens. 

And there you have it! Non-Toxic and Natural Pest Control with  
Diatomaceous Earth from   Mary's Heirloom Seeds 
***Now Available with Applicator Bottle***

"The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world. "
Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Helpful Links:
Using Organic Neem Oil in the Garden

Region-Specific, Month-to-Month Planting Guide

Identify Common Garden Pests

Using Azomite for Healthy Plants

Christmas Lima Bean

This heirloom lima bean was first cultivated in the United States around the year 1840 and is also known as "Large Speckled Calico" lima.
Red-Stipped Greasy Pole Bean

Appalachian heirloom. Also known as Striped Greasy Cut Short, although the seed is not squared off like a true cut short bean 
Dakota Black Popcorn

Beautiful 4½ in. ears, great flavor. 15 rows per ear. 6 ft. stalks, 1 ear per stalk, above-average pest resistance.

White Soul Wild Strawberry
If you want a vigorous perennial ground cover plant, grow Strawberry seeds!
These hardy perennials provide fresh strawberries in small spaces.
Mary's Heirloom Seeds, P. O. Box 3763, Ramona, CA 92065
We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you have additional questions please ask!


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1 comment

Dear Mary,

What do you recommend to get rid of small bug resembling ants that are eating my potatoes in the ground?

Also, please recommend the best variety of garlic for northern New Jersey. Let me know if there are any other items that would be good for Fall planting.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your advice.

Kind regards,


Diane ,

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