Diatomaceous Earth For Garden Use

Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth has the texture of talc.
Diatomaceous Earth is made of diatoms which are smashed fossilized algae from fresh water. Having a talc-like feeling, the sharp blade-like edges cut open and penetrate the pest’s exoskeleton and causes it to dehydrate on the outside. While on inside when the insect eats the powder, which is highly porous and dry, takes the moisture out of the insect. DE must be dry to be effective. In addition, insects will not become immune to DE. A big warning must be given, beneficial insects will be affected as well. So be careful with this powder.

Particles that are microscopic will kill both inside and outside the pest’s body.

Here is a list of pest’s that DE will kill. Place the powder in crevices and cracks around the home and this should catch them at their homes.

  • Grasshoppers
  • Carpet Beetles
  • Ants
  • Centipedes
  • Crickets
  • Bedbugs
  • Roaches
  • Silverfish
  • Earwigs
  • Millipedes
  • Fleas

Living Areas and Kitchens

A slight layer of the powder placed behind and underneath furniture, windowsills, appliances, and doorways should hit them in your home.

Garages, Basements, and Attics

To end their breeding make sure to place it anywhere they may nest.

Mattresses and Beds

Bedbugs can be eliminated if you spread the powder all over the mattress and bed area.

Patios and the Exterior of The House

Lets stop the pest’s before they enter the home by using around windows, outdoor areas, and entryways.

Added Information

  1. Do not heat this DE as it negates the effectiveness. To see how truly small these particles are the size is approximately 0.000472441 inches.
  2. It is also used for the storage of grain as it prevents the grain from caking. The FDA has given it OK to use in this area.
  3. Research cannot verify the rumor that is good for a dewormer in animals. However, farmers do add it to the animal feed to stop caking.
  4. Hydroponic gardens of some gardeners use it as a growing media.
  5. Bonsai growers are known to use it as a media. Some use it in pots at 100% media and some just add it as an additive. Within a garden for growing vegetables the added Diatomaceous Earth is good for water retention, holds nutrients, allows good oxygen circulation, and drains well.

Shade Garden Ideas

shade garden
shade garden still needs some sun.

Trial and error are how most gardening experts use their shade garden ideas. There is no exact science to it, but vegetable gardens can grow in shady spots. A rule of thumb exists, though, that determines what vegetable is more effective at growing in said spots. Experts have concluded that a little shade is fine if gardeners grow for the buds, stems, and leaves. On the other hand, plants that are grown for the fruit and root needs full sun.

Gardening in a shady location needs more attention than normal ones. You need to determine the quality of shade, level of the plant’s fertility, temperature, soil type and how much the plants get moisture. All these factors affect the success or failure of your venture.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHADE

The sun is a major component for vegetables and plants to bear fruit. No vegetable garden can survive without sunlight. And having limited access to it means limited results. That’s why having shaded gardens can be quite disappointing. You don’t get the most out of your garden. However, it’s not the end of the world. You can still work with what you have by learning what are the different types of shade conducive to vegetable growth.

dappled shade
dappled shade with surrounding bright light
Dappled Shade – these are shadows cast by nearby trees and branches. The garden will have a shadow over it, but the surroundings are still bright. A quick remedy to this is by trimming low-hanging branches to let in more sunlight.

 
 
 
 
 

partial shade
partial shade is caused by sun movement
Partial Shade – unlike dappled shade, this shade is cast by buildings, which covers your garden with dark shade for most of the day. It also varies from time to time – one day you’ll have six sunny hours and then equivalent hours of shade the next. The shade also keeps you guessing at times since what it shades varies from season to season.

Growing a garden in these conditions might be discouraging. Yields will not be as high compared to gardens with bright or dappled shade. However, there is still hope. You can plant shade-tolerant vegetables and make the most out of an unfortunate situation.

SHADE-TOLERANT VEGETABLES

Some plants can thrive in shady gardens. Quality produce can be harvested even if they only have 3-4 hours of sunlight. Here are some of the best of them.

The following plants only need 3-4 hours of sunlight a day.

1. Culinary herbs

garlic chives
garlic chives is one of many shade tolerant plants
Herbs, such as golden marjoram, lemon balm, mint, parsley, cilantro, garlic chives, and oregano perform well in a shaded garden.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Root Vegetables

Radishes
Radishes survive in partial shade
Potatoes, beets, carrots, and radishes perform decently in partial shade. However, these vegetables’ growth heavily relies on the amount of sunlight. The more light they are exposed to, the quicker you achieve a full crop. Expect that these vegetables will take longer to mature than average vegetables.

 
 

3. Mesclun

mesclun
mesclun is a salad mix
Mesclun is arguably the best crop for shady gardens. This crop handles dappled shade very well and only needs two hours of sun a day to grow. In 4 weeks, you’ll be able to harvest its leaves. You can also get two to three harvests in one plant.

 
 
 
 
Please watch this 1:14 minute video for 7 excellent tips to shade gardening

Home Garden Soil Testing

You Need To Test Your Soil, Why?

soil test
soil test done at least twice a year

For healthy growth plants need to be feed with plant food. N, P,and K are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potash. Just like protein, vitamins, and minerals that we need, plants require these three elements for growth. Your home garden soil testing will improve your garden production.

How Do I Test The Soil?

Look for a test kit with an easy to read system, maybe color coded. It should be a fast and easy test to help you get the proper ingredients to the garden soil.

There Is A Correct Time To Test Your Soil.

Spring
Spring 1st test of the year.
Test on a regular basis, especially during the growing season. At the least, before the Spring and Fall planting.

Elements Of The Soil

Nitrogen

green leaves
green leaves provided by nitrogen
Plant nutrition starts with nitrogen. It provides food for green leaves and leaf growth. Without this nutrient the leaves are yellow and the plant will not grow well. If you add too much nitrogen you will get an abundant amount of leaves and delay the blooming. You also get poor fruiting and that plant will most likely get some form of disease.

Phosphorus

young plant from seed
young plant from seed
Phosphorus is a must have for the plant. Phosphorus is responsible for seed growth and blooms A lack of this element gets you unhealthy seed growth and if it does grow it will a stunted growth. The good phosphorus does includes good fruit development, wards off disease, and the vitamins will improve.

Potash

root system
root system is healthy because of potash
Potash helps the plant grow stronger. Both protein and carbohydrates are helped. Flavor of the fruit and the color will be improved. Potash aids in stem strength, cold hardiness, early growth. Without potash, you will see your plants under developed and the roots will not form correctly. Also, the leaves have dead ended, curled, and spotted. The fruit production will be low.

  

Acidity and Alkalinity- pH

pH scale
pH scale shows examples
In order for the plants to use correctly the food it receives the soil must have the correct pH. Each variety of plant has their own pH level they do best with. Know that pH. Choose the plants that match the pH preference of your soil or at least gain knowledge of how to supply the plants special needs.

What you have accomplished by testing the soil is coming up with the most effective, accurate, and most economical way to please the soil and plants.

 
 
 

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