Diatomaceous Earth In The Garden

 Using Diatomaceous Earth In The Garden

Diatomaceous Earth IN The Garden-butterfly-on-butterfly-bush-plant
Purple butterfly flowering plant with butterfly

Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic and is a great way to control garden insect pests and other crawling insects this naturally occurring substance makes DE a must-have. As was discussed in my last article diatomaceous earth is a type of powder made from the sediment of fossilized algae found in bodies of water, such as streams, lakes rivers, and ocean beds. The cells of these algae were found to be high or have an abundance of a compound called silica. The dried sediment that is produced from fossils is said to be rich in silica.

Diatomaceous earth can also be used in edible gardens which makes DE a must-have, besides controlling garden insects we will be looking at other ways this natural substance can be of benefit in the garden.

8 Ways to Use Diatomaceous Earth in the Garden

1. Keeping snails and slugs at bay

Snails and Slugs can do a lot of damage to garden plants, these garden pests are known to consume entire herbaceous plants. Snail baits are great in eliminating or keeping snails and slugs at bay. Eggshells are also effective in keeping snails and slugs away, once the shells are broken up and sprinkled around garden plants their jagged edges will deliver painful cuts to the bodies of these garden pests.

Diatomaceous earth can rid your garden of snails and slugs also, apply diatomaceous earth in a circle around garden plants. When the snail or slug comes into contact with this powdered substance it will dry their bodies out causing dehydration followed by death.

2. DE is offensive to rodents

Rats, moles, rabbits, and mice are uninvited guests that will make a meal out of your garden plants causing so much destruction. Not to worry however because DE is on the job and will go to work for you. In small containers or jars place a bit of diatomaceous earth along with a few drops of citrus essential oils or peppermint.  Placing these containers or jars throughout your garden will keep rodents out because they find the odor to be offensive and will stay clear.

3. Potting soil

Make soil improvements, DE is lightweight and porous, mixing a few drops will improve air circulation around the plant’s roots and also increase the soil drainage.

4. Compost pile

If you notice maggots in your compost pile and are tempted to use chemicals to get rid of them then think again, what you don’t want is to contaminate your compost. The key to getting rid of maggots while keeping your compost pile contaminated-free is dusting your compost pile with DE. Diatomaceous earth will dry up their bodies.

5. Ants

Ants can become a nuisance especially fire ants which can deliver a painful sting, to get rid of ants simply dust anthills and the surrounding areas with Diatomaceous earth which will cause ants to pack up and ship out.

6. Preserve cut flowers

Fresh cut flowers can make a world of difference in and indoor or outdoor living space, the key in preserving your cut flowers so they can stay fresh a bit longer is mixing in diatomaceous earth.

7. Control gnats and fruit flies

Fruit flies and gnats can become an eyesore, these insects love to hover over damp soil, overripe fruits, or potted plants. The solution is to simply sprinkle or dust fruits, damp soil, or potted plants with diatomaceous earth. This will dry out their bodies causing death.

8. Use DE as a deodorizer

Cats and dogs are curious and love to be outdoors wandering in garden areas, at times they may poop which can be unpleasant.  Mixing DE into the top few layers of soil or just liberally sprinkling it over the soil surface will act as a deodorizer.


Avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth because it can irritate your nasal passage, inhaling large amounts may cause shortness of breath or coughing. DE may also cause eye irritation, skin dryness, and irritation. For the best results follow the manufacture’s direction.

The final word on diatomaceous earth in the garden

Diatomaceous earth has so many benefits in the garden. This all-natural substance is a gardener’s dream of getting rid of many issues that plague garden plants. Don’t hesitate but reach for DE and give it a try, you will see firsthand the amazing results you will get as you seek to win the war on garden insect pests and also to solve other garden issues. What are you waiting for? let’s get started and reap the benefits that await you.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “Diatomaceous Earth In The Garden”

  1. Haha, to cause the ants to pack up and ship out sounds amazing, haha. It would basically cure all of my struggles as far as the garden goes. But I absolutely love the other uses as well. 🙂

    I loved the notion that it delivers to rodents. I don’t have that problem yet but I imagine it’s probably just a matter of time before it can become one. I’m actually looking forward to having rodents now, haha. I mean, I would love to try how well this works. It does get me wondering since I’ve never actually held Diatomaceous Earth, does the odor of it is noticeable for humans, too? I mean, if I was to put it all around the garden, would it be something that would put people off as well?

    • No, only be careful not to inhale it because diatomaceous earth can irritate your nasal passage, it may also cause coughing, shortness of breathing if a lot of it is inhaled, irritation of eyes along with dry skin but don’t let that turn you off. As long as you follow the directions on the label you will be just fine. I  hope this helps.

  2. I have a lot of ants in my soil and wanted to know how to keep them away will the DE help with that too? I would anyway use it to keep away the snails and slugs. It is pretty nice to use something that would easily avoid something that you are trying to get rid of in the garden. This was pretty informational post for me.

  3. This Diatomaceous Earth sounds wonderful, just wondering if you can use it indoors it sounds like it might have a positive effect on your indoor potted plants,

    Opinions can be stinky but if anyone finds anything but positive opinions on this product just hasn’t had to deal with any of these unwanted pests.

    Thank You,

    Bill Wright  

    • Yes, remember this all-natural non-toxic so it can be used in the home to sprinkle around base boards, cracks, and crevices in the home, under the refrigerator, and sinks. Window sills, cabinets, stoves, and around the garbage container. DE will control roaches, ticks, fleas, ants, spiders, and termites. I hope this helps and all the best to you.


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