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Diatomaceous Earth: Cautions When Using DE with Plants and Grass


If you are planning on using food grade diatomaceous earth in your yard, garden and especially on your lawn it is important to be aware of both the positive and negative effects that it may have.

It has been suggested that diatomaceous earth is effective for use in enriching soil and increasing the soil’s ability to hold water. Due to this ability, many people use DE on their lawns and in their gardens. This should not hurt the lawn or your plants however it may have negative results if any of this vegetation is sensitive to changes in pH. Food Grade Diatomaceous earth products such as Red Lake Earth have a pH of approximately 6. If your soil has a different pH and you add DE to it the resulting pH level will be different. It is therefore important to know whether or not your plants and lawn will be sensitive to this change. In many cases there will be no negative effects however it is best to check your plants’ tolerance before applying diatomaceous earth.

Another common use for DE is in the garden. Many individuals claim that the product works very well as a natural insecticide and use diatomaceous earth both on and around their plants. In most cases this works well in defending the plants against all types of pests however it is important to note that DE may harm valuable insects as well. Honeybees, for example, may come in contact with the diatomaceous earth when landing to pollinate flowers. This could potentially be dangerous to the bees. Therefore it is important that you apply the diatomaceous earth only to areas on or around the plants where contact with useful insects will not occur.

Click here for more information on diatomaceous earth: Your Questions About Diatomaceous Earth Answered

Image by nan palmero

2 responses

  1. Shawn

    Thanks, I’m glad I found your website. I didn’t know the cons and will take that in thought when using it on my flowers.

    March 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    • I’m glad you have found this information helpful! While we have never heard any instances of negative effects of Red Lake Earth on plants, grass, or beneficial insects such as bees, it is always good to be aware of this information. Here is another article from our blog that you might find interesting: Diatomaceous Earth and Bees

      March 2, 2012 at 4:23 pm

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