[Market-farming] Diatomaceous Earth and Moisture

Allan Balliett allan.balliett at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 05:44:58 EDT 2011


Thanks for this information, Shawnee. -Allan

On Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 6:56 PM, Shawnee Flowerfarmer <
farmingflowers at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  This season, I've been using a diatomaceous earth for crawling insects
> (OMRI approved) to control all the cucurbit creeps.  (I have used a food
> grade DE in the past also...cheaper from the feed store but not OMRI
> approved brand))  I'd rather not use it but the vine borers have been
> awful.  I've kept the base and new growth dusted since transplanting at the
> end of May.  About 10% losses so far-I can live with that.  I am hand
> dusting a relatively small patch (1/4 acre) after every rain or heavy
> dew....could be tricky for a commercial size.  It has been very humid here
> also, but I'm only reapplying when rain causes the white powder to
> "disappear".  Observed the vine borer moth unable or reluctant to lay eggs
> on the dusted stems.  Have had some squash bugs and lots of eggs, but
> minimal damage. DE has also helped with Flea beetles on eggplant which I
> usually never have this late.
>
> Shawnee, zone 5
>
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011 06:28:26 -0400
> From: allan.balliett at gmail.com
> To: market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [Market-farming] Diatomaceous Earth and Moisture
>
> Hi!
>
> I'm having the worst outbreak of squash bugs I've ever had (or heard of,
> really)
>
> In the 100+ weather with very high humidity, I've hesitated to use row
> covers over late plantings of cukes and squash.
>
> I've lost several of these plantings to hordes of squash bugs who suck the
> juices out of seedlings as soon as they emerge.
>
> I just read that a table spoon of diatomaceous earth around the seed hole
> will deal with squash bugs (or diatomaceous earth scattered around the base
> of mature plants, especially on plastic mulch)
>
> I've never really understood if diatomaceous earth can operate if it gets
> wet, which it would here in the high humidity.
>
> After being convinced that it was useless when damp, I learned about the
> sprays that actually contain DE, so I have to assume I'm wrong about this
> assumption.
>
> But I'd like to hear about your experiences with DE in the field and,
> maybe, with squash bugs, before my next planting.
>
> A planting is a terrible thing to waste
>
> Thanks
>
> -Allan in WV
>
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