The Q&A Archives: Diatomaceous Earth

Question: I have 4 large bags of diatomaceous earth, about 100 lbs. Can I use this to amend the soil in any way? Garden size is about 1500 sq ft. Can I put too much in?

Answer: Diatomaceous earth is generally used on the soil surface as an insecticide rather than as a soil amendment. When dusted on the soil surface it deters snails and slugs. When mixed into a slurry with water it can be "painted" on tree trunks to repel ants and adult borers. I'd save it to use against pests. You can amend your garden soil with compost, leaf mold, or aged-manure to improve the tilth.

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