Monday, June 18, 2012

Franklin Community Garden: Diatomaceous earth

The word for the day is "Diatomaceous earth". This was one of the discussion points Saturday morning at the Community Garden as Chris Clay and Amy Acevedo shared their insights on healthy alternatives to pesticides.

What is causing these holes in the leaves?

Franklin, MA: Community Garden

Ah, this is the little culprit!

Franklin, MA: Community Garden

You can lift the leaves, pick off these guys one at a time, and crush them with some soil in your hand, or just pinch them hard with your fingers. To help control the number that get to the plants is where the diatomaceous earth comes in.

Franklin, MA: Community Garden

You can by it by the bag at Agway (for example). The bag should last for multiple seasons. Put some in an empty paramsen cheese container and shake it on the roots, along the bottom of the plant, and along the leaves. The particles will cut the bugs as they crawl up the plant.

Franklin, MA: Community Garden

It won't prevent every bug from getting to the plant but it should keep the overall population of bugs down to avoid too much damage to the plant that it would affect the produce.

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