2-8mm Diatomaceous Earth
Agriculture & Home Gardens, Nurseries, Cat Litter
2-8mm DE used in Agriculture & Home Gardens
Most agronomists are not aware of the function of silica and in most soil and leaf tests, silica is not even tested. Silica has proven to be one of most essential inputs for crop production. Diminishing soil silica levels are believed to be responsible for the reduction in crop yield and crop strength in all developed countries around the world. Research has identified Silica is an essential soil additive and vital if we hope to improve crop production and bring crop yields back to what we want them to be.
Understanding the process of Nutrient Depletion
Nutrients leave the soil in two main ways. One is via the plant, the plant takes up the nutrient from the soil and is harvested, and when the plant is harvested the nutrient is also harvested. As the silica that was once available and present in the soil is now contained within the plant, we can understand why adding Silica is so important. (This process is the same for other nutrients).
The other is via leaching, which occurs when rain or irrigation water dissolves the nutrient and the water runs off the soils. This means that every time we harvest our crops, we remove more of the essential nutrients our plants require to remain healthy. The problem with Silica is that it has never been replaced because it was thought to be in abundant supplies. And because Silica deficiency is not obvious as say nitrogen deficiency, we have continued to ignore this vital element.
Silica carries all nutrients, and particularly Calcium, and makes it plant available. It is the single most effective input against rust and fungal issues by strengthening the overall plant. Artificial Nitrogen is the antagonist of silicon and tends to strip soils and plants of boron, silicon and calcium. Silica is the building block for phloem and xylem and immobilises excess sodium and increases the plant immunity.
Why has Silica not been identified earlier?
As Silica is an abundant mineral and found in all soils and plants early scientists believed that like oxygen it would remain present and plants are able to access it. But the truth is that Silica has been depleted just like all other minerals, while the symptoms were evident the cause was difficult to identify.
However, Russia and Japan have been using Silica for many years with Japanese rice farmers considering it an essential nutrient. Sugar farmers in Florida began using Silica fertilizer in 1994 and noticed immediate benefits (within the first year). Australian farmers are slowly adopting to using Silica as part of regular farming practice and are too noticing immediate benefits.
Resources about Diatomaceous Earth and silica.
Some of the below resources are conducted by Russian Scientist Dr Vladimir Matichenkov, a world-renowned scientist in Silica studies.
Silica - Natural Silicon fertiliser in Queensland - http://agronomyaustraliaproceedings.org/images/sampledata/2010/crop-production/soil-biology-nutrition/7055_matichenko.pdf
Silicon in banana plants: distribution and interaction with the disease fusarium wilt - http://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:344886
The beneficial effects of Silica application has shown to have a direct effect on crop productivity, improving soil fertility, increasing plant health and reducing water requirements resulting in improved resistance to disease, insect attack and drought. In addition to this Silica application will assist plant absorption of other applied fertilizers and soil nutrients resulting in reduced application of fertilizers (such as Phosphors) and chemicals.
Silica has a high content of plant available Silica and a range of desirable trace elements – overall you can expect noticeable improvement in plant health, increased farm income and a reduction in spending on crop inputs.
Adding Silica will:
Increase crop productivity
Improve soil fertility
Increase plant health
Reduce water requirements
Enhance other applied fertilizers efficiency
Stronger plant cells and structure
Improved resistance to disease and fungi
Improved resistance to insect attack
Increased drought tolerance and reduce irrigation requirements
Increased salt tolerance
Reduced chemical and fertilizer costs
Increased farm income
Silica can be applied just like any other soil conditioner using standard application equipment. Apply Silica as a side dressing, broadcast, during planting or whatever method suits your farming method. Silica is used in many industries including farming, landscape gardening, home gardening, golf courses, sports fields and many more.
Depending on soil test apply 500kg to max 1 Tonne (1000kg) per hectare per year
*High quality silica has a residual effect when used in soil and depending on the soil condition prior to first application its subsequent application rate will most likely be reduced.
Sprinkle liberally on the ground around trees.
Before planting – use 2-5kgs per 15 metre row
Mixing with soil – 250g to a 300mm x 300mm hole
CAUTION: Do not confuse natural silica or food-grade Diatomaceous Earth with crystalline silica which is commercially produced by exposing amorphous silica to extreme heat for use in swimming pool filtration systems. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous and must not be consumed by humans or animals, or used on gardens or agricultural crops.
2-8mm in Nurseries
DE can easily be added to the potting mix. Incorporating DE 2-8mm into the potting mix and it will help eliminate any fungal gnats during the growing cycle. Adding DE wil also help with moisture absorption, aeration and provides silica to the plant. By solubolizing the DE a small film will coat the roots which results in stronger root growth and less root damages. Diatomaceous earth can also be applied by sprinkling into each potting tray.
For best results:
Mix up to 20kg DE per m3 potting mix
2-8mm Kitty Litter
The smell of a damp litter box is probably one of the most unpleasant smells in the house but it can also host dangerous parasites and toxoplasma. One of the best ways is to use DE in the kitty box. DE is highly absorbent and keeps these odours under control and also protects the family from pathogens, parasites, insects or larvae that might infest the litter box.
After use, add to garden to maximise water retention.
CAUTION: Do not confuse natural silica or food-grade Diatomaceous Earth with crystalline silica which is commercially produced by exposing amorphous silica to extreme heat for use in swimming pool filtration systems. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous and must not be consumed by humans or animals, or used on gardens or agricultural crops. All care should be taken when applying DE Dust. The dust particles could irritate lungs and long term use if constantly inhaling could cause potential damage. Additionally protect skin as DE is particularly drying and may affect sensitive skins. Use standard protection as you would when using any insecticide, although DE is non toxic.