Deep litter method w/ DE question

dsvabulas

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
33
0
32
Grafton MA
Does anyone know what DE adds to the garden? I'm using deep litter method and when I do empty the coop I've been putting the litter, which is loaded w/ DE, in the compost pile. I have a new garden plot with very poor soil and am considering putting the litter right into the garden. Is the DE an alkaline? Like lime or am I thinking that just because it looks like lime? Appreciate any input, Thank You!
 

dsvabulas

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
33
0
32
Grafton MA
Yes, I use the food grade DE also. I'm unsure what the composition of it is. I don't want to over-lime the garden, if it is in fact an alkaline, then I won't want to add lime to the garden in addition to the DE. That is the question.
 

linben

Songster
9 Years
Apr 5, 2010
315
1
121
Austin, TX
Since DE is dead diatoms the bodies have some calcium. That would make it alkaline. But a little is not going to change the PH that much. The other concern I have with it in the garden is it can kill good bugs and worms. I don't put in on my garden plants directly because I would have to accidentally kill any bees. I do use a little in my coop and put that into the compost to help dilute the the overall DE.
 

gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
430
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
My favorite feed store does carry food grade DE, but it's an exceptional feed store. They'll even open a big bag of it and break it up into smaller bags to sell.

The other local feed stores doen't even know what I'm talking about.
 

dsvabulas

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
33
0
32
Grafton MA
Thank you all. I had to do a lot of on-line research and got the info on a hydroponic gardening site. It is ph neutral but has lots of trace minerals. Helps with cell wall strength. So I don't have to worry about the garden getting out of whack. It doesn't kill earthworms, they are 'wet' so it becomes ineffective with them. I don't use it on top of leaves or flowers for the bee reason, but under the plant and on underside of leaves. It dries the chicken poop out really well and fast. I put it in the hens dust bathing areas for mite control,. Barely any smell in my coop. I travel 1 1/2 hrs to Horse and Buggy Feeds in Winchendon MA because it is $27 for 50Lbs. Unbelievably low price compared to everywhere else. Is there nothing DE can't do? I don't think it makes a good wormer because it's ineffective when wet. So just going down the hens throat would be 'the monkey wrench'. Hope this helps others as well.
 

Egg Crate

Chirping
9 Years
Oct 13, 2010
242
4
91
Ivoryton
If I may ask a question. I went to Agway today to pick up some DE. I asked for food-grade but they said they only carry one type. It was in their pesticide section and the label stated "may be harmful to domestic animals". I did not buy it. Where can one find food-grade DE in CT?
 

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