uses for bark / DE / granite dust?

greentoe357July 15, 2013

When all the gritty mix ingredients are screened through insect screen, what do you do with each of the three kinds of dust?

I've seen recommendations to use bark dust where peat would be used. Is it because bark is somehow better - or is it because it's already there? Peat is pretty cheap where I am, so if it's even a little better, I'd skip the bark.

I've also seen advice to roll seeds in DE/Turface dust before planting, so that moisture is retained close to them and so they germinate easier.

Any other gardening- or not related uses of these dusts? I only have indoor space.

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

you can amend you flower beds with the dust.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 1:12PM
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nathanam

I'm not sure if this will be helpful or not since you only have indoor space but...

I've read about DE being used as a mechanical pesticide because the edges of the particles can cut through exoskeletons of insects. There are several threads on this throughout the forum (just do a quick search typing in 'diatomaceous earth'). Most look like they just put it in the soil. There are also a couple threads on the forum about using it as flea treatment for pets. But where I originally heard of it was here where the rinsings containing the dust were actually sprayed on plants to kill aphids, in this case.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but the particle size for the 5:1:1 mix is dust to 3/8." So I think you could use the dust from your 1:1:1 gritty mix in the 5:1:1 mix if you use that in other container plants.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 11:29AM
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greentoe357

I am afraid if I use bark dust in the 511 mix, the mix will be too water-retentive because of the particles being too small. Although peat moss is not bigger, so maybe not.

Meanwhile, I've played around with calcined DE (Napa Floor-Dry) fine particles that fell through 1/16 screen. It is VERY water-retentive. I moistened it a bit in a bowl, and it's been DAYS that it's been damp, even though I regularly mix it, so the dry top layer is mixed in with the wet inner layers. Does anybody use DE/turface particles under 1/16?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 12:01AM
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