Cornmeal w/diatomaceous earth?

berntAugust 8, 2014

I am planning on spreading some cornmeal on my SA lawn this weekend. The only reasonably priced cornmeal I can find here in Austin comes in 40 lb bags but contains diatomaceous earth. Has anyone ever used anything like this? I understand the purpose of diatomaceous earth (I don't need to address any fleas, ants or other pests) but my sense is this additive will make spreading the cornmeal much more challenging.


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What's the percentage of diatomaceous earth in the corn meal?

If it's just a tiny amount, I don't think it'll be a problem. If we're talking fifty-fifty, then it very well could be.

Also, if it's a high percentage, you're paying for the earth as much as the corn meal--and you may find that pure corn meal is more expensive, but you'll use less to hit the target amount of corn and it turns out to be a better value.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 12:41PM
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I appreciate the reply, morpheus.

The package only states "Cornmeal. Diatomaceous earth added." No percentages and no other ingredients listed.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find reasonably priced corn meal and my wife doesn't want cracked corn on the lawn because of the squirrels and other vermin we have. I might buy some more expensive cornmeal (without the DE) for this initial application and keep looking.

Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:44PM
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I might try it once if you already have the stuff and see how much DE there actually is in there. I mean, if it's not much I don't foresee any issues.

I don't like using DE when I don't have to because it's not very picky about which insects it kills or repels--and I want a lot of those insects hanging around the gardens and lawn. I plan to go fight four species of bee this evening just to deadhead the flowers... :-)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Bernt, where did you buy the corn meal? I ask because DE is a normal additive in grains intended for human consumption, but in such small quantities that it's not listed on the label.

I can see that cornmeal sold in a feed store would have a larger amount, and therefore labeled.

I don't really like the idea of broadcasting DE all over the lawn. Lots of harmless or beneficial arthropods in the soil. I remember seeing large (maybe 25#) of cornmeal at Sams and Costco, but didn't check the label for DE content.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 5:36PM
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The cornmeal I was considering is sold at an organic nursery. I'll have to go back to see if I missed a more detailed ingredients label but I don't think it lists percentages. That said, I think morpheus and rhizo have made me wary enough to keep looking for a product which doesn't include DE. Unfortunately, the Costco and Sam's in Austin do not carry corn meal.

I'll keep trying to find a feed store outside of town which carries this. Thanks for your suggestions!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Try Tractor Supply if you have them in your area.

Also, there may be a farmer's co-op around you that sells corn meal.

If you're not dead set on the meal, cracked corn flows easily through a (broadcast) spreader and performs the same functions.

It's a bit slower to decay and sometimes you get the rare (and amusing) corn plant growing in the gardens. They don't survive in the lawn as they can't tolerate being mowed repeatedly.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:50AM
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