Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

New to growing your own tomatoes? This is the forum to learn the successful techniques used by seasoned tomato growers. Questions are welcome, too.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old April 14, 2019   #826
Greatgardens
Tomatovillian™
 
Greatgardens's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 1,101
Default

I've tried DE with fairly fine particle size from an auto parts store. (Think sizing similar to coarse sand.) Does OK, but I have one issue with it. Keeping it damp, the particles seem to "weld" themselves to each other after awhile. I don't get any better results than with Burpee's (coir) seed starting mix that is topped with about a 1/4" of vermiculite. Has anyone else noticed the DE particles sticking to each other?
Greatgardens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 11, 2021   #827
T0mat0stevek
Tomatovillian™
 
T0mat0stevek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 39
Default

Has anyone started leeks in DE? If yes, what were your results?
Thanks, Steve
T0mat0stevek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4, 2021   #828
RayR
Tomatovillian™
 
RayR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 2,463
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by T0mat0stevek View Post
Has anyone started leeks in DE? If yes, what were your results?
Thanks, Steve
I've started onions and leeks in DE, it worked well.
The only seeds that may not perform as well are those that don't tolerate the naturally higher PH of the DE as well as the seedlings grows, but I haven't run into any that won't germinate in DE.
At the least I pre-sprout all larger seeds or those that can at least be handled by hand or tweezers (Tomato, Pepper, Eggplant, Lettuce, Brassicas etc..) on a bed of moist DE, much like you would use the paper towel method.

In the last number of years, I've learned to create my own seed starting mix of primarily the large granule Optisorb DE with Coco Coir and Worm Castings. That involves acidifying the DE with regular white vinegar, flushing it thoroughly with fresh water, then combining it with the organic ingredients and letting it sit and cook for a few days to stabilize the PH to around 6.50 more or less. Having a good PH meter is important for this so you can check the results. All my tomato seedlings will be raised this way until the potting up stage. I've already got lettuce and endive transplants ready to transplant now grown in the mix.
RayR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4, 2021   #829
T0mat0stevek
Tomatovillian™
 
T0mat0stevek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 39
Default

This year I started my leeks, onions, and tomatoes in 100% DE with great success.
T0mat0stevek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 8, 2021   #830
paradajky
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: Coastal Southern CA
Posts: 127
Default

Three questions for laughs:
1. Does calcined DE exist any more for the retail customer
2. Is it important to use calcined in this application given the short time seedlings are kept in it before up-potting
3. Why does it seem that seedlings have better performance in DE vs. something like Turface (or other calcined clays)

I went down the rabbit hole a couple years ago into the 1-1-1 gritty mix, and one option included subbing DE in the mix for turface and/or perlite. What I learned was the products listed 5-10 years ago have all changed, and it doesn't seem like we necessarily get the same things you all used to get then vs. now.

Here's some of what I learned. "100% natural" DE found in the automotive absorbent products was not calcined, and therefore, would breakdown into mush sooner. Calcined means baked at high temps (i.e. a kiln), which improves the longevity and absorption of the product.

Before EP minerals acquired Moltan, products such as Napa #8822, Floor-Dry, and ultrasorb were calcined. Unfortunately, it seems like all of them now are no longer as such. You can confirm this by looking at the packaging and SDS sheets for the various products - if it says "100% natural", or ingredients/SDS exclude "calcined" or use the word "natural", then this is the regular DE. Napa actually includes two SDS sheets, one is calcined, other is natural. I think that's to make up for any old stock left out there. Autozone uses the the old Moltan sds from 2007, which simply lists it as diatomaceous earth.

EP Minerals' description on their website lists Floor-Dry as being baked in a kiln, which complicates things but their other *sorb products are natural.

Somehow I suspect this isn't a problem for seedlings from a longevity standpoint, however, this may be why there are differences in pH and different levels of success people here have with the method.

I have a bunch of screened turface in my garage that I'd like to find a use for, and was considering using it to start next season's seedlings vs. purchasing yet another product to take up space in my garage like DE :p

Thanks for your time!
paradajky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #831
DK2021
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Coastal CT, zone 7a
Posts: 112
Default

Working my way through this very long thread and decided to jump to the end to ask if anyone has used this specific product: EP Minerals "Floor Dry"


https://www.grainger.com/product/EP-...sorbent-191W88


The tech sheet (link on above page) states that the pH is 6.5. I had seen a few earlier posts mentioning pH being too high but this is slightly acidic so I think (?) it could work for seed starting.


Any advise would be welcome. I usually just use commercial germinating medium for starting seed. Would love to try a DE medium if it reduces damping off/fungus but I also don't want to waste precious seed.



BTW Grainger lists 3 DE-based sorbents (not counting one that is "scented"):
https://www.grainger.com/category/sa...&filters=attrs
DK2021 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #832
KarenO
Tomatovillian™
 
KarenO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 5,766
Default

I have never really understood the concept of planting seeds in this personally.

KarenO
KarenO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #833
kurt
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Homestead,Everglades City Fl.
Posts: 2,427
Default DE as a insect killer.

https://buglord.com/how-to-use-diato...-to-kill-bugs/
__________________
KURT
kurt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #834
DK2021
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Coastal CT, zone 7a
Posts: 112
Default

I've used DE as an insecticide but that is a totally different form--it's very fine powder, almost fluffy, and you use it as a dust.
The DE that I'm asking about is granular. I'm curious about trying it out as it may help with reducing damping off and/or algal growth.
DK2021 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #835
biscuitridge
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: washington
Posts: 408
Default

I use it for grafting medium, it works very well, but would never use it to start plants in.
biscuitridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #836
DK2021
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Coastal CT, zone 7a
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitridge View Post
I use it for grafting medium, it works very well, but would never use it to start plants in.
Why not? I would like to try it out, but if there are real negatives to DE for germination I'd like to hear about them.
DK2021 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #837
T0mat0stevek
Tomatovillian™
 
T0mat0stevek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 39
Default

In 836 posts almost all the negatives are from people who haven't tried it. For the past four years I have started all my tomato seeds in DE. All my onion seeds last year. All very successful.
T0mat0stevek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #838
biscuitridge
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: washington
Posts: 408
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DK2021 View Post
Why not? I would like to try it out, but if there are real negatives to DE for germination I'd like to hear about them.
It's more about seedling growth than germination, since there is no nutritional value in DE you have to supply everything that is needed for a healthy plant, also when you go to transplant them into the garden there can be issues with root disturbances. I find it works good for grafting because in the healing chamber it's very humid and you can have more problems with fungi,diseases etc.with soil but with DE you mitigate those issues to a great extent, I can usually get about 95 to 100% success using DE but not so with soil.
biscuitridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #839
biscuitridge
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: washington
Posts: 408
Default

And since I'm growing for world records I can't have anything to be detrimental at any phase of growth.
biscuitridge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8, 2022   #840
DK2021
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Coastal CT, zone 7a
Posts: 112
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitridge View Post
It's more about seedling growth than germination, since there is no nutritional value in DE you have to supply everything that is needed for a healthy plant, also when you go to transplant them into the garden there can be issues with root disturbances. I find it works good for grafting because in the healing chamber it's very humid and you can have more problems with fungi,diseases etc.with soil but with DE you mitigate those issues to a great extent, I can usually get about 95 to 100% success using DE but not so with soil.
Yes I would plan to have to feed the seedlings of course, which I would do regardless of the medium composition.
DK2021 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:18 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2022 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★