Food grade diatomaceous earth is often used in the garden as a natural pest control substance. However, many studies have also been conducted to analyze the effect that diatomaceous earth has as a soil amendment.
These studies have shown promising results, suggesting that diatomaceous earth may significantly enhance nutrient retention and moisture retention in soil.
Southern Cross University
A study conducted at Southern Cross University in Australia tested soils amended with fertilizer and various rates of diatomaceous earth, with the fertilizer acting as a control substance.
The study found that with the addition of DE, the nutrient level of the soil was significantly improved and the leaching of any fertilizer was greatly reduced. The results of this study suggest that the addition of DE to soil amended with fertilizer may allow for more efficient use of fertilizer and reduce the impact that fertilizer has on the environment through leaching.
As a result of this study, it was also discovered that food grade diatomaceous earth improved the retention of moisture in potting mix, soil and sandy soil by holding a greater bulk quantity of water and drying at a slower rate. As well, it has been shown that the addition of DE to soil can increase drought resistance when added to the sand of golf putting greens.
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