A bountiful harvest is what every organic vegetable grower wants. But this one gardener who also happens to be a 9-time Guinness record holder has been growing humongous vegetables from his garden.

As big as his harvests are, they are also tasty and nutritious! Watch as he shares the secret to his gardening success, and no, it isn’t the sun!

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Diatomaceous earth may just be the answer to your garden pest woes. DE is an organic pesticide that poses no harm to your plants, to wildlife, to pets, children or you.

How many times have you woken to find your best looking plants from the previous day now riddled with holes as if someone decided to use it for target practice? Holes in leaves will reduce the plant’s ability to photosynthesize, stunting its growth and becoming more attractive to other pests and diseases.
With this type of damage that happens overnight, the only culprits are slugs and snails! These infernal pests come out at night and undercover of the dark, they feast on anything that is grown in a vegetable garden.

In that moment of deranged panic as you imagine what would happen to your poor vegetables if this infestation continues, you might forget you are growing an organic garden and rush to buy a bottle of chemical pesticide. Well for sure, chemical pesticides can annihilate any pest that is eating away your crops but these can also kill off beneficial insects as well as fish, birds, dogs, cats, wildlife and can be toxic to you and your family too.

So keep calm and consider using natural ways to control these pests. Slugs and snails can be controlled with:

  • Beer – put some beer in a saucer and put the saucer near your vegetables pushing it into the soil so that the rim is level with the ground. Snails and slugs simply can’t resist beer and will head to it instead of the plants.
  • Coffee grounds – sprinkle around plants or border your plants with spent coffee grounds.
  • Sand, lime, or ashes – you can use these as protective borders around plants.
  • Salt – snails and slugs don’t like getting sprinkled with salt.
  • Clear garden of plant debris – it will help control the slug and snail population in your garden if you regularly remove leaf litter. This will deprive them places to hide.

If these methods don’t work, then you may resort to using Diatomaceous earth or DE.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?
DE is an organic product created from the fossilized remains of diatoms which are a kind of hard-shelled algae. The diatoms are used as food by freshwater and marine animals. When diatoms die, their remains settle on the bottom of lakes or ocean floor and become fossilized. These are then mined to be milled and sold as various grades of diatomaceous earth for agricultural and industrial use.

As Pest Control

DE as a pest control is effective on any insect or pest with an exoskeleton including:

  • snails
  • slugs
  • cabbage root flies
  • aphids
  • cockroaches
  • gnats
  • fleas
  • sawflies
  • coddling moths
  • flea beetles
  • scorpions
  • earwigs
  • twig borers
  • silverfish
  • ants
  • bedbugs
  • mites
  • and a lot more

How Diatomaceous Earth Kills Garden Pests

In appearance, DE is like a fine talcum powder but to insects, the particles are razor sharp that can cut through their exoskeleton. The laceration to the shell of insects exposes their inner soft tissue to the air dehydrating them in a day or two.

If the insect or pest eats DE, then the organic pesticide will shred their insides. DE is lethal to pests but not to fish, mammals and birds.

Using Diatomaceous Earth

Use food grade DE only, not the industrial grade which is used on pools. Industrial grade DE is poisonous to you, your pets, and other mammals but won’t kill insects.

Use it only when the weather is dry or when dry weather is predicted for 72 hours with low humidity. DE is 80% silica so it absorbs moisture easily making it cake up, reducing its effectiveness.

To apply this organic pesticide, sprinkle on the underside of affected leaves, around the plants’ base and on the ground surrounding the plants. You will notice a decrease in snail and slug attacks to your plants in just a day or two.

Diatomaceous earth is environmentally safe but since it kills all insects with exoskeleton, it means that even beneficial insects that feed on the destructive ones will also be killed. Use DE sparingly and with care. You don’t want to upset the balance of your garden’s ecosystem.


Without doubt, compost and compost tea are beneficial to your vegetables. However, aside from your crops, other plants also love compost tea.

Watch video below:

Wow, that’s a lot of green! And it only shows how compost tea really works.

Can you think of ways to utilize the rich soil around the beds? Share your ideas on the comments below.

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Snails and slugs are among the most troublesome of garden pests. They feed on most garden plants: flowers, artichokes, tomatoes and strawberries as well as decaying plant matter.

If you’re tired of seeing holes in your plants’ leaves and flowers, try this snail and slug control using beer traps.

Aside from beer traps, you can also use coffee grounds to repel snails and slugs. That’s if you’re a coffee drinker and not a beer fan. Coffee grounds are excellent for compost too: Coffee Ground Compost

Learn more about gardening organically in our Fresh Organic Gardening Guide.


Coffee grounds are very good for the soil and a perfect medium for plants to grow in. Worms are attracted to them so you can also use them in vermiposting situations if you want.

Coffee grounds are often said to be acidic but most of the acidity is removed in the brewing process, so used grounds are essentially neutral. Any residual acidity will be buffered when composted with other materials.

There are many sources of coffee grounds including coffee shops that give away their spent grounds.

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