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Old September 6, 2012   #76
Diriel
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Tonio,

Dollar Tree stores has a brand of cat litter that is DE, 4.5lb bag for about a $1.
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Old September 6, 2012   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonio View Post
Haven't read the whole thread yet.

So its a course grain DE, has anyone compared it with Turface-which is calcined clay that looks like cat litter. Does DE(Ultrasorb form) have nutrient properties?
Tonio, there is a lot of things that you could experiment with. I've not tried Turface, I know it's absorbent, but doesn't hold as much water as DE and the Turface products are closer a PH of 6.

A mined mineral deposit like pure freshwater DE will have impurities including some nutrient cations, but it's probably negligible except for some micro-nutrients.

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Originally Posted by Diriel
Dollar Tree stores has a brand of cat litter that is DE, 4.5lb bag for about a $1.
The Dollar Tree Stores up here don't carry DE cat litter. It must be a regional thing.
If it's the Moltan product, I know that works just fine since it is the same as the Ultrasorb, just a larger granule size.
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Old September 6, 2012   #78
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Ahh I see, for me it is Blue Ribbon DE. Someone on here reported it, I assumed I would go down and NOT see the DE version. I was happy to find that our local store did infact have the DE version. Seems to be working good so far. Lucky me.

Also Napa Autoparts has a DE version of their Floor-Dry Part#8822, cost is currently reported online as $5.75 for 24quart size bag.
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Old September 6, 2012   #79
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Tonio, there is a lot of things that you could experiment with. I've not tried Turface, I know it's absorbent, but doesn't hold as much water as DE and the Turface products are closer a PH of 6.

A mined mineral deposit like pure freshwater DE will have impurities including some nutrient cations, but it's probably negligible except for some micro-nutrients.



The Dollar Tree Stores up here don't carry DE cat litter. It must be a regional thing.
If it's the Moltan product, I know that works just fine since it is the same as the Ultrasorb, just a larger granule size.
Ray,

Thanks for the info. Is there a PH reading on DE?

Actually I am testing turface MVP, and regular starting mix w/ broccoli, since red gave good reviews. 1 six pack each a few days ago, and I see them germinating already. More so in turface. Temps is about 80F during the day and low 70's at night. Watering methods are different, and seems to need more w/ turface.
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Old September 7, 2012   #80
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Quote:
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Ray,

Thanks for the info. Is there a PH reading on DE?
Yes, I noted when I started this thread that the PH of the water in the Moltan DE product was 6.8, Not all DE will be the same PH, depends on the mine it comes from.
I believe that's true of the different Turface products too since they are mined from different sources.

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Actually I am testing turface MVP, and regular starting mix w/ broccoli, since red gave good reviews. 1 six pack each a few days ago, and I see them germinating already. More so in turface. Temps is about 80F during the day and low 70's at night. Watering methods are different, and seems to need more w/ turface.
Cool, keep us posted on the comparison.
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Old September 7, 2012   #81
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Thanks Ray, read through the thread

Agree about differences of where the products is mined. I did notice from the pictures that the Ultrasorb is a finer grain than turface.

I'll see if they have any ultrasorb locally.
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Old September 7, 2012   #82
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I started a few small trays of lettuce seed in the Ultrasorb a couple of days ago and the germination is terrific. I bottom watered the DE and then put in a few seed and lightly sprinkled with the dry DE to cover and left it in the water tray til it was wet. I usually don't put any seed starting mix on top of lettuce seed because they germinate better with some light but the DE seems to allow in more light for germination.
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Old September 7, 2012   #83
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I was able to find DE at the local NAPA Auto Parts store in town and bought the 24 QT bag for $5.99. I don't know how much it actually weighs but it is way too much for me though, lol.

I want to try starting some seeds here for the winter garden, thinking the cole crops that it is way too hot for right now but the info on starting spinach has me pointing my ears. I can never seem to get the spinach to grow well so I am going to try seeds for it in the DE.

I do have a question about the DE though. Do I have to sift it? and if so, why? Just curious over here and like to understand what I am doing and why I should. Thanks for all the info on this thread.
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Old September 8, 2012   #84
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Good question about sifting. 24qts? Whats that about the size of normal 50lbs bags? You could use it as a gritty mx ingredient in pots no?

I sift turface, and rinse off the access powder and small grains. It creates alot of powder/dust.

hmm. I wonder how the smaller grains would be for starting seeds. but assume DE would be more pourous.

Last edited by Tonio; September 8, 2012 at 12:34 AM.
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Old September 8, 2012   #85
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May be hard to find a fine enough gauge screen ? Perhaps the bonsai type screen kits- could be costly.

I use regular aluminum insect screen used for" screen doors" , and is a perfect size for turface sifting.
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Old September 8, 2012   #86
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I would be tempted to "amend" the DE with some some select organics. I would go approximately 50-60% DE, then I would very selectively add in "organic materials". I also use a self watering -- bottom watering system. So far it *SEEMS* to be doing well, the test is in the early stage however.

Oh, the part number on that Napa is #8822 ask me how i know that hahah. Then again I also have a couple 4.5lb bags of the Blue Ribbon D.E. Kitty Litter from the local Dollar Tree store. Seems to be pretty much the same, functionally at least.

Gary
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Old September 8, 2012   #87
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Quote:
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Good question about sifting. 24qts? Whats that about the size of normal 50lbs bags? You could use it as a gritty mx ingredient in pots no?

Maybe 50lbs, I know I couldn't even begin to lift it so the nice guy at the counter carried it to my truck for me. I also gave him the lowdown on why I wanted it and he was surprised. I also told him about Earthboxes, we had quite a conversation in the auto parts store about gardening, he and his dad grow 50 acres of oats, what a hoot!


[/QUOTE]I sift turface, and rinse off the access powder and small grains. It creates alot of powder/dust.[/QUOTE]

I was reading on a couple of other gardening forums and people were noting that they sifted their DE and used the finer powder for bug prevention in the garden. I guess two great products in one bag.


[/QUOTE]hmm. I wonder how the smaller grains would be for starting seeds. but assume DE would be more pourous.[/QUOTE]

I wondered about the smaller grains and thought maybe they would be so small that they would be like cement instead of airy because of the big grains and maybe that is why some people are sifting it?

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Old September 8, 2012   #88
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Quote:
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May be hard to find a fine enough gauge screen ? Perhaps the bonsai type screen kits- could be costly.

I use regular aluminum insect screen used for" screen doors" , and is a perfect size for turface sifting.

Perfect, I have some old screens with frames as well as some new screen left over from a repair job so I think I am good to go in that department.
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Old September 8, 2012   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diriel View Post
I would be tempted to "amend" the DE with some some select organics. I would go approximately 50-60% DE, then I would very selectively add in "organic materials". I also use a self watering -- bottom watering system. So far it *SEEMS* to be doing well, the test is in the early stage however.

Oh, the part number on that Napa is #8822 ask me how i know that hahah. Then again I also have a couple 4.5lb bags of the Blue Ribbon D.E. Kitty Litter from the local Dollar Tree store. Seems to be pretty much the same, functionally at least.

Gary
Diriel, what organic material would you use to amend the DE with?

I purchased a seed starter kit that has a bottom tray for watering so I should be good there. I guess my thought was that the seeds could be started in the DE and when the seedlings get strong enough I can transplant them from the tray into a bigger container or just go direct into the Earthboxes.

Does this sound like a winner?
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Old September 8, 2012   #90
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I had a bag of Napa Floor Dry earlier in the year. It is a product of EP Minerals. I remember testing it for PH, it was more alkaline than the Moltan products, I believe it was more around 8.0, can't remember exactly, I didn't write it down. I didn't try it for seed starting but I did use it as an amendment in the garden.
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