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Diatomaceous earth from the pool filter into the compost bin?  RSS feed

 
Ernest Kestone
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Does anybody know if it's okay to add it to the compost bin?
Hopefully it contributes calcium and tracel minerals into the compost? But, will it kill the beneficial bugs in there? I don't want it to kill beetles and earthworms and whatever is in there. There's several pounds of it, wet and full of algae every time I clean out the pool filter.

If any of you know, I would appreciate your response. Thank you.
 
Marco Banks
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I don't clean my own filter any more, but back when I did, I would do it on the lawn, and it never seemed to adversely effect anything. Its so fine -- I don't think it would hurt much in your compost.

Now we've got a salt-water pool, so I'm a bit more careful about the salt on things. (As if splashing chlorine around was any good). I love how much better the salt system is --- easy on your eyes and the kid's swimming suits, etc., but I wonder about the long-term effects of salty pool water tracking around and that salt accumulating and washing off the concrete into the plants beside the pool over the years. We shall see. Hopefully, the fungal network will take care of it.

So if I had a chlorine pool, I'd wash out the filter over the compost pile. Give it a shot -- see what happens. But not for a salt-water pool. I wouldn't want that salt accumulating in my compost.
 
Steve Smyth
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On the outside chance that you are trying to encourage worms in your compost I would be cautious.

DE is used as an organic "insecticide". Plants are top dressed with DE and the diatoms have very sharp edges and cut soil dwelling insects to shreds.
 
Ernest Kestone
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Thank you. I realized after I posted, I should ask the manufacturer. We'll see what they say, assuming they know. It is a naturally occurring mineral, but it then has some processing done to it.
 
Rick English
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Food grade and pool filter grade DE are two completely different animals. I would NOT use pool grade in my compost or even yard, because it is some seriously nasty stuff. Here is an article that describes the differences better than I ever could:
http://www.absorbentproductsltd.com/food-grade-diatomaceous-earth-vs-pool-grade.html

Sorry I didn't see this thread earlier...
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Ernest Kestone wrote:Does anybody know if it's okay to add it to the compost bin?
Hopefully it contributes calcium and tracel minerals into the compost? But, will it kill the beneficial bugs in there? I don't want it to kill beetles and earthworms and whatever is in there. There's several pounds of it, wet and full of algae every time I clean out the pool filter.

If any of you know, I would appreciate your response. Thank you.


Since this is "pool DE" it will not affect your beneficial bugs the way food grade DE will.

Pool filter DE is very large particles, Food Grade DE is very fine particles, the difference is huge, many people confuse the two since they are both diatomaceous earth.
I've used Pool DE in worm bins with out any issues. I would never use food grade in the same way (I use food grade as a wormer for my hogs, ad to kill ant hills that won't move to areas I let them live).

The Permie adage for this, as it is with all other items, is "when in doubt, Leave it out".
 
Marco Banks
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:

The Permie adage for this, as it is with all other items, is "when in doubt, Leave it out".


I thought the adage was, "When in doubt, plant a comfrey plant next to it, side-dress it with compost, observe for 9 hours from a hammock, and then consider urinating near it to see if that makes it perk up."

Your phrase is snappier. I like yours better. But hey . . . it's tough to beat comfrey, compost and a douse of nitrogen filled urine.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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My adage is for additions not plantings, I love comfrey but I would not want it in my compost heap while I'm trying to get the heap to heat and rot.

I use comfrey for, chop and drop, healing wounds, innards health and as a companion planting, ground cover.
I have plans to add comfrey to our hog pastures once I harvest some whole for the transplanting.

Clovers are really good if you don't have comfrey, they do a lot of the same things.
 
No prison can hold Chairface Chippendale. And on a totally different topic ... my stuff:
Video of all the permaculture design course and appropriate technology course (about 177 hours)
https://permies.com/wiki/65386/paul-wheaton/digital-market/Video-PDC-ATC-hours-HD
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