3 ways to use Neem Oil for healthy plants
If you are here, you love your patch of green - just like us!
You'll agree then that while gardening is enjoyable, therapeutic and very satisfying, it also calls for paying attention and taking the time to understand plants. And sometimes, despite our best efforts, when we find a plant infested by mealy bugs or aphids, we start a desperate search for a quick, easy solution.
So, here we are, to help with just that! Since 2006 when Daily Dump started, our work has shown us the many benefits of Neem for compost and soil. We now bring you the magic of Neem Oil with all its goodness for your garden.
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is the oil extracted from seeds of the Neem (Azadirachta indica) tree. It has several active ingredients like Azadirachtin, Nimbin, sialin, Picrin that make it a safe, organic and biodegradable pest repellent for the garden.
Why is Neem Oil preferred to other garden pesticides and insect repellents?
Safe : Neem oil is safe to use and is non-toxic for the environment, humans, pets and even the plants and soil itself.
Organic : it is a natural derivative of the Neem tree - which is native to India. The tree is commonly found across the country and if you can, do add one to your home or community garden too!
Biodegradable : Neem Oil is an organic compound and is biodegradable over time, with no side-effects to our soil, water or air.
What is Neem Oil beneficial for?
Because of the nature of its active ingredients, Neem Oil is a holistic pesticide. This means that it works at every stage of the insect life cycle.
- It is particularly effective against all the common garden pests like the soft-bodied, leaf-sucking and chewing insects. This includes Aphids, Mealybugs, Mites, Thrips, Scale flies and Whiteflies.
- It is also effective against nematodes (usually affecting tomato plants) and the Japanese Lawn beetles.
- Neem Oil also has anti-fungal properties that is effective against powdery mildew, preventing it from spreading to the tissue.
- Neem Oil encourages earthworm activity.
- Neem Oil also repels mosquitoes!
How to use Neem Oil for the garden?
Neem Oil in the garden is best used as both a pest repellent and to maintain good health of plants.
- Mix 1 cap of Daily Dump Neem Oil and 2 caps of soap solution with 750ml of water in a spray bottle.
- Use against pest infestation: Spray the solution to cover both the top and underside of affected leaves. Get the spray into all the little nooks to ensure that the plant surface is entirely covered with the solution. Repeat daily till infestation stops and the bugs are gone.
- Use as soil drench: To prevent root rot, pour the solution on to the soil around the plant to soak completely. Repeat after 2 weeks.
- Use to maintain good plant health: Once a month spray all plants in your garden with the Neem Oil solution. This will help to repel any pests and ensure good health.
How to get the most out of Neem Oil for your garden
- Spraying Neem Oil directly on plants is not recommended. Always dilute the oil before spraying.
- To ensure a well-mixed solution, use lukewarm water.
- Shake well before spraying.
- Once diluted, use the solution within 2 days.
- Always test the solution on a small part of the plant , observe for 24 hours before treating the whole plant.
- For best results, spray Neem Oil in indirect light or in the evening. This will protect the leaves from scorching and will also ensure that you do not repel beneficial insect pollinators during the day.
- If you are sensitive to strong smells, wear a dust mask and gloves when spraying. Neem oil has a distinct odour (often called a garlicky-peanut smell! This helps to deter unwanted insects and pests.
- Store the bottle in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Is Neem Oil safe for kitchen gardens?
Neem Oil is organic and non-toxic. It is safe to use it on vegetable and fruit plants, until harvest date. Lightly rinse the harvested fruits and vegetables before using.
Do I really need Neem Oil?
Neem Oil is a health tonic cum medicine for the garden. When you use it with homemade compost, you will never need to spend on expensive and toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilisers for your garden. By using Neem Oil, you contribute to a gentler, safer form of gardening that ensures biodiversity and good health for all.
Home composting is simple, easy and magical and needs just 1 square foot of floor space! If you haven’t started composting yet, we are here to help. Just ask us how!
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Stay Safe. Happy Composting & Gardening!
26 June 2021