Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Here is a recipe for Neem Garden Spray that I have just begun to use on my vegetables and other garden plants with great success!

Neem Oil Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree that is native to India. Its seeds, bark and leaves have been used extensively in Aryurvedic medicine for several thousands of years. Indians there call Neem 'the village pharmacy' and depend on its medicines for all types of skin problems, as an antimicrobial and and anti-inflammatory. Its tender shoots and flowers are also eaten as a vegetable. Neem oil, which is pressed from the olive-like seeds (see photo above), is a very effective bio-insecticide for garden plants. Neem doesn't actually kill chewing insects, but interferes with hormonal processes so the bug forgets to eat and/or reproduce. It does not affect pollinating insects, however, because they do not chew on plant leaves. You won't notice results right away, so do not think it is not effective. Be patient, as it takes about a week to see results. I can actually see my lettuces and Echinacea plants growing new leaves without big holes being chewed in them.

Neem Garden Insecticide
5 ml Neem Oil (about 1 teaspoon)

2 ml dish detergent (less than 1/2 teaspoon)-Castille soap is good. (Make sure it is not something that has been sitting around for over a year.) There is also a product called insecticidal soap, available at many green markets/retailers and hardware stores.
1 liter very warm water.

Fill trigger sprayer bottle with water.

Add dish detergent
Add Neem oil.

SHAKE WELL. It's also necessary to shake each time you use this product.
Spray vegetables, flowers, shrubs to alleviate chewing insect problems. For further information on Neem, log onto:

Happy Gardening!