Adventures in Gardening: Eliminate harmful garden pests with homemade neem Spray

Posted by on June 27, 2013 at 9:28 am.

I forgot to post the recipe I use for my Neem garden spray. I use my spray in the early morning or after 6:00 p.m. by that time most of the beneficial insects have stopped foraging and I don’t have to worry about dousing them with my spray. It’s a natural way to gradually remove unwanted pests from your garden.

 

All Natural Neem Spray

2 tbsp Neem Oil
2 tbsp liquid/grated castille soap
2 gallons of water

Fruit bearing Neem tree

Neem Tree bearing fruit

How to Blend Neem

Neem is extremely hydrophobic (very hard to mix with water). You could use a high powered blender, but I’ve found that the neem/water blend will eventually separate. You need to kick it up a notch.

Off topic, but I do mix my water based essential oil blends in my Vitamix before adding to a spray bottle.

You’ll need some chemical assistance, and that’s where using real soap (not detergent) is effective. I use homemade castille soap, however if you aren’t interested in making your own, you can purchase it online or at health food stores.
Real soap works by breaking up oily masses and polarizing the droplets so they don’t cling together. Which makes it perfect for this formula. Another benefit to soap is that the fatty acids found within soap tear away the insects natural coating. This causes them to dehydrate.

 

How does Neem oil work?

Neem oil doesn’t kill garden pests outright. The insect has to eat the plant treated with neem. After it’s consumed the plant material then the properties found within neem starts to take effect.

Neem works through hormonal disruption. If you do one treatment you won’t see results, it takes time for the insect to stop laying eggs and for their digestive system to break down. It is not a broad spectrum poison, however it is extremely effective. I apply my neem solution every four days for a total of six applications. Afterwards I will drop down to once every seven days or after it rains.

Dyna-Grow Neem Oil

The brand of neem oil that I use is Dyna-Grow, I like it a lot and have been using this brand for seven years.

My sprayer of choice, it my recently purchased Stanley Lawn & Garden sprayer. I wrote about my Stanley sprayer a few weeks ago. It’s made of steel. I love it, before I’d been using my trusty plastic sprayer that held one gallon. We have about an acre of garden, spraying all the plants takes one or (sometimes two) refills.

 

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