Neem oil

northspruce(z3a MB CDA)July 6, 2013

So further to our lily beetle discussions, I got my gallon of neem oil in the mail and sprayed my lilies. It smells like sort of weird gross food but it's not a chemical smell that makes you think of poison.

The deal with neem in Canada is that it's not approved by Ag Canada as an pesticide so it can't be sold as a pesticide. You'll find it on websites such as Canadian Tire and Home Depot but it will probably say its not available in your area. However, it is quite safe and allowed to be sold as a cosmetic oil. I bought mine from a soap making supplier.

I'm attaching a link below explaining what it does. It was a little disappointing that the beetle larvae didn't drop dead, but it's nice to know its not harmful to bees or other beneficial insects. It only affects sucking and chewing insects.

Here is a link that might be useful: Neem fact sheet

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I used neem oil on my cabbage plants last year. It was a bit of work having to spray them often but had great success with it. I'm planning on using it again on my cabbage and might spray my sunflowers with it to help decrease the grasshopper population.

I found it at a local greenhouse being sold as a leaf shine aid, and it cost be a pretty penny but its the concentrate so it'll last a long time.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 11:21PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Another good thing to note is that it doesn't take much. Apparently the presence of the oil disrupts the insects' processes, and even a trace amount works. I bought such a big jug I'm thinking of putting it in bottles and selling it at cost to my garden club if anyone needs it.

That's interesting about the labeling as cosmetic, TD. I don't have insect problems in my vegetables since I stopped growing kale (flea beetles), but I'll try it on aphids next time I see them.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 12:17AM
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donaldvancouver(cool wet z8)

I find Neem quite effective against powdery mildew, if you spray early and often. I also mix it with a bit of rubbing alcohol and it's the only thing in the world effective against the scale on my indoor figs. You do get used to the nutty-garlic smell.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 9:09PM
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