Neem Tree – (Azadirachta indica)
This week the slugs moved into the lettuce patch and the cabbage moths began nibbling all the tender leaves of new shoots! I remembered reading neem powder (the ground up leaves of a Neem tree) can be used as a natural pesticide. I decided to give it a try.
I took a small pot filled with water and added a tablespoon of neem powder. I brought it to a boil and then let it sit over-night to cool and infuse.
The next morning I put it into a spray bottle and added a small shot of dish soap and salad oil and then gave it a shake to mix it all together. The oil and dish soap help the solution stick to the leaves.
Early enough to catch the slugs on the leaves I began spraying not knowing what to expect. I must have blinked as the slug disappeared from the leaf I was spraying. I couldn’t believe it. I located it on the ground and sprayed around it again. When I looked a second later it was gone. For me, this is the first solution that has been visibly effective for slugs!
My hope is that it is as effective for the cabbage flies! I remember reading that they don’t like the smell of neem therefore won’t be attracted to the plants. This is also true for fly’s, mosquitoes and fleas! I wonder it would work for deer? They hate strong scents as well!
- Neem Powder – 1 teaspoon
- Water – 4 cups
- Dish-soap – teaspoon
- Oil – teaspoon to tablespoon
Bring water and neem to a boil and let sit to infuse overnight. Pour into a spray bottle and add dish-soap and oil. Shake well. It’s ready to use!
No new bites the following day however on the lettuce in the garden the cheeky slugs did find the leaves that I missed! Will have to be more careful in the future. Also the yellow dock that I let grow for salad greens are now being eaten. I have not seen this in previous years! I am happy they are going for the weeds.