Neem: In the garden
What is neem?
Neem (Azadirachta Indica) is a tall, evergreen tree belonging to the Meliaceae family, a cousin of Mahogany. This fast-growing tree is native to India, where the bark, leaf and seed have all been utilized by its communities for thousands of years.
Neem trees stood in the middle of a village and were often referred to as the ‘village pharmacy’, based on its many different uses to humans, animals and environment. Other names such as ‘nature’s gift to mankind’, ‘the tree for many occasion’, ‘the wonder tree’ and ‘free/noble tree of India’ have also been used to describe Neem and affirm its wide range of uses.
The therapeutic properties of Neem saw it widely used as a traditional Ayurvedic herb where is was used to help with various skin disorders, ulcerations, gastrointestinal issues, mouth and gum disease, diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Neem was also helpful in helping to deter and eradicate pests from the household, food storage, animals and local crops.
Keeping pets and farm animals healthy, providing nutrients and helping to deter and eradicate ticks, fleas, worms and bacteria.
Active compounds in neem
Over the past 20 years, more than 200 scientific studies have been published on the medicinal and environmental uses of Neem. Some of these research articles were dedicated to identifying the active compounds within different parts of the Neem tree that are responsible for its beneficial actions. Now more than 100 unique bio-active constituents have been identified within the seed oil, Azadirachtin is one of the key phyto-chemicals found in the seed oil and is responsible for majority of the effects against insects. Other compounds include nimbin, nimbinin and nimbidin, all of which have been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions.
Uses in the garden
Along with the long-standing use as a medicinal aid for various skin conditions and complaints, Neem also has many uses in agricultural practices and home gardening as a sustainable, non-toxic method of pest control.
Much safer for humans, animals and beneficial insects (such as bees) than current chemical pesticides, Neem is able to effectively control many problematic garden organisms via mechanisms that inhibit growth, reproduction and feeding.
It is an effective repellent against insects such as:
- Spider Mites
As well as being highly effective against fungi species, Neem can help improve cases of rust, sooty mould, black spot and root rot.
Neem is also a great soil conditioner, helping to supply organic and inorganic compounds to the soil which in turn improves quality and quantity of crops. It’s addition to garden soil will also help to slow the degradation of nitrogen.
Directions for use:
Shake the Bottle well. Add 5 to 15 ml of Neem Oil Insecticide to 1 litre of water and mix well.
Native Neem Organic Neem Oil Insecticide should be applied on a 7 to 14-day schedule until the potential for disease development is no longer present.
Disease already present:
Apply Native Neem Organic Neem Oil Insecticide on a 7-day schedule until disease pressure is eliminated. Then continue spraying on a 14-day schedule to prevent any reoccurrence.
As a preventative:
Against rust leaf spot disease, anthracnose and scab, being application at the first sign of spring budding.
Against powdery mildew, apply mid-summer or when disease is first detected. Continue application until problem is resolved.