Neem (Azadirachta indica) is a tree that belongs to the Meliaceae (Mahogany) family. Originated from southern and southeastern Asia neem is presently worldwide distributed. Neem is a fast-growing tree and can reach 25 meters in height. The leaves can reach up to 40 cm long with a flexible midrib carrying 20-30 leaflets each measuring 3-8cm and attached to the midrib by a short stalk. The flowers are grouped giving green olive-shaped fruits that turn yellow when ripe.
Neem action on plant pest and diseases
Neem extracts are used in agriculture for pests and disease management and to supply nutrients to plants. In addition, neem is safe for farmers can be used during the entire crop cycle, environmentally safe, and compatible with the different IPM strategies.
Neem compounds act as systemic and as contact poisons for pests:
Disturb eggs laying
Disturb insects effects
Inhibit roots invasion by nematodes
Inhibit bacteria and fungi growth
How to prepare neem-based pesticides
Collect 1 kg of green leaves detached from the midrib in a bucket and add 5 liters of water
Pound the leaves in a mortar and soak overnight or 12 hrs
Collect the leaves and squeeze out the liquid.
Strain the liquid through a kitchen sieve or muslin cloth to remove leaf pieces.
Add about 20 g of soap into a small amount of water until dissolved.
Note You can use the liquid from the leaves for up to one week after preparation; but it is best to store it in a cool, dark place.
Collect green neem leaves and dry them away from direct sunlight (Preferably in a house)
Store the leaves in a container which allows plenty of air around the leaves
Put 250 g of dried neem leaves in a strong bowl or bucket
Add 5 liters of water
Let the leaves soak overnight or 12 hrs
Pound the leaves in a mortar and soak again overnight or 12 hrs
Squeeze out the liquid, strain using a kitchen sieve or muslin cloth into a sprayer
Add about 20 g soap into a small amount of water until dissolved and pour into the sprayer with the liquid from the leaves.
Select ripe fruits which are yellow and fallen under the tree
Let the fruits dry in the sun for 3-4 days until they turn brown
Pound the fruits in a mortar to remove the seeds without breaking them
Winnow to separate the shells from the seeds. Throw away any light-colored seeds
keep the darker ones
Pounds the seeds in the wooden bowl to crush them into a fine powder
Use 250 g (5 handfuls) of powder to 5 liters water, and mix well
Soak the mixture for 24 hours
Strain the liquid using the kitchen sieve or muslin cloth into a sprayer
Add about 20 g soap into a small amount of water until dissolved and pour into the sprayer with the liquid from the seeds.
If using a knapsack sprayer, keep the nozzle about 50 cm about the crop and spray over 250 m2 Keep the sieve and muslin used only for making neem spray.
Do not use for food.
You can use the leaves and seeds after pounding. Spread them around the crop to repel insects and also as manure.
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