Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Garden Log. Mar 19 2007.

More accurately, continued from Sunday (Mar 17).

- Pruned Meyer lemon to 3 main branches, more upright. It has new gropwth on each branch tip. It has been outside for 3 days, but brought in tonight due to expected chill.

- Sprayed neem oil (again) on peaches, roses, meyer lemon, strawberries. Neem oil has been my fungicide / insecticide of choice for 3 years. On the roses, it stops black spot and mildew. Same on the grapes. I am not sure if it helps with peach leaf curl, but it seems to reduce the number of affected leaves. It is marketed as not only nontoxic, but actually used in botanical products for arthritis, cold sores, and other topical applications on skin. There is a nice article on neem oil in Wikipedia. Neem oil, sprayed on leaves of roses and strawberreis, also imparts a nice shine to the leaves. My main concern is that I may have overdone it, mixing it up 4 tablespoons per gallon and I sprayed twice. I should have shown more restraint. It rained today, so the oil portion on the surface may be washed off, but maybe some of the Azadirachtin already had a benefit (azadarachtin being at least one of the active agents - again, as explained in wikipedia, azadarachtin is an antifeedant (I suppose that means reduces feeding activity) and growth disruptor for many insects. This site states that neem should be sprayed on a 7-14 day schedule as a preventive (that would make some $$$ to the folks who sell it, but then again, better going to them than to toxic chemical manufacturers). http://www.biconet.com/botanicals/70NeemOil.htmlstates that it has been used to treat head lice, but does not harm bees, butterfles, or earthworms.

-Lilies are coming up. Asiatic lilies are 2 inches tall, nice stout stems.

- Ornamental alliums are 6 inches tall.

- Lilac leaves are about the size of a squirrels ear (I guess).

- I also sprayed the anigozanthos with neem oil. I'm frustrated that the one from Lowes has inky black leaf disease.

-It's supposed to be cold tonight. I brought the Meyer lemon, anigozanthos, and most of the geraniums back inside.

2 comments:

  1. I've been meaning to try Neem Oil. Does it work well?

    Happy Spring.

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  2. I like using neem oil, and it does seem to help with fungal diseases (black spot, mildew, rust) and infestations of mites and aphids.

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