The neem tree has valuable natural properties related to health and as an organic pesticide. In India as you know this tree is common and can be seen growing on its own almost everywhere. For centuries people in that country have looked to the neem to provide relief from pain, fever, and infections. People also clean their teeth with neem twigs, apply neem-leaf juice to skin disorders, and drink neem juice as for health benefits.
We have a lovely shady neem tree at Jugnoo Farms whose shade in the hot summers is so welcome.
We have a neem growing in our backyard at home too. I took a picture of neem leaves for this blog. It shows some tender new leaves which when eaten do not taste so bitter yet have amazing health benefit.
Coming to the pests in young basil plant and even other herbs I recommend the application of NeemAzal®–T/S a natural pesticide
developed by Trifolio–M GmbH, Germany. NeemAzal®–T/S has shown excellent insecticidal properties against caterpillars, beetles, whiteflies, leaf hoppers, thrips & mites.
As I understand it acts in a very simple way – when applied at the rate of 1 ml per liter of water it makes the leaves quite bitter in taste to the pests. Who are unable to eat the plant and fall off due to starvation. Another advantage of neem based pesticides that it does leave any trace on the leaves as even a spray of water can wash it off. It is non toxic and pests do not build a resistance to neem pesticides.
I also apply a natural fertilizer Humicil (Made from humus) that is very effective. In the presence of Neemazal the plant uptake of Humicil is enhanced and the plants have a much better growth. I will write more on Humicil in my next post.
So please apply Neemazal regularly at least once a week even if there are no pests.