Neem meal

A southern orchardist recommended ‘neem’ cake, the residual meal left over from pressing oil from seed as an organic systemic for borer.

She applied crumbled up cake to soil around her peach trees.

Now I’ve read that the oil is not supposed to affect bees. But I wonder.

Neem meal discourages some pests by odor. In field trials by UC researchers it was found not to be effective in southern CA. Bees will ignore it. It is not a toxin.

Neem meal is a useful source of Nitrogen for organic gardeners. Typical NPK analysis is 6-1-2. It is cost effective in comparison to other choices and does not have the GMO stigma of Cottonseed Meal or the livestock drug stigma of blood meal.

I like the NPK breakdown of neem seed meal, as it’s pretty close to the mythical citrus sweet spot of 5-2-1 right out of the box. Was hoping to trial it sometime, but for some reason I never see it in garden shops here locally.

The Dyna-Gro factory near Richmond will ship it to you.

Yep, amazon has it, free shipping over $35, etc.

About how far are you from Richmond CA anyway?

5.5 hour drive.

I use neem oil for the same thing. I just paint on raw neem with a paintbrush, no dilution. This is the first spring in five years without a major borer showing so I think neem is not the friend of Mr. Borer. I would not be surprised if neem cake worked well given my positive results with neem oil.

I also am using raw neem oil painted on my sprinklers to keep the ants from climbing into them and building nests (no idea why they are so into that). I expect it would also work as a barrier for ants in place of tanglefoot, to keep them from moving aphids about.