Will Neem Oil work to protect melons from the cucumber beetle without harming the pollinators?
Last year I lost a large percentage of my muskmelons to what I think was bacterial wilt spread by the cucumber beetle. So far this year, I’ve kept the plants under fabric to protect them, but they will be flowering soon and I’m to trying to hand pollinate.
Do you think Neem Oil will be a good solution? (and not kill the bees)
My only pesticide in veggie garden is neem oil. It works on a lot of things. I spray it after dark so the bees are safe. But I think one thing it doesn’t work on is bacterial wilt. It slows it down a lot. Last year my cucumbers did much better than in the past because I used neem oil every other week and squished cucumber beetles whenever I saw them. This slowed down the spreading of BW a lot . But eventually it caught up and I lost my cucumber plants to it. Maybe because I loose interest in keeping up with bugs towards august and don’t stick to spray schedule as I do in the beginning of gardening season.
if you were careful not to spray the blossoms it would work and also works on preventing fungus/ mold but i don’t know about bacterial wilt. if you control the beetles tho. id think that would stop the spread of the wilt. spray once a week for best protection. i add a organic soap with peppermint oil. helps the neem stick and bugs don’t like the smell of it. like Susu said crush the beetles when you see them. good luck!
It does, but I’m not sure how much. Cold pressed 100% Neem Oil is the most potent. I use it, but the white fly population on my tomatoes doesn’t seem to mind :-/ I don’t spray as good as I should though, missing most of the undersides of the leaves where they like to hide.
Neem is not as much an insecticide as it is an ‘anti-feedant’. Natural materials in this category either disguise the scent of the plant or make it distasteful or irritating to the insect. Other materials in this category are cayenne, tobacco, garlic and other aromatics like peppermint, eucalyptus, etc. Their best method of application is to use regularly throughout the plant’s life, i.e. before an insect infestation.
People who have adopted the position that the natural things don’t work often have arrived on the scene of an infestation with an anti-feedant. It will help to shoo them away but the damage remains and the weakened plant becomes even more of an attractant.