Neem oil for strawberries is a great way of keeping insects and bugs away from destroying and infecting plants. Neem oil is a naturally available slippery insecticide and pesticide that works very well against many different sorts of plants-disease, insects, and bugs.
Strawberry plants are thus prone to bugs and insect attacks like that of spider mites or Japanese beetles because of their sweet taste and vibrant color with attracts them which is why is it best that you take good precautionary measures for keeping them healthy.
In this article, we will talk about how you can best use neem oil for strawberry plants so let us get into it.
What Is the Best Way to Use Neem Oil for Strawberry Plants?
The best way to use neem for strawberry plants is picking the type of oil you would like to work with, and mixing the solution, and inspecting the plant. Then, you should perform a patch test, and ensure to protect yourself and spray the plant, then apply the right aftercare.
1. Pick the Oil You Would Work With
The first step in the process is arranging the neem oil spray that will be sprayed on the plants to remove the insects and their infection or used as a preventative measure where needed.
The neem oil has a slippery nature and insecticidal properties which is why when it is sprayed on the insects they lose their grip on the plant and fall away and secondly, are affected by the insecticidal properties of the neem oil.
So whatever neem oil solution you arrange, make sure that it has that slippery nature and also a bitter smell that is the evidence of the presence of neem oil. This is a way that you would ensure that you are using the right type of oil that is fresh and not expired if you are going with fresh and pure neem oil.
The strawberry plants grow in a cold and airy climate and have over 20 different species. Surprisingly enough, strawberry plants belong to the rose family and have been around for a long time on this planet.
If the strawberry plant is exposed to wet and moist soil for a long time, it can become prone to many different bacterial, fungal, and algal disease in addition to attacks from insects and bugs.
2. Mix The Solution
You can buy a neem oil spray from any plant shop or online because they are available everywhere and with various chemicals added that offer additional powers to the spray. In case, you want to spray the neem oil plants with edible fruits or vegetables on them, it is best to use the neem oil that has the least amount of chemicals and preservatives in it.
Additionally, you can also choose to make your own neem oil spray at home. You can do this by getting a gallon of water with two to three tablespoons of neem oil and a kitchen-safe dishwashing liquid in a container. The reason you need the liquid soap is that it will help in the process of homogenizing the oil properly.
Mix all of these ingredients together until a solution is formed. You can use this homemade solution like you would use the store-bought one, but this solution might not have a long shelf-life as the other one because it is devoid of any and all preservatives.
3. Inspect the Plant
The second step in the process is to inspect the strawberry plant to access what needs to be done. If there is any sort of infection, or do you just need the oil to work as a preventative measure against the foreseeable insects or bugs?
You will get to know about these things when you analyze the health of the plant and its surrounding. Some bugs and insects only attack at a certain time of the year so if your plant is prone to such insects, make sure you enforce a preventative measure in the garden.
Before going into a much deeper cleanse of the insect, if the invasion is small or has just started, you should hose the insects with plain water a medium pressure. The water will remove the insects and you can manually remove them from around your plants.
Keep in mind that this will only work when the insects are very small in number. In the case that the number of insects is much larger, follow the further steps to get rid of them, for keeping your plants healthy and thriving.
The main difference between raw neem oil and neem oil spray is that of manufacturing. Raw neem oil is just the pure extracted form of the oil whereas the spray contains more than one ingredient that may enhance the shelf-life and the action of the neem oil.
You can make neem oil spray at home as well if you feel like you want to limit the chemical uptake of the plants. However, both will work just fine when it comes to keeping your strawberry plants out of harm’s way and away from infectious insects.
4. Perform a Patch Test
Choose a dry and sunny day for spraying the plants, as this will help the neem oil work better. Start by spraying the plants from the top then make your way down to the roots of the plant. After carefully and generously spraying the plants with neem oil, leave the plants be for some time.
Neem oil is a natural oil that has the power of a pesticide and insecticide, all packed into one powerful oil and extracted from the neem seeds and tree. Hence, the oil is quite strong and has a powerful impact on the leaves of the plant.
The natural antimicrobial chemical compound found in neem oil is called azadirachtin and is very potent against very wide and diverse varieties of insects and bugs that may harm your plants or pets. Neem oil is thus a very effective and easily available remedy and the best thing about it is that it is non-toxic to humans, making it safe to use.
You should perform a patch test in the right way so that you would be cautious of how you are spraying and the consistency of the oil with the leaves. After you have diluted the oil with the water, you can go ahead to test and try on a single leaf, and check after 24 hours if it has harmed the leaf in any way, leaving it burnt. If so, you should dilute it further, and if it is fine, then you may go ahead and spray the rest of th plant.
5. Protect Yourself
The following step in the process is to spray the plant with the solution of neem oil, either homemade or store-bought. The first thing that you will need to remember here is that protective gear is of utmost importance.
This will ensure that your plants are not getting sprayed on by any chemicals that prove to be toxic later on. If you are using such a spray, make sure to wash your sprayed-on fruits or vegetables very nicely before consuming them.
It will save you from getting any bugs or insects on your clothes and later on to your skin, so it is best to be protected, so that you wouldn’t risk your skin into having allergies. Wear eye goggles, gardening gloves, overalls, a face mask if sprays are involved, and gardening boots if you plan on going inside the garden with taller plants.
6. Spray The Plant
For spraying, the container should have a nozzle with adjustable hole sizes because this will make the spraying much easier and non-tiring. You will also be able to use the spray more widely and with consistency throughout the plant, and as you do so, you should be able to cover all the sides of the plant thoroughly and gently.
However, on this you should know that it is of not utmost importance that you wipe down the plants after spraying the neem oil on them, but it can be helpful in some instances. If you have sprayed more than you should have, a wipe-down will help the plant, and you should make sure that you wouldn’t repeat the process too many times.
Before applying any product to the plant, make sure to wipe it down so that all the dust is removed, which may restrict the oil from getting onto the actual surface of the plant, and this is why being cautious of the matter is necessary. You can also wipe down the oil if you feel like the strawberries may absorb the taste of the neem oil, and you wouldn’t want to spoil it.
Neem oil has a very strong taste and smell. If it is left on the strawberries for too long or you have applied more than one coat consistently, the smell and the taste will seep into the strawberry fruit itself. This will change the taste of the fruit and consequently ruin a lot of strawberries for you.
If you see that the neem oil is working well and your insects and bugs are gone, you may go ahead and wipe down the oil or use lightly pressured water to remove the oil if your plant allows it.
7. Apply Aftercare
The last step in the process is to apply the aftercare which will include making a schedule of reapplication of neem oil and also fixing protective and preventative guards that will help in safeguarding the plants from future invasions and infestations. Ensure that after use, you store the neem oil in a cool and dry place so it does not go bad.
The strawberry plants have quicker harvesting times compared to some of the other plants, so you will need to ensure that the dead insects are removed and the soil is not drenched in neem oil. You can also ensure that the neem oil is scheduled to be sprayed more than once for maximum results.
This will significantly help your strawberry harvest and will be great for the nearby plants as well.
Only when the neem oil is used in large quantities can it make the strawberries bitter. Over-usage of neem oil spray can definitely ruin not only your strawberries but the plant itself and the soil in which the plant is being grown. So it is best to use it in an appropriate amount.
Ideally, you use neem oil spray in an appropriate amount only and only when it is of utmost importance because a porous fruit like strawberries can easily absorb the taste and smell of neem oil.
In this article, we talked about the simplest way of using neem oil for strawberry plants but in case you missed anything, here is a short conclusion of the important points in the article:
- The best way to use neem for strawberry plants is by first arranging the neem oil, inspecting the strawberry plant, spraying the plant, and finally applying aftercare and preventive measures.
- The natural antimicrobial chemical compound found in neem oil is called azadirachtin and is very potent against vast and diverse varieties of insects and bugs.
- Make sure that you store the neem oil intelligently after using it. The strawberry plants should be sprayed with neem oil at least twice or more a week for best results.
- Too much neem oil on strawberry plants may ruin your soil and make it unsuitable for their growth.
Here we come to the end of the article: how to use neem oil for strawberry plants. We hope that this was an informative and helpful article for you to read and now you can effectively use neem oil for your strawberries.
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