One benefit of growing your cannabis is knowing what goes into your plant. Although, Massachusetts forbids dispensaries using insecticides when growing cannabis there are ways dispensaries can circumvent this regulation. Silly enough, Massachusetts list the names of prohibited pesticides the state tests for when inspecting cannabis. This means that there are a large number of commonly used insecticides that will fail to show on state inspections. Given the history of making money and people’s greed, it is only a matter of time that a dispensary in Massachusetts will try to use a prohibited insecticide
Azadirachtin is a natural insecticide found in the Neem tree. The Reader may already be familiar using a neem oil/dish soap solution as a foliar spray to control for insects. Producers of Neem oil, press the plant to extract the oil. However, not all the active ingredient in neem is isolated. Neem cake is a product leftover from the pressing of neem for oil. Neem cake has approximately one third to half the strength of Azadirachtin in it compared to neem oil. Neem cake elicits a defense through many anti-insect, and anti-fungal agents contained in the cake resulting in a systemic resistance against evasive insects and problems such as powdery mildew.
Neem cake has a wide variety uses for the organic grower. Neem has an estimated NPK value of 6-1-2. Additionally, the cake is full of micro-nutrients as well as trace elements, growth hormones, and Vitamin C.
A gardener can either use the cake as a soil amendment, top dressing or tea. One popular method for neem cake is a tea mixture including kelp and silica. Kelp is full of beneficial macro and micronutrients. Also, silica has insecticide properties as well as it strengthens the plant structure.
5 gallons of reverse osmosis water
- ½ cup of neem cake/meal
- ¼ cup of kelp meal
- 1 tsp of silica
For a small 1-gallon mixture
- 2 tbsp of neem cake/meal
- 1 tbsp of neem cake
- ¼ tsp or 1 mL of silica
Mix in a bucket of water and bubble for 24 to 48 hours. Feed it to the plants for routine pest management.
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