We're sure you've heard of neem oil, but what on earth is neem powder and neem cakes?
Okay, baby steps first!
You are probably aware of the significance Ayurveda places on neem, also known as Azadirachta indica. It's made a name for being the best organic pest controller, all thanks to this cool chemical called azadirachtin.
After neem oil has been extracted from the seeds and leaves, the solid leftover is compacted into neem cake. Whereas neem powder is simple a powder of dried leaves. Another kind of neem is neem manure, which is essentially khaad or manure made with neem waste mixed with other nutritious decomposing material.
Why do we use it? As you might already know, insects attack our plants from every direction. It’s generally easy to detect insect infestations on leaves and stems. But some insects, like nematodes, termites, and worms, are difficult to spot. This is because they hide under the soil. To keep our soil free from such insects, gardeners mix 20–30 gm of neem manure or neem cake into 1 kg of potting mix. Neem manure has insecticidal properties, which keeps the soil ecosystem clean and healthy for our plants. The nutrition that this manure adds to the soil is just the icing on the cake.