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Using Neem Oil in Hydroponics

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A specific kind of natural oil called neem oil can be beneficial to hydroponic plants. A lot of the question is in how you apply this stuff. Neem oil is something that farmers use on soil-based plants as well. It's really a kind of natural pesticide. Or, more technically you can call it a pest control or repellant. It doesn't kill bugs, just moves away from certain plants.

Here are some steps to effectively using neem oil on your hydroponic plants.

Get the right stuff

The first step is to select quality neem oil products. You want pure and refined natural oils. You can also get some types of prepackaged products that are already inspected and designed for quality. Things like Einstein's oil, which is sold over the counter, can be an effective neem oil solution for plants.

Dilute the neem oil

It's also going to be necessary to dilute the neem oil unless you buy an already diluted product. Just a little bit of this stuff can go a long way, so read instructions carefully and measure out the parts per million that you're going to use to apply to plants.

Spray it on

The next step is to selectively spray the particular plants where aphids or white flies or other bugs may be likely to congregate and eat away at your crops. Some of the most common plants to apply the neem oil to are plants like kale, chard, lettuce, cabbage, spinach or other greens. Many of these leafy plants get attacked by certain pests that will chew through your plants pretty quickly -- but they don't like neem oil, and it may be enough to send them on their way.

Here's the most important part of the step -- don't apply neem oil to the reservoir.

Although in some cases, growers might be able to use a little bit of neem oil down below, in general, experts discourage beginners from trying to use neem oil in the reservoir. First of all, it's not going to be effective against bugs that would eat plants. Secondly, it really could kill or destroy plants or stunt their growth.

The best way to use neem oil is to get a spray bottle and fill it with a diluted neem oil solution. Then spray it on plant leaves and stems above the pots, and you can get some protection for bugs, as well as a neatly oiled look.

Add Nutrients

Since you're already spraying the plants, you could add some helpful nutrients into your neem oil solution. Contrary to popular belief, plants can take in nutrients through their leaves and stems, or through small glands called stomata located along the stem.

For more about everything involved in hydro gardens, keep reading our pages at Dealzer and get some of the best gear that you can use to start your garden the right way.

 
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