How to Make an Organic Fruit Tree Spray
Rather than depending on harsh chemicals, make an organic fruit tree spray with soap and neem oil to kill pests. The soap kills insects by removing the protective barrier on the insect's skin. Neem oil is a natural insecticide that disrupts the neurological system of insects, yet is safe for humans. The spray can be used on any type of fruit tree.
Combine 12 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 oz. neem oil and 1 oz. liquid Castile soap in a large cooking pot.
Place the cooking pot on a stove. Heat the organic fruit spray mixture over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
Remove the lid from a spray bottle. Place a funnel in the opening and fill the bottle 3/4 full with the organic fruit spray. Replace the lid on the spray bottle and shake to mix.
Remove the lid from a 1 gallon jug. Place a funnel in the opening of the jug. Pour the remainder of the organic fruit spray mixture into the jug. Replace the lid and store the jug in a cool place, out of direct sunlight. Shake the jug to mix the ingredients before refilling the spray bottle.
Apply the spray directly to the foliage of your fruit trees, as needed.
Make Organic Fruit Tree Spray
Put 1 pound of oil-based soap, 1 gallon of mineral or horticultural oil and one-half gallon of water into a saucepan. Fill a pump sprayer or a hose-end sprayer with the mixture. Thoroughly spray the dormant tree trunk and branches so that all insects present on the tree are covered. Put 1 gallon of tepid water into a bucket. Store the mixture in a stoppered, glass container. Label the container and keep it where children cannot get into it. Mix in 1 pound of fresh hydrated lime. Leave standing for two hours then pour into a glass container with a stopper. Shake the copper sulfate solution. Stir the water constantly as you add 1 quart of the copper sulfate mixture. Fill your sprayer with the mixture and spray the tree thoroughly, covering branches and trunk. Shake the sprayer as you spray to prevent clogging.
Both liquid Castile soap and neem oil can be purchased at most health food stores.
Do not use the fruit spray in the presence of honey bees, or near a body of water that contains fish; neem oil is toxic to both bees and fish.
- Both liquid Castile soap and neem oil can be purchased at most health food stores.
- Do not use the fruit spray in the presence of honey bees, or near a body of water that contains fish; neem oil is toxic to both bees and fish.
- 12 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 oz. neem oil
- 1 oz. liquid castile soap
- Large cooking pot
- 1 gallon container with lid
- Spray bottle
- Economic Botany Volume 40, Number 2; Potential of the Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) for Pest Control and Rural Development; April, 1986
- Integrated University of California Cooperative Extension - Pest Management for the Home Environment
- Garden Views: Oil to Foil These Bad Guys
- Marin Master Gardener: Garden Good Guys - Dormant Spraying
- UC IPM Online: Applying Dormant or Delayed-Dormant Treatments
- Grow Organic.com: Dormant Spraying for Fruit & Nut Trees