Yesterday, on our way back from grocery shopping, we stopped at an Ayurvedic doctor’s office to pick up some beeswax and neem oil (Hindi) / kohomba oil (Sinhala).
Sounds strange to a westerner to go to an Ayurvedic doctor to pick up those things, but Fahim tells me that to get a decent quality of beeswax, the Ayurvedic is the only place to go. They use it for their medicines, you see, so it’s pure. Pure as in it has only a few bug bits in it, so I’ll still have to melt it and strain it, but yes, it has a very nice colour and smell, not at all smoky like local honey tends to be.
The beeswax I want for lip balms. Can’t use lipstick – too waxy. Need a moisturizer for the lips, and a lip balm does the job very nicely. And since I don’t do petroleum by-products, this is the way for me to go.
And the neem oil – that, apparently, can be gotten anywhere and everywhere here, but since the Ayurvedic doctor had it, it meant one less trip.
The neem oil is for the papaya mealy bug infestation we’ve got going. Nasty infestation. I had no idea how bad it was until I went outside and started inspecting every plant and spraying those that weren’t too badly done in.
The lime tree is moderately infested. I’ll have to prune a bit, but mostly, I think it can be saved. Unfortunately, the level of pruning I’ll have to do will likely wind up putting back its production of limes. Because the lime tree is at the cusp of bearing fruit – finally old enough to get started. It even put out one flower and one tiny little fruit about a half year ago. Until the tiny little fruit fell off. Which, I’m told, is common enough in the beginning of a lime tree’s fruiting life.
The jasmine bush in the front, however, is not so lucky, nor is the bush with the starburstey red flowers. Both had to be pruned to within an inch of their lives. The infestation was nasty with papaya mealy bugs covering the back of every leaf along with stems. Nasty nasty nasty.
And all the branches I pruned? They’ll have to be burned to destroy the papaya mealy bug to help prevent it from spreading even further. But they have to dry out first, so to prevent the mealy bugs from wandering off, I also sprayed the pruned branches with neem oil. It seems the prudent thing to do.
Meanwhile, I took off about half the foliage from the lime tree. I’m now scratched and bleeding and need to remember to put gloves on the shopping list.
I think I’ll take a break now…
And if you’re interested, I got my recipe for my neem oil pest spray from a site called Discover Neem. Useful information there, including an explanation on how neem works. Not your usual instantaneously dead pest spray, but effective nonetheless without the harmful side effects, and better still, neem can be used on eating plants up to the day the plant is harvested. Major bonus as far as I’m concerned.