About Gardening: Natural Bug Repellent

by Mira Dessy

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Dear Mira,
I am a novice at gardening. I have begun gardening with a few bell pepper, tomato, strawberry, zuchini, potato, mint, and cilantro plants. The bell peppers and strawberries are beginning to produce. However, bugs are starting to arrive. I don't want to use chemicals if I can avoid them. Is there any home remedy way of protecting my plants from the bugs? If not, what is your next best suggestion?
Dawn from sunny FL

Dear Dawn,
I usually try to use soapy water to prevent bugs. I figure since I'm going to wash the dirt off the produce a little soap is okay. I have also whirred up marigold leaves in the soapy water. For really vigorous infestations, I must admit that I will occasionally use chemical intervention. I don't like to because I don't think it's that healthy for anyone involved, but feel that it is better than loosing an entire crop to bugs. Any readers have any other "natural" remedies?

If you have a question for Mira, send it to mdessy@together.net. She's able to answer many of them personally.

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