Hi,

My husband and I have planted our first garden in our near 17 years of marriage. It is composed of vegetables and herbs. It is relaxing to water the plants, almost meditative in a way.

I have noticed, though, that there are critters biting at some of the leaves. Some leaves have bites at the edges of the leaves, others have bites in the inside (center) part of the leaves.

Does anyone know of a natural way to remedy this? The critters are sneaky little fellows, because I have never seen them, and believe me, I've been on the look-out.

Thanks for reading and any advice is appreciated.

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Sometimes it matters what is being bitten. You don't mention the size of the bites. I am assuming it's insects. There are different methods but I have used very dilute solution of dish soap and water when desperate. I know there are posts about this on the wall, maybe the posters will be able to help.

Demeter Here in the States we have lots of tiny bugs which put small holes in the middle of the leaves but you never see them. Our slugs get very big. as much as three inches and things looked chewed rather rather than small holes, The dish soap makes things taste bad to almost everything and you can wash it off well before consumption. Only you have to repeat after rain, obviously.The edge biters may be slugs though but they don't like the dish soap either. I certainly don't like tasting it myself LOL.

My husband and I haven't seen any slugs (not to say that there aren't any), but if I can convince my husband to part with some beer, I may try the beer in a jar in the ground option. Haven't seen any caterpillars, either. In fact, I haven't seen any critters.

I'm wondering if you have to reapply the dish soap after the rain, if it would also apply to after you water the leaves? My husband doesn't just water the ground, he waters the leaves, too.

I guess it depends on how heavy the watering is. I water the ground only to conserve water since the plants mostly absorb through the roots but if they get a good hosing you might have to "touch up" the application.

How about marigolds?  Lots of pesty plant eaters don't like them, they grow well and self-sow.  Even domestic animals steer clear of the smell of these flowers.  Yarrow is also good to deter rabbits and deer.  

Another great suggestion! I'll check around to see if I can find some marigolds. Thank you!

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