Thank you to Julie, a D&B Garden Show listener for sending in a question about what to do after spraying her fruit trees.


Q: I sprayed my pear trees (1 Oriental pear, 1 Bartlett pear) for the first time this year for coddling moths. It worked great, beautiful pears, bumper crop. But now I’m worried about the residue from the spray on the pears. Should I rinse them in something special? I tried a soak in 10% white vinegar and 90% water. Is this enough? I want to be able to give away clean pears. Thanks for your help!

A: Great question!And how generous to share your fruit! On the label of the product you used, you will find a number in parentheses in the directions. This number indicates the number of days you need to wait between the last spray and your harvest date. For example (7). The manufacturer believes the food to be safe to use after that number of days.

Know that no washing method is 100% effective. It has been found that washing under plain running water for 60 seconds can remove up to 80% of pesticide residues. That’s running, not soaking. There are products you can purchase but sometimes those leave a residue of their own.

It’s nice to have blemish free produce but there are always those darn trade-offs. Deciding which is important to you is always tricky.

Happy gardening and thanks for the question!