Doing Battle with Critters

New Weapons on Trial

New Weapons on Trial

I’m not proud of large sections of this years garden, with one major reason: The plants are being eaten alive. There is no way a plant can grow well if ground hogs and deer are constantly munching on them like some sort of under priced dinner. I thought my new guard dog would help greatly, and she has deterred damage to my lettuce, but she alone can’t protect everything.

To answer this new challenge I’ll be showcasing some of my attempts to battle these critters using any methods I can muster. I’ll start with a concoction of boiled garlic and cayenne peppers, continue through hanging pie pans all through the garden, and I hope to have motion sensors turn on lights to really scare these animals. I’ll share whatever I can learn, so lets begin with my first attempt to deter them from eating the food by making it taste Awful !

This recipe is one I’ve discussed with a co-worker, with a twist. Chad suggested boiling garlic, then straining off the garlic chunks as a spray to deter flea beetles. I figured that if garlic will deter bugs, then surely cayenne peppers would deter everything else.

I boiled a few small chunks of garlic with lots of water and nearly half a bottle of cayenne peppers. It can be quite potent to stir, so I added a small amount of olive oil so none of the chunks would stick to the bottom. After ruining my appetite for garlic for weeks to come, I strained out the chunks and added the now milky colored water to a half gallon of untreated water.

I then did something else I’m not too proud of, but it may just help. I left the gallon of garlic water sit on my kitchen counter for nearly a week as I was too busy to try it out. Last night I decided it was time to use the hot spray, so I took a whiff of the contents of the jug. It had become worse then I imagined, with a combination of garlic, hot pepper and rotten veggie smell producing a stench I’ve never encountered before.

This should really do the trick I thought, as I added half of the gallon jug to my sprayer. I then filled the rest of the sprayer up with tap water dilute it a bit. I sprayed everything from the beans through the peppers and onto the zucchini. While spraying, I noticed how bad the grazers had been treating my beans, as they were all nibbled down to 6 inches tall.

I’m pretty sure this spray will work, as I rubbed my eyes after taking a shower, and my eyes became irritated from the hot peppers residue that made it through the rinse cycle….. This must surely be some potent stuff !


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