One of my (many) excuses for not getting my bulbs into the ground right away was that I had seen my un-favorite critter around a lot, Dr. Destructo the evil squirrel. Last year, he (or one of his buddies/relatives) systematically dug up and either made off with or at least gnawed upon and discarded pretty much every one of my bulbs. I had meant to research humane yet effective anti-pest methods but of course didn’t think of it again until the new bulbs were purchased and ready to be planted, and I didn’t want to let another year’s plantings go to waste if I could help it.
In a previous post, I implored my fellow gardeners to share their squirrel stories and suggest any useful remedies. Several, including fellow Seattelites the Shibaguyz, proposed chili pepper spray to keep the pesky varmints at bay. Lucky for me, a quick perusal of a few helpful gardening blogs produced several recipes for delightfully dastardly yet all-natural brews that I could make at home from stuff I already had lying around. I adapted this one from Green Gardenista.
Didn’t have any hot peppers handy, so I cobbled together a rather unusual array of ingredients and got the water boiling.
Apologies to Rick Bayless, I do love your salsas and hot sauces but some of these had gotten lost at the back of the fridge and may be a little past their prime. You don’t need any more publicity anyway, now that everyone knows that the new President and First Lady love going to your restaurants in Chicago…
So, I chopped up the onion, tossed it into the water, dumped in some hot sauce, salsa, and red pepper flakes. OK, it has to be said: “Boil, boil, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.” I definitely felt very witchy doing this! Sorry, no eye of newt.
Boiled it for 20 minutes as the recipe called for, then strained the bits out, very steamy kitchen at that point:
Then came the part that I must have skimmed over: “let cool.” Oops, poured it in too soon and semi-melted the spray bottle:
It’s deformed but it still works. Duh! Probably released all sorts of evil chemicals that way, sorry bulbs. I ended up with kind of a lot. It’s supposed to be applied every five days – not sure I’m up for that amount of effort or even how long it will keep before it gets too nasty. Might have to try it a few times and then hope for the best. To be continued…