If there is one concoction that has helped in our battle against pests in the garden and flowerbeds, it is homemade hot pepper spray! It can simply work wonders when it comes to keeping rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and yes, even deer at bay.
Sometimes, even the cutest of animals can become a nuisance. Those cute bunnies playing in the yard also love to nibble on tender young bean plants in the garden. And the tiny chipmunks might look adorable running along the fence – until they start digging up newly transplanted flowers!
Short of fencing off and covering every square inch of your property, it can be difficult to keep pests at bay. And for us, that is where hot peppers, and hot pepper spray really helps the cause.
We have used hot peppers for years to help protect our gardens and flowerbeds. Each year, we plant the hottest of our hot peppers on the outer rows of the garden as a barrier.
We also mix in a planting of ornamental hot peppers in our flowerbeds. Not only do they provide incredible color to the landscape, they also help protect plants around them.
As crazy as it sounds, simply planting the hot pepper plants really does keep most damage at bay. Almost every single year, we will see small nibbles at first on the hot pepper plants and peppers, and then suddenly, nothing. See : Growing Ornamental and Hot Peppers In The Landscape.
But occasionally, a group of pests seem intent on wanting to destroy a new planting. Most recently, it was a few choice rabbits helping themselves to the foliage of week-old bean plants.
And that called for a little added protection with our homemade hot pepper spray!
It is so simple and inexpensive to make, and works wonders in repelling pests when applied to the foliage of plants in the garden and landscape.
Homemade Hot Pepper Spray Recipe
This recipe is for a single gallon of mix. To make more or less, you can simply adjust the ingredients to the same ratio of peppers.
1 gallon of water
10 hot peppers chopped finely.
(We use whatever hot peppers we might have on hand. Cayenne and our Chinese 5 Color Ornamental are two of our favorites, but Jalapeno, Ghost, and other hot peppers will work)
* 4 to 5 Tablespoons of hot pepper flakes (If not using fresh) Crushed Hot Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Add the peppers and water into a pan and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Heating the liquid helps to release and infuse the oils from the hot peppers.
Let the mixture sit for about 24 hours. Strain the peppers out, and add in the teaspoon of olive oil. This will help the mixture stick to the plants when sprayed. You can also use a few drops of mild dish detergent, but we prefer to keep it natural with olive oil.
Applying The Mixture
Place the mixture into a small pump sprayer and apply to the foliage of plants. We use a small hand-held sprayer with good success. It is best to apply in the early morning or late evening when the sun is not beating down on the plants. Product Links : Chapin Hand Held Pump Sprayer
Re-apply every 3 to 5 days to keep plants protected. Re-apply after rain or watering as well to keep the foliage coated with the hot taste of the pepper spray.
Remember to use gloves when working with both the hot peppers and hot pepper spray. It will burn if you get it in your eyes – so spray with caution. If using on vegetables that will be picked within a day or two,be sure to rinse off any of the hot pepper residue before consuming.
The best part of homemade hot pepper spray is the cost. If you grow your own peppers, you can of course make it for free. But even if you have to purchase a few peppers at the farmers market, or a little ground cayenne at the store, you can make it for pennies on the dollar.
Here’s to adding a little spice to your landscape – and keeping pests at bay! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary. To receive our 3 Home, Garden, Recipe and Simple Life articles each week, sign up below for our free email list. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. This article may contain affiliate links.