Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Garden Brew: a spray to ward off deer and rabbits

I've never tasted a hosta leaf, but they seem to be quite a treat for the deer in our area.  These hostas pictured above were recently "mowed down" by the doe and her twin fawns.  Sigh.  I know they will return next year (the hostas and the deer), but for the remaining hostas and other plants that the deer and rabbits feast upon, it's time to spray.  We brew our own "deer scram" which is very fragrant and spicy.
Dried chilies from last year's garden join garlic for a not-so-tasty brew.

The recipe:

4 peeled garlic cloves
3 dried chilies wrapped in gauze and tied with string
1 cup milk
3 eggs, beaten

1.  In a saucepan, add 2 cups of water, the garlic and the chilies.  Bring to a boil and cook mixture for 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture set for another 5 minutes.  
2.  In a half gallon glass canning jar (I use Ball), add the milk and garlic/chili mixture.  Add ice cubes to cool the mixture.
3.  Once the mixture has cooled, add your beaten eggs.  Fill the container with water (leaving 1 inch head space) and screw lid on slightly.  The mixture will expand, so you don't want to jar to explode.
4.  Place the mixture in full sun for at least a day.  Our garden brew is sitting in our mini greenhouse in full sun.
5.  Place the mixture in a spray bottle.  Depending on the consistency of your mixture, you may need to dilute.  Spray your plants monthly and after it rains.

I hope your garden is growing well!

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