That got your attention didn’t it? Who can deny that garlic (and for most people) chili pepper makes things taste better? Garden pests, that’s who. They do not like it. They have a very limited palate and it only includes non-weed items that are growing in your garden. So I – and my title – stand corrected. The bugs taste less because they are EATING less. And what does this mean to a gal who dislikes organo-phosphates and other nasty chemicals on her food?
It means I can whip up a little garlic-pepper spray and put a damper on the bugs dining pleasure without putting a damper on any humans’ nervous system. Love that. Here’s how I make it.
Little Sis like to say Ch-Ch-Ch Chia, so why not G-G-G Garlic? Kind of pretty, no?
First step. Decide what spray bottle you intend to use for your spray. You can make a large batch and refrigerate but it is a bit fragrant, and I don’t know whether it works best fresh or not, but as I know garlic tastes best (or worst if you are a garden-devouring insect) fresh, I usually make a batch at a time that will last me for 1 – 2 weeks depending on how often it rains.
Put a little less water than the amount you want to make in your blender. I use a 32 oz. container and use 3-5 garlic cloves depending on their size. I used the lovely trio above as they were generous cloves. Cut off the bottom and peel off the paper and drop them into the blender. Check out this action shot…
I call it ‘Falling Garlic.’
After the garlic I dump chili powder in the top – you could use fresh but this is easier. I probably use between 1 – 2 teaspoons.
Blend it up being careful to have the lid down tight. You don’t want this stuff in your eyes or spraying all over your kitchen for that matter. Here comes another action shot…
It gets pretty foamy. I let it run for maybe 30 seconds and the mixture works just fine.
Then you must strain it a little because tiny pieces of garlic skin can clog up your sprayer. If you are using a larger heavy duty sprayer you may not have this problem but I broke my last sprayer because I was squeezing the handle very hard to overcome my non-strained G-P spray. Striving for non-violence towards garden tools of all varieties, I now strain my spray.
I use a fine metal sieve over a funnel straight into the bottle. I tried a coffee filter but the fluid wouldn’t drain well and then it ripped.
You all now see that you are no longer guests but are family as I made no effort (forgot) to hide the dirty pan on the stove. Welcome to the family!
After straining there is just a little matter in my strainer. If I get outside and am having difficulty with the sprayer I will pour the contents into another container, let it sit to settle and then slowly pour back through the strainer.
I recommend that you not leave this in the sun or high heat as it becomes really foul smelling. Do not be downwind of this as you spray because hot pepper and garlic in the lungs or eyes is not a good thing – but it won’t add anything that is bad to eat to your lovely garden vegetables!
I use this and when it is not enough I supplement with Neem oil, which is also a good fungicide and something called Bull’s Eye Bioinsecticide from Garden’s Alive. The heavier duty things used once in awhile help, with regular applications of G-P after a rain or when I notice new damage.
Have fun closing the bug dining facility in your garden!