Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chili Powder: Not Just A Spice

      It’s known that chili powder is a great spice in heating up your Monday night dish but did you know that it can also be used to protect your garden from unwanted visitors? That’s right! Most animals and insects cannot stand the hot flavor that chili powder packs and sends most animals running.
      Instead of building high fences to keep out the deer and other larger pests, chili powder does the deed. Sprinkling chili powder around the perimeter of your garden or around the base of each plant deters animals such as cats or slugs from getting in and ruining your hard work.    
     Are squirrels getting into your bird feeders? Use chili powder. Mixing the bird seeds with chili powder takes the seeds off the menu. The best way to do this is by putting both seed and powder in a bag and shaking.    
     Want to keep slugs off your plants? You can mix 1 1/2 tablespoon of biodegradable liquid dish soap, a couple drops of lemon/orange essential oils, 1 quart of water, 1 tablespoon of chili powder and 5 cloves of garlic, crushed and cut roughly into a squirt bottle. Be sure to let the chili powder and cloves of garlic to set over night before straining them the next morning.    
     When buying chili powder make sure you buy chili powder and not a mix of other spices. Cayenne or Ancho are good choices for pure chili powder. And remember to put out chili powder a couple of times a week especially after every rain fall.    

Whitney Rymer, 2013 Summer Associate  

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