How to Garden With Red Peppers & Organic Pet Control

Overview

Pets are four legged furry friends until they start digging in the garden, rolling in the dirt, and munching on the plants. Fencing is the only deterrent that guarantees your dogs and cats will stay out of the garden. However, fencing is expensive and not necessarily attractive. Try using hot red peppers as a method of organic pet control. The hot pepper spray will not only keep dogs and cats out of your garden, but get rid of several varieties of insects.

Ground Peppers

Step 1

Dry the spicy red peppers until they are brittle, and then grind them to a powder. You may also purchase dried hot to very hot red peppers or flakes and grind them. Dollar stores often have big bottles of red pepper flakes. Use a coffee grinder that you set aside specifically for only grinding red peppers.

Step 2

Generously sprinkle the ground pepper around the plants where you don't want the pets. Dogs and cats sniff where they plan to go to the bathroom. They will get the pepper up their nose and won't use the garden as their bathroom.

Step 3

Reapply after watering or rain.

Pepper Spray

Step 1

Mix a quarter cup of the ground peppers with one qt. of water to which you've added one tsp. of liquid dish washing soap. You can add chopped onions and garlic to the water as well. Let it steep for 24 to 48 hours. Strain the liquid, and put it in a spray bottle.

Step 2

Spray the plants that your pets are eating. Most cats won't eat plants if they're healthy. Many dogs do, however. They will also eat ripening vegetables, including peas, tomatoes and string beans. Some determined dogs will dig up carrots and eat them. Pets don't like the taste of the heat of the red pepper or smell of the onions and garlic, and the liquid soap helps the mixture stick to the plants.

Step 3

Reapply after watering or rain.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear latex gloves when handling the red peppers. Don't spray on a windy day. Wash vegetables thoroughly to get rid of the spray after harvesting.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried hot red peppers Coffee grinder Liquid dish washing soap Onions Garlic Strainer Spray bottle

References

  • "Great Ideas for Your Garden"; Courtier et al; 2003
Keywords: organic pet spray, red pepper spray, pepper garden spray

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.