By Karla Jones Seidita, home economist and impatient gardener
This ridiculous recipe was passed around a local garden seminar I attended years ago. I couldn’t imagine how it could possibly work when my ravenous deer ignored all the expensive, “guaranteed” repellants and gadgets I had bought over the years. “Don’t laugh,” a fellow garden struggler whispered as she pressed the recipe that had been scribbled on a scrap of paper into my hand. “This stuff REALLY works!”
- 1 egg
- ½ cup dry milk powder
- 1 Tablespoon canola oil (other types of oil will get solid in the fridge)
- 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (any type)
- 1 Tablespoon liquid garlic (available near the vanilla extract at the grocery store or on Amazon)
- 1 gallon tap water
- 1 Tablespoon liquid dish soap (most people use blue Dawn)
Pour the mixture into glass jars (I use recycled pickle jars), put a double piece of plastic wrap over the opening and cap the jars. Store in the fridge. Keeps at least a month – maybe two – maybe a little more – it’s hard to tell because it smells spoiled even when it’s fresh.
To use, fill a spray bottle with the mixture and head out to the garden. Liberally spray your roses (or other plants). Respray as needed – especially after a rain or if you’ve watered your plants from above.
- ALWAYS TEST THIS MIXTURE BEFORE USING! :Before spraying the whole plant for the first time, spray 1 or 2 leaves and let it dry for a few days to be sure your plant reacts favorably to the spray.
- I add the liquid dish soap last so I don’t create too much foam when I whisk.
- Don’t store the mixture in plastic containers because the smell will seep through making your whole refrigerator smell of deer repellant.
- Best time for spraying is morning or late afternoon. Avoid spraying in the midday sun as the spray can dry too quickly and streak the leaves.
- You won’t notice the smell of the deer repellant after it’s dried on the plants but the deer will.
- When you’re done spraying for the day, put the spray part of your sprayer into a container of clean water and squeeze the trigger a few times to flush the nozzle. This will prevent the mixture from drying in the opening and clogging it.