11. Use spices to deter plant-eating animals
Everyone knows that hot peppers make your mouth burn. So if rodents are attacking your ornamental plants, the solution may be to make them too “hot” for the critters. In fact, hot peppers are the basis for many commercial rodent repellents. Chop up the hottest pepper you can find (habanero is best) and combine it with 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper and 1/2 gallon (2 litres) water. Boil the mix for 15-20 minutes, then let it cool. Strain it through cheesecloth, add 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray vulnerable plants liberally every five days or so. The spray works best for rabbits, chipmunks and woodchucks, but may also deter deer, especially in combination with commercial products.