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Weed'em & Reap tonight! and red pepper to discourage pets and pests.

Posted Friday, April 15, 2011, at 8:10 AM

The rain is starting as I write this and just got a call from a business associate that plans to get in a game of golf before the rain. Maybe Putt Putt, but most other games of golf will take a bit longer.

Anyway, the meeting is tonight and a comments was made on another post about using red pepper flakes to discourage pets and other critters from digging where they should not. That brought a new development to mind that I thought deserved a separate post.

Red pepper, garlic and even rotten eggs have been used to repel pests but one drawback is that it usually washed away after the first or second rain. Some folks have made purees of the leaves from plants that they noticed the pests (deer, rabbits, etc)don't seem to eat, but again, it washes off.

Now for the new development (which I am not endorsing just informing about. A company is in final approval stages with the EPA for a tablet that delivers the hot stuff (capsaicin)to the plants internally (systemically). The plant tastes spicy for about a year and it does not wash off.

THIS IS NOT FOR PLANTS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION! To get the pepper taste into the cells they use DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) which allows the cell membranes to absorb the product. Here is more about DMSO http://www.dmso.org/subLevels/what.htm I believe it may be used in the horse industry and for humans, but that does not make this product safe. (at this point)

They also do NOT recommend using it with insecticides on the plant because that too can be absorbed. Their plans for the use of it to inject vitamins and other pharmaceuticals into plants is a little bit scary, but the original use sounds promising.

Here is their site http://www.repellex.com/Systemic_Repelle...

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We missed you last night QC.

My tomato plants are thanking me for being a little slow in getting them out. I actually got to fire up the wood stove again tonight.

Besides keeping us warm, it is helping us empty the greenhouse of the last vestiges of winter's wood stash. Still some outside but I will move it away from the house soon.

Already stacking next year's wood from cuttings left behind by the wood cutters. Wish I could say I was seeing the benefits of all the exercise, but alas, just the sore muscles and joints.

PITA however made a perfect open-field tackle on Deb this afternoon. If she survives the rabies/skunk affair, (PITA not Debbi) we may see if the Titans are needing a good linebacker.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 9:39 PM

I'm more concerned about how Man's "corrections" could make even a desired plant be toxic because of its prior identification as a weed.

The late Euell Gibbons and his ilk lived in more innocent times.

I'd be afraid to do wildcrafting or eat former kitchen gardens for fear dandelions,wild roses,tiny strawberries,lambs' quarters,green onions,etc. could have been treated with poisons.

(If I wanted to graze a lethal garden,I'd stick with known dangers like belladonna,datura and the classics from Agatha Christie novels.)

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 9:54 AM

Had a great meeting although not many showed up. With as many folks interested in gardening, it make me wonder. What are we missing?

We reviewed several sites on the topic of companion planting and determined that most and learned some interesting things, like deadnettle and henbit are often mistaken for each other. We could see why since even the .edu sites showed pictures that look alike, so we are not really sure what is a weed in our garden and what is a beneficial herb.

Of course, a weed is really any plant that is not in the desired place and I am not surprised it is in the mint family since many of those can become a weed easily. The square stem may be one of the key indicators but I could not found if the "knock-off" weed has the same stem.

Deadnettle seems to have some desirable properties like being "edible and medicinal, the leaves and upper plants are cooked as pot herbs or added to salads. The plant is very nutritious, high in iron, vitamins and fiber. The whole plant is medicinal, used as an astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, purgative, styptic and tonic. Lab tests show that Lamium purpureum seed oil possess high antioxidant activities, and might be used as a future food-additive. A decoction of the plant is particularly useful for checking any kind of hemorrhage, the fresh bruised leaves can be applied to external cuts and wounds. The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys. A tea made from the fresh plant is an excellent laxative and tonic." http://www.naturesherbal.com/Purple_Dead...

Now if I was only sure if I was eating a weed or an herb!

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Apr 16, 2011, at 9:28 AM

Well, I don't have to worry about algae growth in our goldfish pond at the moment. It has all been flushed out by today's rain. I hop the rain did not cause any major problems for our neighbors.

-- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Apr 15, 2011, at 4:31 PM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.