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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday DIY: Keeping chipmunks away the organic way

Something was eating my veggies. Leaves were gone, in some cases the leaves were totally stripped. Like in the case of my poor tomato plants. All the leaves were stripped from the stem.

At first I thought it was a mole or vole or some other mole-vole-like creature--are gophers and groundhogs related? No, wasn't any of them. Moles eat grubs and slugs (gross!) then move on to another grub and slug endowed lawn. They can have the grubs and slugs. Groundhogs eat fruits and veggies, not the leaves. Rabbits? Probably, but I did have a fence.

Chipmunks. I had chipmunks. Cute from a distance or in a cartoon but not when they're in your yard. How does one go about getting rid of them? I wanted organic non-lethal methods.

Turns out two of my favorite seasonings keep them away! A mixture of garlic and cayenne does the trick. A lot of sites offer permanent ways of getting rid of chipmunks, but I see no reason to kill them; I just wanted them to stop eating my veggie leaves!
The Garden Guides website was specific for tomato plants, but I think this mixture helps for everything. I sprayed it around my entire garden. (It's not the chipmunk's fault the rain rotted my plants.)

Step 1: Combine a pint of water, a clove worth of minced garlic and 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper in an airtight container. Keep the solution sealed in the container for 48 hours.

Step 2: Strain the solution into the spray bottle and throw away any remnants of the garlic.

Step 3: Spray the solution on your tomatoes and tomato plants. This will make the tomatoes smell and taste unpleasant to the chipmunks. Spraying the leaves will increase the unappetizing smell even though chipmunks do not actually eat the leaves of the plants. Respray once a week or after a rain.

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