I absolutely love my apartment balcony garden. This is the first time we’ve have a balcony sunny enough to grow anything on, and I’ve definitely taken full advantage of it!
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I have a vertical balcony garden I made that has herb pots clipped onto it and a bed of lettuce at the bottom. After my skinny pallet planter bit the dust, I bought this replacement planter and planted more lettuce seedlings. I also have a cherry tomato plant, a jalapeno plant, a smaller planter with more herbs, and a few miscellaneous potted plants on the patio table. It’s my little apartment paradise!
(Those coasters are pieces of scrap wood I spray painted!)
Unfortunately, the approximately 1 million neighborhood squirrels agreed with me. THE SQUIRRELS LOVE MY GARDEN. They climb up the gutter next to our balcony, hop over, and dig into the soil. They typically don’t damage the plants, but they dig up seedlings and make a huge mess! I had to replant my lettuce seeds four times before I caved and bought chicken wire.
But after a few days of having chicken wire up and me thinking my plants were safe, the squirrels found their way in through the top of the chicken wire. I read online that squirrels hate the smell of cayenne pepper, so I tried just sprinkling that in my soil, but it didn’t do anything. They still dug holes and threw soil everywhere.
Eventually I decided to try my hand at a squirrel repellant spray. After I started spraying my soil with my DIY squirrel repellant spray, the squirrels starting staying away. In fact, the morning after I sprayed it, I saw a squirrel on our balcony, but it didn’t dig any holes! It just sniffed around and ran away. I’m hoping it’s because they hate the smell of my squirrel repellant and not just because they’ve run out of trinkets to bury.
Here’s what I used to make squirrel repellant spray:
- 8 cups water
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Pot, stove, strainer, spray bottle
And here’s how I did it in only two steps.
First step: Chop the onion and jalapeno. Make sure to leave the seeds in the mixture. Then add the onion, jalapeno, cayenne pepper, and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Second step: Let the mixture cool. Pour through a strainer so that only the liquid mixture makes it into the spray bottle. I didn’t want to waste the onions and jalapenos, so I added a bunch to some spicy stir fry chicken for dinner and saved the rest for another meal. But beware, they are s-p-i-c-y!
Spray the soil of your plants. The smell will hopefully ward off your tree rats and prevent them from digging holes and throwing soil everywhere. I didn’t spray any leaves because I didn’t have any problems with squirrels munching on the leaves.
Fingers crossed my plants stay green and my balcony stays clean!