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Homemade Hot Tea Keeps Dear Out Of Sweet Corn
I spray a homemade hot tea' on sweet corn to keep deer from eating it. I make the tea by mixing ground-up hot peppers with foliar fertilizer. I spray it on just as the corn is spiking when the corn is about knee-high which is when deer do the most damage. They don't like the taste of it and go eat some-where else. It also keeps raccoons away.
I boil about six peppers in a quart of water which, when mixed with the foliar fertilizer, is enough for about 20 acres. I use a kitchen food grinder but sometimes also buy ground-up peppers in a package. I use a piece of cloth as a strainer to make sure no big particles can plug up the boom nozzles. I got the idea to make my own hot tea' after trying a commercial product. I started using it on my sunflowers and sweet corn about six years ago. It also works on field corn as well as garden crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, etc.
I grow 3 to 5 acres of sweet corn on my farm which I sell from a truck and also to local markets. I have a custom spraying business and use a self-propelled high clearance sprayer to apply the mixture. I make one application on field corn and two on sweet corn, with the second applied as the corn is developing ears. (Walter Reetz, West
Branch, Mich.)

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #4