Susan Doyon wrote: I just need a good idea how much soap and how much pepper powder per gallon water
John Elliott wrote:The problem is how to make it stick -- a light rain, or a heavy dew in the morning and all your spraying work is for naught. If you have a wand on your sprayer and can spray the undersides of the leaves, that might help. A few drops of soap in the spray solution helps to make the sauce spread over the leaves.
Another thing that might help is to plant some mustard. The red Korean variety has some major hotness to it, and nibblers will stay away from it. The heat is different from the capsicum found in hot peppers, so it may complement and not interfere with the habanero if put in the same spray solution. With hot peppers, nibblers learn that it is just the peppers that are hot, and so they will even munch away at the leaves of a habanero plant, carefully avoiding the little orange bombs. With mustard they can't do that, the whole plant is hot; the leaves, the stems, the seeds, the roots, they just avoid the whole plant. If you grow enough of that so that you can crush a few leaves into your watering can, then you can make the whole garden reek of mustard hotness (it's a good thing we humans have insensitive noses) and the nibblers will find someplace else to graze.
Another benefit of planting mustard is that the chemical responsible for its heat also kills Fusarium wilt fungus that may be living in the soil. I like using mustard as a cover crop for that reason, and if you ever have too much of it growing, you can always make a big pot of sarson ka saag from it:
Another difference between mustard and habanero is that after cooking, the heat of the mustard goes away, while the habanero heats up whatever you cook with it.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Thanks for the great suggestion and info, John. Can you clarify, does planting the peppers alone deter the nibblers ambiently or is it only if you spray with it too?
Mike Barkley wrote:Not sure if it's valid for all peppers but fermenting crushed chili petins for a few days before spraying them seems to increase their effectiveness. Have no math or pie charts to verify that. Just an observation.