So, we can’t absolutely say that this one works, but then again we can’t say it doesn’t, either. In a world where bugs the size of pinheads can destroy an entire patch of winter squash, turn cucumber vine leaves to brown lace, or eat potato plants down to mushy green stems, we’re willing to do a lot to discourage bugs, even if a lot of a lot doesn’t really work.
This method was recommended to us by a friend from Wisconsin, who remembers it as a trick her grandmother, born in the early decades of the last century, used to repel cabbage loopers, those little green caterpillars that leave caterpillar poo all over your cabbages. It seems the good lady saved the water in which she had defrosted meat, or the (let’s call it what it is) blood on the meat platter, diluted it in a couple of gallons of water, and let it get good and stinky. Then she poured it on the vegetables she was trying to save from the bugs. The idea, as our friend understands it, was to make the plant smell like something other than what it was; smell like carrion, in fact. We’ve tried it. Just a little meat juice in water can get remarkably foul-smelling if left to sit a couple of days in hot weather. Don’t know if it really fools the loopers, but we’ve never had such beautiful cabbages. We sprayed it on our winter squash, too, half of which had already succumbed to bacterial wilt, and the wilt seems to have run its course, but since it’s supposed to take a couple of weeks for bacterial wilt to kill a plant, such results are totally inconclusive. We like the idea, though. We don’t suppose it can hurt; it might even be a homeopathic dose of foliar fertilizer, as well.