Garlic has medicinal purposes for human consumption but garlic plants also have therapeutic uses for insect control in your yard and garden. If you are trying to repel certain insects in your landscape look no further than Allium sativum, or the garlic plant.
Garlic is a relative of the onion and has been known to repel mosquitoes for a long time. While the exact reason why is unknown, it is believed to be from the active chemical allicin in the plant. When an insect or microorganism damages a garlic bulb an enzymatic reaction forms a strong phytochemical that kills bacteria on contact and may also repel insects.
Many garlic sprays are available on the market as insect repellent for humans but the same is true for insect repellent in your garden. Help prevent all kinds of bugs from taking root such as caterpillars, beetles, and mosquitoes with garlic plants.
Insects are also highly susceptible to strong smells from plants which is why other pungent odors in a garden work well such as marigolds and many kinds of herbs. Insects like sweet smells and will be attracted by those. Go for pungent odors and you may have insect repellent.
Garlic and onion both have strong smells but garlic is somewhat easier to grow and takes less time. When you decide to grow some bulbs they make great additions to vegetable and flower gardens.
Garlic is a bulb so you will want to put an entire white globe into the ground anytime it is dormant so the plant can get used to the winter. When the first green shoots come up in the spring you’ll know you’ve got some garlic coming up. You will want to research what kinds of garlic plants work well in your hardiness zone before embarking on tending to the plant through the growing season. As a perennial, it will come back every year.
The plant will need well-drained soil and a moist spring to get started. Once the green shoots come up it should be smooth sailing until you get some cloves to harvest close to the fall. For companion planting, garlic does very well with roses, apples, pears, cucumbers, peas, lettuce, and celery amongst others. Aphids are easily taken aback by the odors as are other small insects.
If you don’t want to use garlic plants in your garden for a natural repellent you can always rely on sprays. Natural garlic sprays need to be re-applied after it rains so it depends upon how much work you want to do in your garden.