Did you know there is an alternative way to ward off insects, especially mosquitoes, in your yard or garden without using harmful chemical pesticides? It’s something called companion planting where you utilize certain plants for their natural compounds that repel a variety of bugs and other garden pests by simply planning out strategic positioning for these plants.
Believe it or not these would be garlic plants and bulbs. Garlic can protect your flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs. They’re not just for cooking, but a real treasure for your garden too. Many know of the folklore from vampire movies to wear garlic bulbs around the neck or hang them in windows to ward them off. Obviously garlic plants work the same way with insects and other pests. Let’s find out more on where to plant garlic in a garden and its other valuable uses.
Where to Plant
Start out in your garden by adding borders of garlic plants all around it. This will initially help keep the bugs at bay. Eventually fill your garden or yard out with more of these plants. You can even further add more by planting them around your patio or porch. This will keep mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects away from those areas too.
If you have a rose garden here are some excellent planting strategies for you with garlic plants. Begin by planting them near or between rose bushes and climbers. This will help deter the common formation of black spots, sooty mold and other fungal infections caused by aphids who roam under the rose leaves. These small winged insects gather in clumps not only on leaves, but on stems and buds sucking the juice out of these beautiful flowers. You can take one of the long slender leaves from the garlic plant and tie it to the stem of a rose bush. This will also keep aphids away from roses. Also, by planting garlic near roses it actually increases their incredible scent and bloom yields. Garlic also helps with marigolds, petunias and nasturtium from insects.
Tree and Shrubs
You can easily control insects, especially the harmful borers, away from your trees and ornamental bushes by planting garlic in a circle at their base or underneath. These notorious insects can cause a lot of damage in a very short amount of time especially when they bore through the stems and branches that eventually kills off the tree or shrub. As the borers mature they grow into beetles or moths. They can threaten certain trees such as lilac, willow, maple, ash, birch, azalea and many fruit trees.
For starters do not plant garlic near beans, peas, sage or parsley. They will not grow effectively when they are next to these vegetable plants. Be sure to have garlic plants amongst peppers, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and tomatoes. They will help keep away the red spiders, destructive worms, caterpillars, slugs and snails. Garlic plants will also enhance the flavor of peppers and tomatoes. The infamous Colorado potato beetle will certainly stay away whenever there are garlic plants around the potato hills and in between the rows of eggplants. If you want a steady supply of garlic plants for cooking and planting purposes begin by planting single cloves upright at a depth of 1 inch and then 4 to 6 inches apart. When they mature a whole bulb will contain 15 to 20 cloves.
Another way to protect your garden or yard from insects is with home-made garlic sprays. Make certain when you are spraying vegetables and fruits with these garlic sprays wash them well before eating. The flavor of garlic could be lingering on, thereby ruining their taste. Here is a recipe for a garlic spray that is easy to make:
Peel and crush 6 cloves of garlic.
Place in a large covered container that holds one gallon of water.
Add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper
One small minced onion
One teaspoon of Ivory soap (Use only the Ivory brand since it’s safe to use in a garden and does not contain chemicals)
Cover up the container by letting it sit for 2 days.
Afterwards, strain the liquid into a spray bottle that will last up to a few weeks.
Spray on plants as needed. After any rainstorm be sure to spray immediately since bugs are plentiful then. You can even spray it onto ponds to further help kill mosquitoes.
If you want to make garlic tea all you have to do is omit everything in the garlic spray recipe except the garlic and gallon of water. When you let it sit for two days simply pour it on the ground around the plants. This is very effective for in getting rid of slugs, snails and the dreaded Japanese beetle.
That’s all there is to it. Garlic plants are just as necessary for gardening as they are for cooking many Italian dishes with, especially garlic bread. No more worries of damaging the environment with toxic insecticides. Garlic may be odorous when used too frequently, but that is a good thing for insects when you use them in your garden as part of your companion planting.