Garlic is one of the most popular food plants in the world. It grows well in almost any climate and it’s easy to grow. But when it comes to controlling pests with garlic, there are some things you need to know before starting your own organic garden or even using commercial products.
What Does Garlic Keep Away?
There are many different types of insects that live in our homes. Some of them like to eat other insects, but others prefer eating fruit and vegetables. When these pests come into contact with garlic, they don’t get anything except pain! They may sting a little bit, but nothing serious. If you have ants crawling around your house, then you probably want to spray those ant farms with insecticide right now!
Some of the other pests that will not go near garlic include fleas, bedbugs, roaches, spiders and centipedes. You might think that because garlic looks so pretty and fragrant that it would attract all kinds of critters to your home. However, if you look at the facts; you’ll see that there are only a few species of insects which are attracted to garlic. These are the ones we’re going to focus on here.
What Is Garlic Used For?
There are several recipes and home remedies which call for garlic in one way or another. Rubbing garlic on your skin is supposed to keep mosquitoes away, but it’s not very effective. A better idea is to brew a strong batch of garlic tea, and spray the area you plan to spend time in. This works well and it won’t damage your surroundings.
Not only does it keep mosquitoes away, but it kills them too. In fact, it’s very important to note that DEET is very dangerous and can cause serious side effects if you use it on a regular basis. Rubbing garlic on your skin is completely safe as long as you don’t eat it! Another advantage to this is that not only will the mosquitoes stay away, but so will the ticks and other disease carrying insects.
You can also plant garlic in your garden, as many garden centres sell hardy varieties which can survive the winter. Just like other plants, garlic has to be placed in the ground and watered on a regular basis. The only difference is that you don’t need to fertilize it or anything like that. Garlic does not need much attention, but you do need to harvest it before the first frost of winter comes around.
What Are the Different Types?
There are three main types of garlic that are usually grown. These include softneck, hardneck and elephant. Softneck garlic is the most popular; it has fewer cloves and larger bulbs. It is very easy to peel, and it’s flavor is less intense than the other varieties. Hardneck garlic has a couple of different sub-varieties as well, which create different clove shapes and other differences in taste.
Hardnecks have a lot of character, and are not as easy to grow. They also have very good pest resistance. Hardnecks come in two different sub-species, which are known as silverskin (creates tight bulbs with many layers) and artichoke (has loose leafs). Elephant garlic is less popular than the other two varieties, but it’s great for cooking with.
What Should You Look For?
When you want to plant garlic, the first thing you need to do is pick out some cloves. When you hold the bulb, it should feel heavy and firm. If it feels light for its size, this means that it has a lower yield than other bulbs. Make sure that the outer skin is free from dark spots or moldy patches too.
You can also search online to find the kind you want. If you have a garden center nearby, it would be best to go there in person so that you can find the right one. As long as they have a good selection, you should be able to find what you need right away. If not, you can always order it online. Amazon is a great place to look, and they often have good deals on everything!
Make sure to use a good gardening gloves when you are planting the cloves. This will prevent your hands from getting chopped up, and it will also keep the oils from your hands off of the garlic too. When planting, bury the clove up to about one centimeter below the top of it. If you bury it any deeper than that, it will rot.
Make sure that the cloves are at least eight inches apart. This is so that the bulbs have enough room to grow and develop properly. You don’t want them to be crowded, as this will prevent them from growing correctly and can end up killing them. After about five months (some garlic is ready in as little as three months, other types take longer) the leaves will start to turn brown and die back. Once this happens, it is time to harvest the bulbs.
How Do You Know If It Is Done?
Harvesting garlic is easy. Simply grab the stems near the base of the bulb, and pull it up from the ground. The skin may be tougher than other types of produce, but it should come out fairly easily. If not, you may have to trim off a bit of the dried skin that remains on the bulb. The next part is to let them dry out in the sun. Depending on the weather, this can take from a few hours to a few days. Make sure that they are getting plenty of air and that they’re not molding! After this, you can trim off any roots and stems, then store them in boxes or bags. The bulbs will keep for many months if you take care of them.
You can eat the greens as well, but make sure to only do this before they turn brown and begin to die back. They should be eaten immediately or preserved in some way (such as by blanching and freezing). You can even sauté them and use them in dishes.
Sources & references used in this article:
Management of major diseases and insect pests of onion and garlic: A comprehensive review by RK Mishra, RK Jaiswal, D Kumar… – Journal of Plant …, 2014 – academicjournals.org
Binding of garlic (Allium sativum) leaf lectin to the gut receptors of homopteran pests is correlated to its insecticidal activity by S Bandyopadhyay, A Roy, S Das – Plant Science, 2001 – Elsevier
Control ofDitylenchus dipsaci in garlic by bulb and soil treatments by E Siti, E Cohn, J Katan, M Mordechai – Phytoparasitica, 1982 – Springer
Integrated Pest Management: strategies for onion and garlic by RK Mishra, A Adholeya, HR Sardana – 2012 – books.google.com
Garlic: botany and horticulture by R Kamenetsky – HORTICULTURAL REVIEWS-WESTPORT …, 2007 – books.google.com
White rot (Sclerotium cepivorum Berk)-an aggressive pest of onion and garlic in Ethiopia: An overview by T Selvaraj, S Tadele, M Amin – Journal of Agricultural …, 2014 – academicjournals.org
Garlic: Organic Production by J Bachmann, T Hinman – … , une publication d’ATTRA, États-Unis …, 2008 – michaeljbowe.com
Toxicity and repellent effects of crude aqueous extracts of garlic (Allium sativum) on larval and adult Anopheles mosquitoes by AA Denloye, WA Makanjuola, OO Babalola – African entomology, 2003 – journals.co.za