This post is on Using Garlic As Pest Control In The Garden. We adhere to many gardening practices without knowing whether they are effective or not. I was taught by my mother to spray a solution of water and milk on my zucchini to ward against powdery mildew, and I have never questioned whether or not this practice is supported by sound science.
It turns out to be true, although it could have also been a gardening myth.
Consider planting young, newly planted trees on stakes, lining containers with rocks, or modifying the pH of soil using coffee grounds. All of these procedures have been, and still are, widely used, and they have all been at least partially disproved.
What was formerly seen to be a wise approach can someday be seen as outmoded as new information emerges since we all continue to learn.
What about utilizing garlic in the garden, either as a spray or by companion planting, commonly referred to as intercropping? Garlic is frequently used to combat pests, but does it really work or are we just deluding ourselves into believing it does?
It turns out that the practice is supported by some solid science. Coming up, we’ll discuss that as well as the most effective ways to use the wonderful smelling rose as a pest deterrent.
I enjoy garlic (Allium sativum). I don’t have to worry about vampires stalking me when it’s in my garden, it tastes amazing in a ton of different meals, and it makes it simple to maintain my garden.
Are you prepared to add more of this wonderful allium to your life? fantastic, let’s go on How To Use Garlic As Pest Control In The Garden.
The Science Behind Garlic-Based Pest Control
Since the 1970s, when people began seeking for an alternative to DDT in the aftermath of Rachel Carson’s seminal book “Silent Spring,” quite a few research on the effectiveness of garlic have been conducted.
The majority of studies focus on extracts and essential oils, while some also examine inter cropping.
If you’ve ever nibbled on a piece of a raw clove, you know how strong the flavor is. That can be unsettling to many people, animals, and various insect species.
If you’ve ever wondered what makes A. sativum so strong, it’s all the sulfur compounds that it contains.
The Sulphur Caldron gives visitors to Yellowstone National Park a clear notion of what sulfur smells like and why it can be so repulsive. Remember we are talking about Using Garlic As Pest Control In The Garden.
The first time I went to the spring, I believed I had unintentionally entered the gates of hell. Nevertheless, I always add three times as much garlic as a recipe calls for.
What was I talking about again? Oh right.
The primary compounds in A. sativum are about 20 percent dimethyl trisulfide, 19 percent diallyl disulfide, 13 percent diallyl sulfide, and 11 percent diallyl tetrasulfide.
Certain insects find this combination of compounds to be repellant, while it can actually be toxic to others. A few insects, like allium leaf miners (Phytomyza gymnostoma), are drawn to the scent – and I personally can’t blame them!
It’s toxic to yellow mealworm larvae (Tenebrio molitor), as detailed in the results of a study published in the journal Nature in 2017.
A research team at the Universidade Federal de Vicosa in Brazil studied the effects of the essential oil on these common insects and found that the mealworms were rapidly killed by the oil.
A study published in Crop Protection, also in 2017, by researchers with the Agricultural Entomology department at the University of Tehran, found that spined soldier bugs (Podisus maculiventris) were killed by A. sativum extract.
When it comes to intercropping, the results of a study published in 2014 in the IOSR Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science and conducted by researchers at the Department of Agricultural Management and Zimbabwe Open University found that garlic and onion plants placed near cole crops helped to reduce pest infestations.
Garlic has also been found to be effective against gall midges (Camptomyia corticalis) and cabbage fly (Delia radicum) adults and eggs, but not the larvae.
And the good news keeps coming! Let’s review a bit more of the available research.
Tobacco plants (Tobacum nicotiana) that were interplanted with garlic showed a lower incidence of green peach aphids (Myzus persicae).
If you’re a serious gardener, you probably have firsthand knowledge of the prevalence of this particular species of aphid in gardens and appreciate the convenience of having a tool at your disposal to increase your chances of repelling them.
The marvelous stinking rose is also effective at repelling sweet potato whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci), apple ermine moths (Yponomeuta malinellus), pine processionary moths (Thaumetopoea pityocampa), common cutworms (Spodoptera litura), and two-spotted spider mites (Tetranychus urticae).
Have nematodes ever caused you trouble? Garlic extract decimated some species, including the dreaded root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita), and interplanting drove them away. Some slug species were also.
However, this fantastic allium is not a magic cure to get rid of all the spooky creatures stalking our crops.
It doesn’t seem to be effective against rosy apple aphids or mosquitoes (Dysaphis plantaginea). The intervention of alliums does not appear to have any effect on silverleaf whiteflies (Bemisia argentifolii).
Studies evaluating its efficacy against beetles and weevils in the Coleoptera order, which includes common garden pests like potato beetles, mountain pine beetles, and click beetles, are sadly inconsistent.
Garlic may or may not be able to efficiently fend off mammals like rabbits, rats, and deer.
Although some rabbits and deer will eat the tops, it seems that the majority will stay away from the bulbs. Mammals won’t be kept out of your garden by intercropping, but the aroma of the spray may deter them from devouring a plant.