Garlic is known to be a useful all natural organic pest control. It doesn’t kill the little buggers, it just keeps them away. It’s not harmful to other crops or beneficial insects such as pollinating bees or lady bugs. Garlic is a cost effective and fairly simple garden hack for pest control.
Companion Planting Garlic
Garlic’s praises so far as companion planting are well documented [ See: Garlic as a Companion Plant. ] It works well around almost all plants with a few exceptions, most notably asparagus, strawberries, beans and Legumes.
In addition to inter-planting it among other crops a simple and effective garlic spray is easily concocted.
Home Made Garlic Spray
- 5 cloves of pulverized Garlic
- 1 drop of eco friendly dish soap for each clove. [Dawn, Ivory or castille soap]
- 1/2 quart of water
*Optional – I tspn. of Baking soda which has anti-pest qualities of it’s own, as well as anti fungal properties.
*Optional – I like to sometimes add a small amount of Epsom salts, which not only provides plant nutrients but also allow more minerals to be absorbed via the root system. Excessive foliar Epsom salt applications will cause leaf burn, especially when applied on a hot, summer day. Excessive Epsom salt use can also contribute to an increase in certain diseases so be sure to only use modest amounts and not on a continuous basis
Crushed hot peppers are another item that can be added to reach a a wider array of insects.
Vegetable oils are sometimes added as they work like a dormant oil spray and coat eggs and larvae suffocating them. These oils are not water soluble so will require vigorous shaking prior to each use.
Once you’ve combined all the ingredients in the water allow it to steep overnight and then strain it the next day to remove garlic chunks that could clog your spray nozzle. Be sure to shake it vigourously before straining to be certain any secondary ingredients such as epsom salts or baking soda have been dissolved into the solution.
You can dilute the mixture before spraying it but it is not absolutely necessary. A simple spray bottle such as a mister will suffice but a more expensive rig will also do.
Spray the plant foliage and flowers and be sure to spray the under sides of leaves where many pests hide and lay their eggs. Frequent reapplication is needed as this solution rapidly breaks down in nature and is easily washed away by rain.