What to Do with Garlic

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How to Use Garlic as a Natural Pesticide

Garlic, Allium sativum

After the Garlic, Allium sativum, natural pesticide booklet produced by HDRA - the organic organisation


Garlic originated in Central Asia and has now spread across the world. For use as an insecticide it should not be grown using chemical fertilisers. This is because heavy doses of fertiliser reduce the concentration of the effective substances in the garlic. It has anti-feedant, bacterial, fungicidal, insecticidal, nematicidal and repellent properties.


Garlic spray

Blend 100 grams of grated and crushed garlic cloves, 0.5 litres of water and 10 grams of soap (Use potash based soft soap that is used for washing dishes and not the modern washing powders that contain caustic soda which will harm plants). Mix well. Strain the mixture through a fine cloth. Dilute the solution in 5 litres of water.

How to use: Mix the solution well before applying to the affected plants. Use as a spray or sprinkle using twigs or grass tied together to form a whisk. For best effect, use the mixture immediately.

Garlic is effective against a wide range of diseases and insects at different stages in their life cycle (egg, larvae, adult). This includes ants, aphids, army worms, caterpillars, Colorado beetle, diamondback moth, pulse beetle, whitefly, wireworm, false codling moth, imported cabbage worm, khapra beetle, mice, mites, moles, Mexican bean beetle, peach borers and termites as well as fungi and bacteria.

Garlic bw.gif

Nematodes can also be controlled by drenching the soil with garlic liquid. However this method may also kill many beneficial soil bacteria and insects.

Garlic is effective against so many pests and diseases that different strengths may need to be experimented with.

Note'': The taste of garlic will remain on sprayed plants for one month after spraying so it may be best to avoid spraying near harvest time.

Garlic powder spray

Crush and grind dried garlic bulbs. The powder can be used directly onto affected plants. A useful spray can also be made. To do this, add the powder to water and mix well. The amount of garlic powder needed depends on how strong the garlic is.

How to use: This mixture is useful against scab, mildew, bean rust and tomato blight.

Chillis and garlic spray

Grind 1 garlic bulb and 1 onion. Add 1 tablespoon of powdered chilli peppers. Stir into 2 litres of hot water. Leave the mixture to cool. Strain through a fine cloth and keep the liquid. Add 1 tablespoon of soft soap and stir well. Use potash based soft soap that is used for washing dishes and not the modern washing powders that contain caustic soda that will harm plants.

How to use: Use as a spray for caterpillars in fruit trees.

Garlic and Tephrosia vogelii spray

Pound fresh Tephrosia leaves and dried garlic leaves into a paste with a little water. Stir 50g of this mixture into 1 litre of water. Mix well, sieve and keep the liquid.

How to use: Use the solution as a spray against cabbage worm. Use 1 litre per square metre. Apply once every week until 2 weeks before harvesting of the crop.

Other uses of garlic

Intercropping: Traditionally garlic has been intercropped with many crops. This strong smelling plant hides the smell of the crop it is planted with. Intercropped with cabbage, garlic may deter the diamondback moth. Also, planting 4 rows of sorghum with 7 rows of garlic helps to prevent shootfly infestations.

Garlic can also be planted around fruit trees to repel aphids, fruit tree borers, termites, mice and other pests.

WARNING: Garlic is a broad spectrum insecticide. This means that it will kill beneficial insects as well as pests. Try to spray only the affected areas where pests are doing most damage.


Success Story

Plans, Illustrations, Posters


HDRA - the organic organisation, Ryton Organic Gardens Coventry, CV8 3LG, UK Tel: +44 (0)24 7630 3517 Fax: +44 (0)24 7663 9229 Email: ove-enquiry@hdra.org.uk Website: http://www.hdra.org.uk


Link to Fourthway's poster "How to make a natural pesticide": http://www.fourthway.co.uk/posters/pages/pesticide.html


Related Articles

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- How to Use Garlic as a Natural Pesticide
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Garlic's medicinal properties

Garlic is good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy, warding off coughs and colds - and don't worry it needn't give you bad breath!

Garlic History
The word garlic comes from Old English garleac, meaning "spear leek." Dating back over 6,000 years, it is native to Central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Egyptians worshipped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was so highly-prized, it was even used as currency. Folklore holds that garlic repelled vampires, protected against the Evil Eye, and warded off jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens. And let us not forget to mention the alleged aphrodisiacal powers of garlic which have been extolled through the ages.

Garlic and Health
Garlic has long been considered a medicinal food. It was used to protect against plague by monks in the Middle Ages. Hippocrates used garlic vapors to treat cervical cancer. Garlic poultices were placed on wounds during World War II as an inexpensive, and apparently quite effective replacement for antibiotics which were scarce during wartime. Now science is beginning to prove the medicinal properties of garlic that our ancestors took for granted. Studies have shown garlic can suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant good for cardiovascular health. Other studies show garlic can reduce LDLs or "bad" cholesterol and is a good blood-thinning agent to avoid blood clots which could potentially lead to heart attack or stroke.

An easy rule of thumb to remember regarding the potency of the flavor of garlic is: The smaller you cut it, the stronger the flavor. Chopping finely and/or pressing a clove exposes more surfaces to the air, causing a chemical reaction to produce that strong aroma and potent flavor.