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Article 2-6 Garlic

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Garlic has been around since the dawn of time and with it much folklore about its' powerful properties. The most noted thing about garlic is the incredible pungent odor.

Every garden should have garlic planted. The garlic bulb consists of numerous segments called cloves, which can be separated and planted. A biennial usually grown as an annual, garlic boasts many antibiotic and pest preventive properties as well as many health benefits when consumed.

A very aromatic and savory herb, garlic aids in the circulatory and digestive systems. No kitchen is complete without garlic. If you were to go onto the internet you would find dozens and dozens of sites devoted solely to the stinking rose.

What makes garlic so powerful? Sulfur or better yet the numerous sulfur compounds. Sulfur has had a reputation for being a fine fungicide on its own but is often more effective when paired up with a companion product such as lime or copper. How does it work for insects? The garlic compound allicin confounds the sensory receptors of the insects confusing them during their search for a host plant.

In the garden, garlic is recommended as a companion plant to be planted in between certain plants in order to keep pests away, roses love garlic, in fact, it is actually a name of a companion planting book. Inside you may not have the room or the desire to plant garlic amongst your prized African violets but you can still bring it to your garden and that is through foliar spraying with a garlic concoction.

Garlic is very effective as a fungicide and will do a fine job controlling powdery mildew and downy mildew. Garlic is also very effective in repelling insects and keeping them away from your plants, understanding that garlic will not kill insects only repel them. What is the old saying-An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure-it is strongly recommended to use it as a preventive and as a maintenance measure in any garden inside or out.

Here is a recipe for making your own garlic spray:
1/4 pound garlic (2-3 whole garlic bulbs)
1 quart water
4-5 drops dishwashing soap
blender or food processor
cheesecloth
1 quart glass jar
Directions:
  1. Separate the garlic bulbs into cloves but do not peel them.
  2. Place the whole garlic cloves in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of water. Chop well.
  3. Add the rest of the water and the dishwashing soap. Blend until liquefied (this usually takes a few minutes).
  4. Strain the mixture through the cheesecloth to remove bits of garlic that might clog up your sprayer. It's a good idea to strain it a second time if any debris remains in solution. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid until you are ready to use it.
  5. To make a spray from the concentrated extract, dilute 1 part extract with 10 parts water. Note: most bugs don't like garlic including beneficial insects.

There are many recipes containing garlic that are very effective some include neem oil, hot capsicum peppers even tomatoes which all have their own unique properties valuable in dealing with pests. If you don't want to make your own garlic spray there are several products on the market today including Garlic Guard which is a garlic spray with added anti-transpirants that has proven to be the most effective of all the consumer products but there is also Garlic Barrier which is 99% garlic oil extract in a concentrated form that provides the opportunity of being a spray on its own or a base for a more complex pest fighter.

In conclusion, garlic is a wonderful well rounded addition to any garden.

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