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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Allium Sativum

Allium sativum (garlic)
Repels: Japanese beetle, aphids, fungus, root maggots, snails, carrot root fly, red spider mites
Guild: Roses, raspberries, tomatoes, peach
Dislike peas.
Propagation: cloves planted in 3~5cm deep soil. Chill cloves in fridge for several weeks before planting. Bend flower and foliage to the ground or cut them off to cause plant to focus energy on the bulbs.
5 months to maturity. Harvest when leaves dry.
Accumulates sulfur

Grows best in pH 6.0 to 7.0. Needs irrigation in summer when bulbs are forming.

Garlic is prone to onion maggots. Sprinkling a fair amount of cayenne pepper, ginger, dill or chili powder on the ground around the plant is reported to be effective against these pests.
Garlic juice can be used against some plant pests and diseases. Some recommend mixing it with mineral oil and pure soap as an insecticide. It’s effective against aphids, cabbageworms, leafhoppers, mosquito larvae, squash bugs and whiteflies. It works on some fungi and some problem nematodes. To prepare the solution, set 1/3 cup of minced garlic in 2 teaspoons of mineral oil for 24 hours. Add 500ml of water and about 5-6ml of liquid dish soap. Mix the solution and strain it. Add one or two tablespoons of this solution to 500ml of water to make an insecticidal spray.


DJEB said...

I'm about to try out the insecticide. I have discovered an aphid infestation in, ironically, my yarrow. It's ironic in that yarrow is one of the plants that can sustain ladybugs, which are aphid hunters.

I'll report the efficacy of the potion...

Scott A. Meister said...

I've actually had success...last year, with a garlic/water/mild dishwashing detergent with aphids. I also have tried using a tobacco mixture for leaf-hoppers...but I didn't find I had much success...unfortunately, I only had one of those "vague" recommendations, i.e. "mix a bit of tobacco with some water and spray it on the plant" always helps to have a recipe...I'll try it out and see what happens with my current infestation on a fern tree. aphids...'tis the season, eh?

One question...have you heard about anything to prevent this from happening? I seem to have the same trouble every year.

Scott A. Meister said...

Just one more thought...

When doing a run-down like this on a plant, it might be helpful to others to have a bit of nutritional/medicinal value info as well. It might just make things a little more comprehensive, if that is your goal. Just a suggestion.

DJEB said...

The garlic juice worked wonders. The next day, the aphids were all shrivled up.

I have seen another recipe that includes 1 onion and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the garlic. Another calls for a solution of 70% isopropanol (rubbing alcohol).

Also, I was avoiding the culinary and medicinal properties in an effort to save myself a lot of work.

DJEB said...

This year, Tokyo is in the grip of a horrid aphid infestation. The garlic juice recipe was just in time...

Scott, for the nutritional and medical uses of plants, I'm going to let the readers refer to books on the subject. There is just far too much information for me to type out.

Scott A. Meister said...

On the nutritional information, I can't blame you, but it would be nice to have just a little bit of info tossed in for good measure if you're going to do a run-down on a plant. I wasn't expecting a complete all-encompassing dissertation on garlic...there would be a book for each plant if that was the case.

However...on another subject, I've discovered that MILK is perhaps a simpler and time/energy consuming alternative to garlic juice in regards to aphids, you just need to make sure the infested areas of the plant are properly covered with it. I used a brush, but I imagine a heavy coat from a mister of the stuff would work much better. Two "brushings" offed the whole lot.

Now I have a happy fern, and I didn't have to go hunting in the park for lady-bugs either.

Not to say that Garlic isn't cool or's probably better for some other insects...but for aphids...the milk just whomped '

I must say, that I support the whole food-cycle approach to insecticide. Importing some lady-bugs to do the job nature intended is a brilliant method.

DJEB said...

Thanks Scott. I've seen milk used on TV, but didn't know the results. I told Geoff about milk being used in Japan when I was in Australia, but told him I didn't know if it was effective or not. Now I know.

Allessandro actually used a torch to take care of his caterpillar problem this year. I don't know that I can recommend that - too easy to burn the plant, and it could muck up your country's Kyoto Protocol quota.

Back to the garlic juice, it works great on flying insects as well...

Scott A. Meister said...

A follow-up on the milk...a couple days plant was infested again...used milk again...aphids died again...infested again...used milk again...died again...infested again...used garlic spray...problem solved.

What I learned, is that I guess the milk just suffocates the already existing aphids...but it doesn't defend the plant from further attacks. Garlic is probably a much more time-conserving option in the long run.

That's my theory anyway...if anyone knows better, I'd love to hear about it.

DJEB said...

That may be it, Scott. Or it may be that you are just late in the aphid season. More observation will tell...

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.
raised bed gardening

DJEB said...

I've never seen such asparagus, no. But the real trick is to speciate a variety that doesn't make your pee stinky...