Companion planting is the practice of placing species adjacent to one another to take advantage of mutual benefits that help both plants thrive. For example, some species may have natural pest-deterrence properties that benefit a neighbor, while the neighbor plant might bolster nutrients in the soil.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of those plants that offers considerable benefit to almost all its neighbors. It deters many pests, such as aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, Japanese beetles, snails, and cabbage loopers. And garlic actually accumulates sulfur, which is a naturally-occurring fungicide that will help protect your plants from diseases. A homemade powder or spray made from garlic powder or oil is a natural remedy for fungal diseases, and when planted in the garden, garlic is a good preventive measure.
Garlic can even deter gnawing pests like deer and rabbits. Garlic is a great plant to have in your garden, although there are a few plants that should keep their distance. Best of all, it is not picky, it adapts well to all soils and all conditions provided there is plenty of sun.
Companion planting is commonly used by organic farmers and gardeners who refrain from using heavy-duty chemical pesticides. One of the best ways to prevent bugs and other animals from eating your crop is to ask nature to give you a hand. The way you do that is companion planting of crops that will deter pest from eating your food, flowers, or plants.
By using companion plants, you create a balanced garden ecosystem that encourages lush growth and rich flavor of the produce. Companion planting is a natural weapon to combat pests and diseases while encouraging beneficial insects and organisms to colonize the garden plot.
Fruits and Vegetables That Benefit From Garlic
Experiment with different combinations and arrangements of companion plantings as borders, backdrops, and comingling.
Flowers That Benefit From Garlic
Some flowering plants also noticeably benefit from garlic, for the same reasons as edibles do.
Plants That Assist Garlic
Garlic thrives in most situations, but here are a few plants that contribute to even better overall growth:
- Rue (it drives away maggots )
- Chamomile (improves the flavor of garlic)
- Summer savory
Worst Companion Plants for Garlic
Garlic and its allium relatives seem to stunt the growth of certain crops. Avoid planting garlic near the vegetables listed below.
Garlic is a cool weather plant, and it is normally planted in the fall before the ground freezes. It likes soil with lots of organic material in it, which can be provided by mixing in lots of compost or decomposed manure. It is planted by breaking apart individual bulbs into its separate cloves and planting them about 1 inch deep and about 4 inches apart. In the spring, the plants should be fed in a similar manner as other plants, but stop feeding once the foliage begins to dry up and bulbs are noticeably poking up above the soil.
When the leaves turn brown, usually in mid-to-late-summer, you can harvest your garlic. Before eating them, garlic bulbs need to "cure" by bundling them together and storing them in a cool, dark location until they fully dry out.
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic makes a great addition to all sorts of recipes, and it is renowned for being a very healthful food.
Regular consumption of garlic bolsters the immune system, and some studies have shown that it will reduce your susceptibility to, and the severity of, the common cold and influenza viruses.
Garlic contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
In most cases, the places where you can (and should) plant garlic are also great places for onions, too. Both garlic and onions belong to the Allium genus. The word "allium," is derived from the Greek word for garlic. Shallots, leeks, and chives are also members of the allium family. Chives and garlic make easy first alliums for the new gardener.