How to Make a Garlic Barrier for Your Plants

Written by carly fiske
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How to Make a Garlic Barrier for Your Plants
Garlic cloves can be crushed or puréed, depending on the tools you have on hand. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pests are a hassle for any gardener, but they can be easy to control with a bit of diligence and some garlic. People have been using the miraculous herb to repel insects and protect against infection for centuries. Today, many gardeners and farmers seeking organic methods of pest control find success with garlic barriers. Whether you're up against flower-nibbling deer or leaf-munching aphids, garlic will repel the unwanted creatures and boost your garden's productivity. It works as a barrier that deters, but does not kill, a wide variety of insects and animals.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • Blender
  • Cheesecloth
  • Spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Remove skins from garlic cloves and place in the blender with 1 cup water. Purée until the garlic is finely chopped.

  2. 2

    Pour mixture into a jar, add an additional 1 cup water, and let it steep for 24 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can wait only a few hours, but the spray will end up weaker. As the mixture sits, the garlic's chemicals will seep into the water to create a garlic solution.

  3. 3

    Strain the garlic water through cheesecloth by stretching the cloth over the jar's rim, and carefully pour it into the spray bottle. Make sure the garlic pieces are strained out of the liquid so they don't clog the sprayer.

  4. 4

    Ensure the plant's surface is dry prior to application so that the spray will stick. To apply as an insect repellent, spray thoroughly on tops and bottoms of leaves before insects take over. The garlic water will deter destructive bugs like snails, aphids, whiteflies and spider mites, which are averse to its pungent aroma.

  5. 5

    To apply as animal repellent, spray on leaves, stems and flowers around the exterior of your yard or wherever you'd like to create a barrier. Moles, rodents, dogs, cats, deer and many other animals will be turned away by the garlic aroma.

  6. 6

    Apply the spray treatment once a week and after it rains, or as needed.

Tips and warnings

  • At first the spray will impart a garlicky smell, but once it is dry, the odour will disappear. It will not affect your fruits or vegetables with odour or flavour and is entirely biodegradable and environmentally safe.
  • If a blender's not handy, place garlic cloves in a plastic bag to keep the garlic together, then pulverise with a rolling pin.
  • Do not apply garlic barrier prior to or during pollination time as it may repel bees and other pollinating insects.

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