Garlic As a Marginal Plant

Overview

Garlic is in the Allium family, along with similar plants like shallots, leeks and onions. Like those plants, a single shoot's roots may produce up to 20 heads of garlic, with five to seven garlic cloves in each. Garlic grows best from those individual cloves, which act as bulbs for the plant. One clove of garlic produces one plant, which has the added natural benefit of driving away common garden pests like rabbits and bugs.

Marginal Plants

Garlic can be a gardener's best friend as a natural repellent for rabbits, beetles, aphids, deer and even moles and gophers. Gardeners plant garlic plants as a marginal plant--in rows along the borders of gardens--to keep these critters out naturally. Use garlic around vegetable, herb and flower gardens, or as the border for your lawn.

Soil

Plant garlic in soil that is quick to drain for best success. If the garden soil is thick or rocky, amend it with quick-draining loam before you plant the garlic cloves to give them room to open up and expand during growth. Plant cloves upright in an inch of soil, during fall, so the garlic can take root and sprout for spring.

Light

Garlic requires full sun for most of the day, and may not thrive in areas of the garden that are too shaded.

Water

Garlic does not like to be dry during its summer growing season. Maintain soil moisture with deep weekly waterings of 2 inches. Overly wet, muddy soil may lead to the garlic rotting, though garlic can succeed down to USDA zone 5 in regard to temperature.

Size

Garlic bulbs grow on the roots of the plants, though the leaves and stems of the plants still retain the garlic odor. Most experts believe that the odor of the plant is what drives away pests. Plant garlic cloves at 8-inch intervals to build a marginal "fence" of foot-tall garlic plants.

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