Why You Should Plant Garlic Around Your Patio

Patios are wonderful outdoor spaces for any home — they allow you to host late-night cookouts all spring and summer long, spend the evening under the stars, and so much more. But nothing can put you off from making use of your patio quite like pests. Rats, snakes, mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies will often flock to patios, thanks to the presence of food, water, shelter, and, in the case of mosquitoes, you. Luckily, there's one plant that can fend off these flying and non-flying pests: garlic. 

Garlic is probably best known as a pungent, aromatic allium with no end of culinary uses, but it has plenty of applications outside of the kitchen. One of which is as a pest control measure. If you've ever held up a bit of raw garlic to your nose, you can probably guess why straight away — the strong sulfurous smell puts off all sorts of critters and can even mask the smell of more desirable scents (like yours, a magnet for mosquitoes). Planting a border of garlic around your patio is a great way to deter critters such as aphids, beetles, flies, mosquitoes, mites, snakes, and more. 

Planting garlic as a pesticide

The good news is that even gardeners with only the palest green of thumbs can grow their own garlic. And you don't even need to grow these from the seed. You likely have everything you need sitting in a bowl on your kitchen counter. Simply take a head of regular garlic, whatever you usually get from the grocery store for cooking, and split it into cloves, taking care to keep the paper skin intact around each clove. 

Before you get to cultivating these cloves, you'll want to prepare the ground for planting. Scope out the patio perimeter and find a spot that gets plenty of sunshine and where the soil isn't overly damp, which can cause the cloves to rot. Then lay the cloves out on top of the soil, about 6 inches apart, so you have a good idea of the layout. From there, you just need to make a shallow hole and lightly pack each clove with soil. You don't want to pack it too tightly or in super damp soil, as the moisture can stunt or rot the garlic and prevent sprouting. This will create an all-natural pest-repelling barrier around your patio. 

After the garlic harvest

One issue with growing your pest control product in your garden is that eventually, you have to harvest it. But that doesn't mean the life of your garlic as a pest repellant is over. Once it's time to pluck those aromatic alliums from the ground, you can turn them into another concoction to ward off unwanted visitors from the yard by making a garlic pest control spray. You'll just need water, dish or Castille soap, a fine strainer, a spray bottle, and one head of your freshly harvested garlic. Finely mince or blend the garlic with water, and add a bit of dish soap, then allow to steep for at least 12 hours. 

Once it smells strong enough to ward off a vampire, strain the mixture (to prevent clogs and decay) and transfer it to a spray bottle. Once your spray bottle is locked and loaded, you can spritz the mixture around the perimeter of your garden, as well as any other areas on your patio that tend to be pest hot spots, like gaps in the foundation or under the grill. This spray will work similarly to your planted bulbs. Now it's time to plan what you should do with the rest of your homegrown garlic.