By Jill Brooke
In honor of National Garlic Day, I’m going to share a fun secret. If you plant garlic bulbs next to your roses, the flowers become MORE fragrant. This was confirmed by the Herb Society of America.
Nature already gave us clues to this cool relationship over the years since our ancestors used to call garlic “the stinking rose.” Both have potent smells.
Yet garlic is actually part of the lily family and also includes onions, leeks and shallots.
Part of garlic’s superpower is that it helps prevent fungal diseases that hurt roses, and other flowers. Among the rose-hurting diseases, it helps prevent is blackspot. Ants, snails and rodents aren’t that happy near it either.
Originating over 7,000 years ago, it is a go-to flavor booster in cooking.
There are also 300 varieties of garlic grown around the world so even if you can’t grow it, consider cooking with it today and share these fun stories with your friends and family. Oh and Gilroy, California claims to be the Garlic Capitol of the World. Though some would say it’s actually my house because I cook with it so often and believe in its medicinal purposes – especially to prevent colds.
Culturally, garlic was believed to ward off anything bad – whether it’s vampires or demons – and to dream about garlic is considered good luck.
Plus garlic is so easy to plant.
1) You can get a garlic bulb at a farmer’s market or supermarket and just separate the individual cloves.
2) Space the cloves six inches apart from the base of your rose bush. Keep the papery covering on the clove. Also only plant the big cloves. Makes a difference.
3). Dig a 3-inch hole where you want to plant the cloves. Use a spade, a spoon, stick or even a screwdriver. Now just put the clove into the hole with the pointed part of the clove pointing UPWARD.
4) Water gently to settle the soil.
5) After planting, lay down a protective mulch of straw, chopped leaves or grass clippings.
6) Plant in the autumn or if you can plant in spring. Garlic is ready to be plucked when the leaves turn yell0wish brown around late July.
7) Now pull them from the ground and store them in a cool ventilated place for a few weeks to dry out. Then hen you will have so much garlic to enjoy for cooking meals.
Last but not least, if you are planting around roses, make sure the fertilizer is organic and has no pesticides because it will impact the garlic. We want natural and healthy. If you are using pesticides for your roses, then just plant the garlic to enhance the rose’s fragrance and not for consumption.