Amazing Uses for Garlic in Your Home & Garden

I’m an unashamed ‘Garlicoholic’ and if you love garlic as much as I do, you may be surprised at some of the incredibly useful ways you can use this ancient herb:

In the kitchen, garden & for health

3 Brilliant Ways You Can Benefit from Garlic

  • In your kitchen – for its culinary uses;
  • For health – and its medicinal benefits; plus
  • In your garden – to help with pest & disease management!

 

So first up:

1.  In Your Kitchen …

My Favourite Garlic Tips

  • If you want to avoid ‘garlic breath’ eat a few leaves of any chlorophyll rich herb like fresh mint, parsley or basil afterwards.
  • When using garlic in recipes, 1 clove = 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic or ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic.

  • The longer you cook garlic, the milder and sweeter the flavour.
  • To release the skin without fiddly peeling, lay a clove flat on a board, slice off the root and place under the blade of a wide knife. Press down hard over the top and the skin will pop off.

 

How to Mince Garlic – Tips to Crush, Chop & Dice Garlic Cloves

 

  • Adding garlic early in a recipe will result in a milder flavour than adding it towards the end.
  • In recipes, don’t be tempted to increase the quantity, as garlic can overpower other flavours (especially if it’s home grown).
  • Know how strong your garlic is – until you’ve tried using it, I suggest less is more. You can always add, but can’t take away!

 

Garlic finely chopped. Photo: © Karcich

The finer you chop your garlic, the more intense the flavour (minced = strong; sliced = milder; whole = mildest).

 

  • If you don’t have any garlic, prune a few of the green shoots while it’s still growing in the garden and use as a substitute. You can also use other members of the onion family including garlic chives, chives, spring onions, shallots, leek or onion tops.

 

How to make Garlic Puree

 

  • Use garlic leaves the same as you would chives – snip into stir fries, salads & egg dishes.

 

Roasted garlic has a sweet mellow flavour

To intensify sweetness, roast a whole clove in a covered container. Mash into potatoes and gravy (believe me it’s to DIE for)!

 

  • Add garlic to flavour your meat – it also helps you digest it.

 

Gently cook garlic

When cooking, avoid burning garlic as it becomes bitter.

 

CLICK BELOW for garlic press and storage solutions

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Favourite Garlic Recipes

 

  • Garlic & Herb Butter – To 4 tblspns butter, add 1 minced clove garlic; 2 tspns chopped fresh (or dried) herbs & a sprinkle of salt. Mix well & spread on bread or pizza bases, melt on vegetables or toss through pasta.

 

Garlic & Herb Butter

Roll any excess into a log between kitchen wrap and freeze. Cut rounds & use as needed.

 

  • Yummy Garlic Recipes – including Baked Garlic & Eggplant Salad; Garlic Custard; Garlic Prawns & Ayurvedic Garlic Curry + many more.

 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (You can reduce the butter to your taste)

 

2.   Garlic Tips for Health Benefits

According to Isabell Shipard’s wonderful herb book:

“Garlic is … a powerful antibioticboosts immunity … has been dubbed the anti-cancer food … an anti-inflammatory … contains powerful antioxidants that help remove free radicals with their destructive habits and ageing effects on the body …”

Garlic for health

When Hippocrates said over 2300 years ago “Let your food be your medicine” he no doubt had garlic in mind.

 

There is so much more to garlic and I thoroughly recommend you read ‘How Can I Use Herbs in My Daily Life?‘ to learn and apply how to use it to boost your health and well-being, as well as 500 other herbs.

 

Garlic Properties

  • Garlic has been widely used for health benefits since Egyptian times and scientific research continues to confirm its many applications for building immunity, anti-cancer properties, lowering cholesterol and too many more to mention. It is widely used as a natural alternative for many diseases with fewer side effects than drugs. 
[See the References at the end of this post.]

 

CLICK BELOW for books on how to grow and cook with garlic

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  • Head or chest congestion – To make an inhalant, chop 2 garlic cloves and add to a small bowl with 2 cups boiling water and 1 tblspn apple cider vinegar. Stir vigorously for 10 seconds then cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapours over the bowl.

 

Garlic has antibacterial properties

The sulphur content of garlic acts as a strong disinfectant – rub a raw cut garlic clove on cuts as an antibacterial agent.

 

“The medicinal value of garlic is no longer an ancient Chinese secret.” – Professor David Mirelman, Weizmann Institute of Science

 

  • Garlic Tea Immune Enhancer: A well-known immune system strengthener, garlic shines as an antibacterial and antiviral herb for fighting colds, coughs and the flu. Drinking fresh garlic tea sweetened with a little raw honey is one of the best ways to take advantage of garlic’s healing properties to heal what ails you. To make: Peel 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic and lightly crush them with the side of a wide knife blade. Add them to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain the garlic and allow the tea to cool to mouth temperature. Add raw honey, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drink as much as needed.

Garlic Health Benefits

 

3.  Garlic Tips for Your Garden

For any pest or disease problem in the garden, first and foremost, I believe in looking at the source of the problem and working with nature to avoid it, rather than reaching for a quick fix spray remedy – even if it IS organic. There are consequences for every action and whilst recipes and sprays abound in books and the internet, it’s wise to understand what you are dealing with first.

I’ve only ever had to use an organic spray very sparingly on a few occasions in my garden – as a last resort strategy to avoid losing a crop. For the most part, I’ve found if I have healthy soil, I don’t have major pest or disease issues.

  • Companion Plant: The primary way I use garlic in my garden is as a beneficial companion plant (with a few exceptions including peas and beans). Interplanting it with other crops can be a useful pest management strategy. It can help deter both air and soil-borne pests including leaf eaters, spider mites and fruit flies.

 

I’ve found garlic is most effective when the leaves are more developed. This is my gorgeous garlic on the right and luscious leeks on the left!

 

  • Crops: The smell of garlic and other allium family members helps confuse pests like carrot flies and white cabbage butterflies by masking the smell of host plants where the mummies want to lay their eggs for their little darlings to hatch out and eat. So, interplant your carrots and brassica crops between garlic, leeks, onions or chives to use this strategy. Interplant with raspberry canes for protection from grubs.
  • Trees: Try planting garlic around the base of peach/nectarine trees to reduce curly leaf infection and around roses to improve fragrance and growth. Planted around trees, garlic can deter borers, mites and weevils and is a much safer alternative to harmful chemicals.

The active ingredients in garlic include complex organic sulphides and garlic’s antimicrobial properties means it can be effective against a range of pests and diseases particularly as a fungicide.

 

Purple garlic flowers

Its strong scent and flavour make it unpalatable (to insects & some animals) and a natural short-term repellent.

 

  • Possum RepellentGarlic spray (works on smell & taste): Add 2 tablespoons freshly crushed garlic to 1 litre of hot water (or add 2 tablespoons freshly crushed hot chilli). Allow to stand overnight. Strain. Spray on foliage. Remember sprays are best used in the cool of the day to avoid burning your plants and will only last a few days.
  • Treat Powdery Mildew:  Garlic contains high levels of sulphur, an effective fungicide. A few crushed cloves in water (and strained) can be used to make a homemade spray. For effective control, timing is important. Spray at the first sign of powdery mildew and repeat every week or two until it is under control. Some squash and melon varieties may be sensitive to garlic so an alternative is to spray upper leaves and undersides weekly with a solution of baking soda (1 tspn baking soda + a few drops liquid soap in about 1 litre of water). Test a few leaves first. Baking soda increases the leaf surface pH – an environment powdery mildew spores won’t grow on.
  • Caution: Garlic spray can be used as a general purpose insecticide and fungicide but be aware it kills your friendly little beneficial insects as well as plant pests and diseases so use carefully. and please consider other options you have before using any spray even if it is organic.
  • Chook Health: Adding finely chopped garlic to your little ladies’ food and water monthly (during the full moon cycle) is a good natural worm preventative. It also stimulates digestive organs, treats intestinal infections and bacteria, is a wonderful disinfectant, alleviates catarrh and benefits the liver and gall bladder. Your chooks will thank you!

 

Chooks can benefit from garlic too

Prevent Poultry Parasites: Add garlic to chook food to prevent and control parasite infestations.

 

References & Resources:

If you missed Part 1 – 5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic, then check it out – you’ll learn just how easy it is to grow this flavoursome, medicinal and versatile herb. You might also enjoy Guide to Growing Spring Onions – both indoors and out!

 

Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. Please read my Disclosure Statement for more details.

 

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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2016. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

47 Comments

  1. Emily February 24, 2015 at 2:53 am - Reply

    I have been growing some garlic for almost two months now, and it is the first house plant that I have successfully grown ever! A huge winter storm hit and we brought up the temperature by 2 degrees (from 65 to 67) and now they are wilting and dying. I make sure that the soil isn’t dry every day, they are in a south facing window and have plenty of drainage. I am not sure what is wrong, or if I can save them! Usually wilting is a sign of no return for my plants. Could the enhanced white light from all the snow outside be giving them too much sun? Or did that 2 degree temp change do it? Also I was wondering what kind of fertilizer I can use besides fish? A little embarrassing but I have a phobia of fish, would banana’s be okay for garlic?

    • Anne Gibson February 25, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Hi Emily
      I can’t say for certain what’s caused the change in your garlic. However, garlic always responds well for me when I use liquid seaweed (both in the soil and as a foliar spray on the leaves). If it is stressed for some reason or adapting to the change in environment, this is usually my quick go-to remedy!
      Remember garlic needs great drainage at all times so make sure you’re not overwatering. Try a moisture meter to take the guesswork out of it if necessary. I use one for all my pots.
      I’d also suggest a thick layer of mulch if you haven’t already done this. See my post on 5 Steps to Growing Gorgeous Garlic for more tips.

  2. Christine May 20, 2013 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Love your articles, Because of you I am growing garlic this year! You have great info , and hope it helps me have a wonderful harvest. I keep coming back reading your post and always learn something. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us all out. Christine

    • The Micro Gardener May 21, 2013 at 6:03 am - Reply

      Hi Christine
      So excited to hear you are growing garlic this year – I’m sure you’ll be as thrilled as I was when you pull your first bulb from the ground and have the satisfaction of knowing you don’t have to buy it anymore. And the flavour will be more intense and delicious. Anticipation of the harvest is one of the joys of growing your own! Great to know my article has helped. 🙂

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  4. Wendy November 3, 2012 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this information. I have just this morning harvested three soft top garlic’s which are drying in the pantry. Being I am a novice I was waiting and waiting for the garlic to flower not knowing that this variety does not produce a flower. I had 1 garlic where I used to live flower but I left it in the ground because I didn’t know what to do I didn’t think of even looking on the internet for some information. So please could you send me the amazing “Garlic guide” I need all the help I can get and the more information the better.

    Regards

    Wendy

    • The Micro Gardener November 8, 2012 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Thanks for your story and comment Wendy. Your Garlic Guide has been sent! Enjoy the read and happy planting and harvesting your gorgeous garlic!
      Anne 🙂

  5. Meg July 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you Anne.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    I do my best & when things dont go as well as planned, you re inspire me & keep me believing 🙂
    Namaste
    Meg
    Xl

    • The Micro Gardener July 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much Meg – we all get disappointed from time to time in the garden when things don’t go as planned. I take the good with the bad – like the ebb and flow of life and love sharing what I’ve observed and learned! My philosophy is ‘sow little and often’ and just keep doing small things in the garden and you’ll be amazed at what happens. Build and love your soil – it will repay you many times. I went out to my garden this afternoon after several weeks of not being able to spend much time there due to work commitments and found to my delight several pumpkins ready for harvest (one became our dinner in soup tonight), a head of broccoli, several new potato plants I never planted (somehow they volunteered to grow there), dozens of new tomato plants had popped up, several passionfruit had fallen ready for harvesting, flowers on the paw paw trees were blooming and much more. All these things happened without me doing anything. I just sowed some seeds and started looking after my soil. The rewards DO come. Be patient and have joy in the time you spend in your garden. 🙂 Anne

  6. MARILYNN May 26, 2012 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Hi. You mentioned dogs eat garlic for worms. I have cats. One has worms and the other has really congested lungs and a cold. I can’t afford a pet doctor. Is it okay to administer garlic to cats, and how do I incorporate it into their food. The taste is different to them.

    • The Micro Gardener May 26, 2012 at 6:39 am - Reply

      Hi Marilynn
      I don’t have cats but did some research for you and it appears garlic may be beneficial for cats with worms. I encourage you to do your own due diligence for your pets as you are familiar with their health issues. The resources below may help:

      “A common additive for cat owners to put in their pet’s food is garlic, whether in caplet form or fresh. Although garlic is not fatal to parasitic worms like medicine is, it dissolves excess mucous formation inside the cat’s intestinal tract. The garlic frees the intestinal immune system, allowing it to fight off the worms without any outside medication. Cats should not be given more than 1/8 teaspoon of fresh garlic per day for about two weeks. Depending upon the cat’s pickiness, the owner may need to finely mince the garlic and add it directly to the cat food.” – Cat Worms Alternative Treatment

      Garlic Safety and Dosage Guidelines for Dogs and Cats – “A lot of animals enjoy the flavor of raw garlic but some do not. For those who don’t or for pets who have a sensitive stomach you can take the more convenient route and use a garlic supplement. For safety, we recommend using an odor-free, aged extract, such as the brand – Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract.”

      Garlic Dose for Cats:
      The suggested dose is 1/2 finely chopped or pressed small raw clove mixed into food daily. Aged Extract: 1/2 capsule daily mixed into food. The use of garlic is contraindicated in animals who are anemic. Research indicates that garlic causes a type of anemia in animals, especially in cats, if given in large doses. Even in healthy subjects it is a good idea to dose in moderation.

      Alternative Medicine for Pets

      Good luck! Anne 🙂

  7. Joanna May 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this valuable information – I love your site and pin many things to Pinterest for easy reference
    Interplanted lettuces and herbs with garlic today!
    Love to find out more via your guide
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom
    Best wishes

    • The Micro Gardener May 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      Hi Joanna
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and sharing via Pinterest. I’m so glad you have found the information helpful. How wonderful to hear you have interplanted your garlic … it’s a fantastic companion and I’m sure you’ll love it when you harvest your own flavoursome bulbs. Hardest bit is waiting for them to grow! I’ll happily send you the Garlic Guide – I’m sure you’ll pick up even more tips and enjoy the yummy recipes. Stop by again soon. 🙂

  8. Leta May 11, 2012 at 2:31 am - Reply

    Very Interesting! I love learning new things.

    • The Micro Gardener May 11, 2012 at 7:19 am - Reply

      Hi Leta, glad you enjoyed the post. Hope you drop by again soon or feel free to explore other articles. Happy planting. 🙂

  9. Michael May 4, 2012 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Great site. Have used Garlic for years but I learned stuff here I did not know. And now I can grow my own. Best.

    • The Micro Gardener May 4, 2012 at 10:39 am - Reply

      Hi Michael
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you picked up something new … I never stop learning about the amazing qualities of plants, especially edibles ones and their health benefits. One of the reasons I’m addicted to growing my own food and encouraging others to do so! I’ll send you a copy of the Garlic Guide – I’m sure you’ll enjoy even more tips and ways to use it.
      Happy growing. 🙂

  10. The Micro Gardener May 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Fran
    Thanks for that tip about resting the minced garlic! It’s amazed me just how many other garlic lovers there are out there and with good reason. I’ll happily send your ‘Garlic Guide’ to you now … I hope it further inspires you with some yummy recipes and ideas for new uses. 🙂

  11. narf77 May 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I love garlic in every form. We eat garlic every day and I don’t think that I could do without garlic. One hint that I would add to the garlic list above is to mince/chop your garlic and let it rest for a bit before you use it. It converts the sulphur in the garlic and makes it better for you. I would love a copy of your garlic ebook thanks Annie and will be sure to make something headily garlic scented ASAP.

  12. suzy April 30, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Awesome article. I esp. enjoyed the uses in the garden part as I’m a beginner just starting with gardening

    • The Micro Gardener April 30, 2012 at 10:28 am - Reply

      Thanks Suzy! Glad to hear it was helpful … there are plenty of tips here for beginner gardeners. Don’t worry about making ‘mistakes’ – you can always compost them! Have fun, dig in and give things a go. Feel free to ask questions any time and I’ll try to help. 🙂

  13. Fran April 28, 2012 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Love this article and all the information. I use garlic all the time, but will be using it even more so. All the barn yard smells of garlic which I love, but growing has always been a bit more difficult. I’ll be able to do that with your 5 step guide. Thanks for all the great information that you share. Fran

    • The Micro Gardener April 29, 2012 at 7:26 am - Reply

      Hi Fran
      Great to hear you’re growing garlic. Can just picture your barn with garlic strung up drying! There are so many interesting uses for it that I really could have written another post … maybe in the future! Thanks for sharing your experience. I believe there’s no point growing any plant unless we know how to use it – not just in the kitchen but for health too. 🙂

  14. Dolores April 28, 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I really enjoyed reading your newsletter. I am going to start to grow my own garlic too.
    I would love a copy of the garlic guide to learn more!!! Looking forward to the next newsletter! 🙂

    • The Micro Gardener April 28, 2012 at 10:57 am - Reply

      Hi Delores … fantastic to hear you’re going to grow your own gorgeous garlic. Happy to send your ‘Garlic Guide’ and hope you enjoy it. There’s plenty to tuck into.
      Happy gardening 🙂

  15. Judy McGrath April 28, 2012 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Initially found you on Pinterest and now get emails as well. Love the creativity. I live in Alaska and have started lots of seeds which I’ll transplant in 4 to 5 weeks to my roof container garden, which is new this year. Planted garlic last fall and will see if they come up. Thanks for all the neat stuff on your site.

    • The Micro Gardener April 28, 2012 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Hi Judy
      Welcome … and thanks so much for sharing your garlic experiences. A roof container garden! Wow that sounds amazing – would love to see some pics sometime. Maybe when I’ve got my Facebook page up and running you can share what you’re doing with the other subscribers in our community of readers here. You must have some challenges growing in Alaska – would love to know what you grow and more about your container gardening. Again, lovely to have you join us here and look forward to staying in touch with your garlic adventures. 🙂

  16. Amarylis April 28, 2012 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Hi Anne,
    I read your newsletters regularly & I read with great interest your articles on Garlic. I grew some for the first time ever last year & this year I have repeated.

    I lived in Spain for many years before returning to the UK in 2001. The Spanish make a great deal of use of Garlic & I grew to appreciate it there. My wife is Spanish & we have continued to use Garlic in many of our meals even here in the UK.

    I’d love a copy of your Garlic Guide as well.

    Happy gardening,

    Amarylis

    • The Micro Gardener April 28, 2012 at 9:46 am - Reply

      Hi David
      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with garlic. I love hearing how others are using it and where they’re growing it. I am sure you have different varieties in the UK to what I grow here in Australia but the benefits of this herb are amazing and play a vital in our health. I’d be interested to follow your garlic experiences in the allotment and how you find it as a companion plant if you are using it as one.
      Your ‘Garlic Guide’ is on the way! Enjoy reading it.
      Cheers, Anne 🙂

  17. Ted Johnston April 28, 2012 at 12:40 am - Reply

    Great information about GARLIC. Love the stuff. Keep up with the tips.

  18. Deanna April 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    I don’t know what I would do without garlic! My plan this year is to tuck some bulbs in my other beds to deter pests.
    Thanks for another great read!

    • The Micro Gardener April 28, 2012 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Thanks for leaving your comment Deanna. I’ve come to realise garlic is a Super Food in so many ways – it’s powerful healing properties, flavour and uses outdoors makes it an essential plant to grow in almost any garden. I love the idea of you tucking some plants amongst your garden beds. I’ve found this a very useful strategy. 🙂

  19. Susan Willingham April 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    Thankyou thankyou so much, this was such great info on garlic…want to know more…love your stuff 🙂

  20. Michelle Prosek April 27, 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    I’d love a copy of the Garlic Guide too! I have some bulbs already started, so the more information the better!!

    • The Micro Gardener April 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      No problem Michelle – I hope you enjoy the Garlic Guide – it’s packed with useful tips. 🙂

  21. Sandy April 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    HI Anne

    This was a fantastic read. Love your work. I just wish garlic would grow faster:)

    Sandy:)

    • The Micro Gardener April 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Sandy … So glad you liked the post! Thanks so much. I put lots of love into sharing this info … just like I do my soil. Hopefully these little seeds of knowledge will keep growing in other people’s backyards. I’m with you though – impatient for it to grow. My best tip is to grow a variety that is quicker and sow at regular intervals so you can spread your harvest. I’ve worked out a dedicated patch 1.2m x 1m will feed our family garlic for a year. Not a bad investment! 🙂

  22. Anna April 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Some really helpful information thanks so much! Can’t wait to get my garlic in now!

    • The Micro Gardener April 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm - Reply

      Great to hear this has been helpful Anna. It’s easy to grow and I’m sure you’ll love the reward. Hardest bit is being patient while it grows!! 🙂

  23. Paula Morhardt April 27, 2012 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    I love garlic, but have never tried growing it myself. After reading this, I will never buy it from the store again! Thanks for all the great info!

    • The Micro Gardener April 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Paula
      So thrilled to hear this! There are so many of our foods that are being chemically treated, are nutrient-deficient and imported with huge food miles so the more we can grow for ourselves or at least buy local and organic, the better. Happy to help. 🙂

  24. naomi April 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I truly enjoy reading your posts; the garlic posts are near and dear to me because not only do I love growing my own but I put almost every thing you mentioned in to play here on our little hobby farm…. we have a little of every animal Noah had, lol…. and we treat them all with natural preventatives as much as possible. Keep up the good work and have a blessed growing season.

    • The Micro Gardener April 27, 2012 at 3:43 pm - Reply

      Hi Naomi
      Thanks so much for your inspiring comment and lovely feedback. Do you have a blog? Would love to see your hobby farm and what you’re up to .. it sounds ideal and so glad to hear you are treating your animals naturally. Great example to others. I must admit I feed our three dogs with the same organic and natural diet we have and they are so healthy and happy.
      Happy harvesting your lovely garlic Naomi! 🙂

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