Tips from the Old Gardeners "How to make friends and influence plants"
Among the most helpful tips to come down to use from observations and the practical experience of generations of gardeners are those that concern the protective qualities of certain plants.
The onion family ( onions, chives & garlic-alliums) In the old days there was a widespread habit in the countryside of hanging strings on onions in the house to keep it free of infectious diseases because, it was believed onions absorbed poisons. Modern science knows that onion and garlic both have the power to prevent blood clotting and the build up of cholesterol but, despite much research, has still not pinpointed exactly what gives the onion family its remarkable hearing powers. In the garden, this family performs as well for its fellow plants as it does for human health. Garlic and onion especially have a pungent smell and like the foxglove, contain repellent as well as stimulating properties.
To keep rabbits away from the crops, it is said plant a row of onions, chives or garlic. They will never pass through such a border.
If Dracula can't cope with garlic, what hope has the humble rabbit? It's also recommended to plant garlic and chives among roses to keep greenfly away and to Keep pests off raspberries and vines by planting garlic among them. If you boil the leaves of wild garlic in water, you can use this as a part to repel scale insects and aphids, and prevent tomato blight, bean rust and mildew in cucumbers. More food for thought. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse, Dougherty, Iowa