Plant Garlic in Fall by Fruit Trees to Keep Borers Away

Updated: Jul. 15, 2021

Bugs simply don't like the smell of garlic. Plant garlic in fall around fruit trees and shrubs to help deter borers and other insect damage.

garlic Courtesy Noelle Johnson

Did you know that planting garlic can keep damaging insects away from your garden? In previous posts, I talked about how garlic helps roses by repelling aphids and help prevent fungal diseases such as blackspot and powdery mildew.

Today, I am going to share with you another way that garlic can help you in the garden. Plant garlic around fruit trees to help prevent borers.

Borers are small beetles that lay their eggs in the crevices of bark.  The eggs hatch and the small larvae eat their way into the sapwood of your tree, which causes damage and can even kill a tree. Borers usually target young or drought-stressed fruit trees, although they can go after a healthy tree, too.

Bugs simply don’t like the smell of garlic.

how to plant garlic clovesNoelle Johnson

Now, you don’t have to go out and buy fancy garlic from the garden nursery to plant, (although you certainly can if you like). A simple trip to your local supermarket is all you need to do. Plant 5 to 7 garlic cloves around your tree about 1 or 2 inches deep. Keep the papery skins on and plant each clove so that the pointed part faces upward.

planting garlic clovesNoelle Johnson

As garlic begins to grow, green shoots will form. You can cut a few and dice them much like you would chives and use them with you cook for a mild garlic flavor. In cold climates, the greens will die back in winter, but will come back in spring. For those of you in warmer climates, the greens will last year round.

Plant garlic around fruit trees to repel borersNoelle Johnson

If you have apple, apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach or pear trees, I highly recommend planting garlic around each tree. Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown among existing plants or even in containers.

Even if you do not have fruit trees, growing garlic is fun and rewarding. Fall is the best time to plant your garlic, whether to keep bad bugs away or for eating later. Garlic bulbs last around 6 to 9 months after harvesting.

harvested garlicNoelle Johnson