Garlic guard

The legend goes that drops of nectar being carried to heaven fell on earth and out grew garlic plants. Though the role of garlic in curing various human ailments has long been established, recently its spray has been found to ward off infestation of ergot-causing fungus Claviceps sorghi in cereal crops (Indian Journal of Rural Technology, Vol 6, No 2).

While chemical fungicides are partially effective, the garlic spray was found to be cent per cent effective, claims Shiv Dhyan Singh of the Crop Protection Division of the Hyderabad-based International Crop@ Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics, who tested the concoction - 500 gm of crushed garlic in half a litre of water - on Sorghum plants.