Arg, slugs again
bookmonster Posts: 399
in Fruit & veg
Having lost all my kohlrabi (despite copper tape) and white beetroot to slugs this year and had extensive damage to my runner beans, I filled the gaps with mustard greens and spring onions, and chard. Some of the chard survives, plus one lonely mustard seedling and one lonely spring onion.
I plan to restart them but keep them indoors for longer - anyone got tried and tested slug protection strategies? I understood they didn't find mustard greens appetising... I tried sharp sand round some of the mustard greens, which seems not to have been effective.
The only thing I have found that really works are those blue poisonous slug pellets that a lot of people hate. I don't know if hedgehogs will eat poisoned slugs, but I've watched the birds here and they don't touch them.
Unfortunately hogs do eat the pellets & frogs/toads Nematodes, lambs wool pellets for mulching & garlic sprays work wonders here.
Last edited: 02 September 2017 20:44:08
I live in France and haven't found any of those for sale here
I"LL have to look out for wool pellets and make a garlic spray. Reluctant to try nematodes when I just have a small 6 foot by 3 veg patch
Have you tried hand-picking of slugs/snails at nigh by torchlight? Easiest thing is to drop them into a bucket with a small amount of water and then either relocate them a good distance away, or drown them (need a lid to make sure they don't climb out).
You can't beat a midnight excursion with a torch, slug scissors, optional tweezers and a pot of very salty water. I use flexible lawn edging with copper tape round the top to enclose my at risk veg, has always worked a treat for me. I dig over the patch beforehand to expose any eggs and let the birds have a go before I fence it off.
They still find other ways to annoy though especially the ones that hide underground!
The Centre for Alternative Technology publishes "The Little Book of Slugs" which you can buy via their website for about £2. It describes many non-toxic methods of combatting the little horrors. And it's a fun read.
I don't think there's any failsafe, one size fits all method.
I don't have time to continually go out spraying with garlic - it would neeed done every few days as it would wash off.
I expect nematodes would work best here, but the ground and general conditions need to be warm enough to apply them and be effective, so again, they would have destroyed lots of plants before they would work.
For me, like herbaceous, it's the night hunting and scissors, but also checking out their hidey holes during the day whenever possible - I know where they lurk If I get them early on in spring, it helps a lot, but I have to do it regularly through the season. I also plant things that are less susceptible, but I appreciate it's not always possible as it depends on the type of garden/plot you want.
The barrier methods need experimenting with to see what works best for you, bookmonster.
I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
I'm all for scissors, instant , pain free ( I'm sure ) death. but please no "salt baths" I'm no expert on the nervous system of gastropods, but it looks very slow and painful to me.