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Slugs - at my wits' end!

Hi everyone
Just hoping for some collective wisdom on slugs and herbs, please. I've been in my new house nearly three years now and I have never had such trouble with slugs as I do here. Basil, coriander and mint destroyed time and time again.
I made my herb garden outside the kitchen door - as you do. It's not the ideal spot in this case as there is a pond and rill not far away so it's a damper area than elsewhere, but I didn't want to have to go miles for herbs halfway through cooking dinner. But I just cannot fend off the slugs. I tried gravel, eggshells, no luck. Now, stupidly, shelled out £24 for a set of slug rings. Here's what's left of my basil...

What would you do? I've thought about planting a whole bed of it, for strength in numbers, but it's just too depressing seeing these lovely plants carefully raised from seed reduced to slimy stumps in a couple of days.
Should I give up on this spot and relocate the herbs? Or is there something else I can try? 
Slug pellets are no-go for me. I haven't tried nematodes yet because I guess I'm worried they're a bit newfangled and will turn out to be bad news for some part of the ecosystem we don't understand yet. But I am getting desperate! 


  • 1634 Racine1634 Racine Posts: 568
    I share your pain @Adstid

    Dahlias planted out last week have already been shredded.  I’ve been using nematodes since spring - 3 applications.  I thought I was winning the war but last night I went out late and the whole garden was covering in slugs and snails.  I snapped and reached for the bucket of salty water.

    Today I have bought a cheap 4-pack of lager from the supermarket and will be setting traps.  This has been really effective in the past but I suspect that the hundreds of Gastropods I do trap are just the top of the iceberg and others will come to replace them.

    i got a bit complacent.  I think the only way to stay on top is to stay vigilant and go for a triple pronged approach of Nematodes, beer traps and night time raids.

    i heat ducks are good but they will probably tear your garden apart too 😁
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,085
    I don’t plant basil out into the ground ... I keep it potted and place the pots in a big pot saucer which
    always has some water in it and that’s on top of the water butt lid ... if they want my basil the b***ers are going to have to climb and swim for it. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FireFire Posts: 17,348
    Basil is good for pots, high up. You can put the shelf legs in salt trays if on hard surfacing. Copper rings don't work. As you discover.
  • Copper rings work if you use them as a stand for your pot of basil - that's what I do.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,105
    The only other thing that has worked in the past for me is water retention crystals ( like you put in hanging baskets) sprinkled on the ground around the stem. Not pretty looking and needs topping up when they have swollen with water ( just removed or dug into the soil)  Seems it dries up the slugs that try to cross, it saved my green beans one year.😁
  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 78
    In fairness to the slug rings guy, he has very recently offered to give me a full refund if they don't work. I'll give them one more chance (in parallel with trying out some of these other ideas) and hopefully something will keep them at bay long enough for me to harvest at least a few leaves!
    Thanks everyone.
  • AdstidAdstid Posts: 78
    *decently* not recently!
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    The most successful method is to pick them off with your (gloved) hand and pop them into a bucket with an inch or two of water and four tablespoons of salt. As time passes you will find fewer and fewer and your plants will flourish.
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