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Slug nematodes

SkylarksSkylarks East MidlandsPosts: 379
Hi, has anyone tried these and did they work? The reviews seem mixed, seem to work for some people and not others. 

I’ve only started growing veg 3 years ago, first and second year not too much of a problem, last year was a nightmare. My friend who started growing veg the same year as me had the same problem last year with slugs and other insects. 
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  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,610
    I use them and if applied correctly I think they work really well but wait until soil is warm and damp and follow instructions to the letter. Best of luck!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,201
    The problem with nematodes is that, as @debs64 says, the soil needs to be warm enough for them to be effective.
    That makes it difficult if you live in a colder area. They already have a stranglehold here by the time it warms up. 
    It can be a difficult problem to tackle successfully. I pick them out from their hiding places and dispatch them as much as possible, and largely avoid growing susceptible plants, but that makes it tricky if you want to grow lots of veg.  It's mostly a balance of patience and using several methods to get a result.

    As soon as you grow tasty greenery of any kind, they arrive with all their pals... ;)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • SkylarksSkylarks East MidlandsPosts: 379
    Thank you ladies. Yes, the blasted things like to have a party when the green stuff grows   

    I also have beer traps so will use them along with the nematodes. 

    One more question, is this a course enough watering rose? I’ve places a bamboo skewer there for scale. 


  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 1,099
    Hi @Skylarks,

    I've used slug nematodes for a few years now and they work well .... but you do need to get the right sized rose or it will clog up and the job becomes a nightmare.
    I speak from experience o 

    The rose that works best for me has holes which are 1mm. 
    So I suggest you try and put a 1mm drill bit (if you have one) through the holes in your rose to see if it will be OK.
    Don't be tempted to buy an applicator ... I found that they all clog.

    Bee x

    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,892
    Alternative opinion. Nematodes don't discriminate between beneficial slugs and snails and the ones that cause damage to plants. It's a blanket death sentence for all of them and has a knock on effect to soil health and the wider ecosystem in your garden and surrounding area. Birds rely on snail shells for calcium as well as slugs and snails for food as just one example. Very little information is available on the wider impact of nematode use, how long it stays active, transmission rates and what other creatures are also affected. There have been suggestions that they can infect hibernating bumblebees. Use with due caution in my opinion. I will stick to beer traps that exclude snails and manual removal personally.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Nematodes haven't worked for me at all. I have followed instructions to the letter but have ninja slugs. I am trying leopard slug transfer this year. Hopely they will eat the Spanish slugs (Arion vulgaris) that decimate my front garden.
  • SkylarksSkylarks East MidlandsPosts: 379
    Thank you Bee witched for the advice and sharing your experience. I will get a 1mm drill bit to widen the holes. 

    Wild edges, thank you for the alternative view point. I appreciate you taking the time to post but I’m very much a low maintenance gardener and with the slugs eating so much of my veg and plants last year, I am going full on battle mode with them this year 🥊

    Fire, good luck with getting rid of your ninja slugs this year. I’ve not heard of leopard slug transfer, so something new for me to look into. 
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    Slugs are likely to be active so long as the soil is not frozen or baked dry. Nematodes only work in warmer soil, so there is a danger that your seedlings will be eaten before you apply the nematodes. Leopard slugs, as well as birds, frogs and toads, will make almost no impact on your slugs, I'm afraid. I don't quite understand the term 'beneficial ' slugs, but Spanish slugs certainly don't fall in to that category.
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,892
    Posy said:
    I don't quite understand the term 'beneficial ' slugs, but Spanish slugs certainly don't fall in to that category.
    Slugs have a crucial role in soil health in terms of breaking down rotting plant material but they're also very helpful in weed control as they eat weed seedlings and even adult weeds. They're also a key element of the food chain for all kinds of animals which then go on to help control other pests in the garden. Blanket slug removal will do more harm than we can really perceive but as gardens are generally fairly broken ecosystems anyway it's hard to measure the impact of their loss. My philosophy is that the less you interfere the less you need to interfere.

    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • SkylarksSkylarks East MidlandsPosts: 379
    Posy said:
    Slugs are likely to be active so long as the soil is not frozen or baked dry. Nematodes only work in warmer soil, so there is a danger that your seedlings will be eaten before you apply the nematodes. 
    Thanks for the tip on warmer soil. I’m going to wait until it’s warmer before planting my seedlings out. 
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