Because strawbery mats are so expensive I'm wondering if I could use ordinary roofing felt to serve the purpose. Its gritty surface woukd seem to deter slugs but would any of its constitutents be harmful to the fruit and soil?
Sorry! The Heading should reads Mats and not Mata. Also, constituents has only 3 'ts' and not 4.
What's an extra 't' between gardeners - a large one please, no sugar!! I'd be a bit concerned that roofing felt may have tar based stuff in it? Not sure how good that would be for the plants? As I find slugs on our felted shed roof I'm not convinced about the deterrence to slugs anyway. Copper works, but the collars are expensive - but the do last almost for ever. I use copper tape on my 60+ hosta pots and thus saved the collection as they were just getting laced every year till I tried that. Sometimes plumbers have odd little bit of copper piping they can't use if you know a friendly plumber - and there are copper impregnated cabbage mats whih would be OK for strawberries, but not cheap either I don't think. The iron based and thus fine for wildlife pellets work, and I'mgrowing some in a raised bed this eyar with copper tape arund it - we will see.
Thanks Bookertoo! The tar bit is what I'm worrying about, perhaps there's a scientific boffin who could shed some light on things? Talking of sheds, those slugs of yours were obviously mountaineering types Incidentally, I have my hosta pots on those little terracotttata pot stands and, despite almost a plague of slugs in the last year or so, I've had no problems at all. While I'm familiar with the slug methods you've suggested they're all expensive and, although I hate the thought, I suppose I'll just have to revert to pellets, but doesn't their residue have some affect on the plants/fruit?
If you have a 'B and M Bargins' store near you, they sell copper tape in the garden section for £1 or £2. Don't know how effective it is as I've not used copper as a deterrent for slugs. In the early days I used corplus amounts of blue pellets and after eraidcating huge quantities of slugs/snails now spray with a home made garlic mix or seaweed spray.
Depends where you grow your strawberries too. If in a patch. I used to put the ripping fruit into jam jars, it speeds up the ripening process and for some reason slugs/snails never ventured into the jars.
Hello Zoomer44! I've never heard of the B&M store you speak of, whereabouts do you live? My strawberries are grown in a raised bed 16' x 5' and under plant in certain areas 3 gooseberry bushes planted equidistant along its length. I like the idea of the jam jars but there would be too many in my case. What's the garlic mix or seaweed spray you speak of?
Thanks SwissSue! Ian St. John country I see!
Slugs anf pots of hostas ...... a ring of Vaseline under the rims works for me.
I agree, but never had to use the method since putting the pots up on the terracotta feet
Mine live on a shelved theatre, similar to that upon which people used to show auricuas, but of course very much bigger. I have found slugs several feet up a wall on the way to hanging baskets, under upstairs window sills - don't think pot feet will deter these. The ring of vaseline I know often works, but it hasn't here - tried WD40 as well, but they just laughed and kept travelling. Egg shells, sawdust, grit, porridge osts. the dry stuff that is sold as a deterrant, garlic wash, human hair, animal hair - tried them all over the years, and so far all that has worked is the copper tape - and even then they crawl up the wall and drop into the pots if I am not watchful. We do have the very big slugs which are disgusting to see but good as they eat the little ones which are the ones which do the damage to the plants. I guess I could stop growing so many hostas but that is not about to happen any time soon.
I love the discussions about slugs generally, but my prime concern at the moment is my strawberries, or at least when the begin to fruit. Someone must have found at least a half way decent method of overcoming the problem
The garlic mix, is simply garlic boiled up in a pan of water. I use a couple of bulbs and mash the cloves before putting in the water. Leave it to cool and bottle it up. It keeps for several weeks. You can spray as often or as little as you wish. It doesn't kill the slugs but seems to keep them off plants.
Add a small amount of cooking oil and it kills aphids.
I also make seaweed feed. Drift seaweed collected off the beach ( you aren't allowed to pick it ), makes excellent feed for your vegs and is good as a foilage spray. Fill two big bags full, pierce the bags and drop in a tub of water, leave it to stew for at least six weeks and bottle it up. I water this down to 1/2 litre per watering can for a feed and 50/50 as a spray.
I use straw, get the odd casualty...but hey ho.
I used straw, but only once, it was a real chore removing it all at the end of the growing season and it was a haven for slugs when it got wet.
Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I think I shall try one or two plants with the roofing felt, to see how that gets on. Otherwise, I think it's the straw with perhaps a few of the little blue things. Maybe the garlic method too, but something tells me that it might affect the smell and taste of the fruit?
My strawberries and alpine strawberries are grown under gooseberry/currant bushes and neither the garlic or seaweed spray affects the taste, it smells a little when first sprayed but once dry there's no odour.
If you are worried, just wait to pick after rain or water well with a watering can one or two days before.