Slugs and catapillars! Surprised I have any plants left!

Hi guys, I planted a new clematis the other week and I noticed that something was eating the new buds. They start to grow and then they get eaten again. I put a few slug pellets around them to see if I could catch what was the culprit (I know most gardeners would recommend against using pellets). Well I went out a few nights ago after putting them down and I could not believe how many slugs and nails were around the clematis. On further I spection there were hundreds and I mean hundreds all over the other plants. I'm surprised I have anything left in the garden. I've just been out now and I now have catapillars crawling all over the clematis! I picked them off but is there any way to keep them away from it? How will it ever grow if they keep eating everything??
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 26,957

    That was your chance to pick them all up and dispatch them Craig! It's the only way to really get on top of the problem, especially at this time of year. They love the new emerging shoots of things like clematis - any soft plant growth. The more robust the plant is, the better it can fight them off. 

    Getting birds into the garden to eat them is one way of helping to keep on top of the problem too, but right now you just need to be vigilant and do some late night slug hunting. If the plants are small they're more vulnerable too, so if you buy small plants, pot them up and let them grow on a bit before putting them out.

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


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,550

    Encourage birds, frogs and hedgehogs into your garden - they'll help you in the fight against the slugs and caterpillars.

    And in the meantime, until you've achieved a balance in your garden, get some nematodes (Nemaslug) to treat your soil against slugs - it'll help prevent the next generation or two

    https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=228

    It's a bit early in the year for caterpillars - what do yours look like?

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • mike 14mike 14 Posts: 7

    What Fairygirl says is absolutely right. I get out at midnight on a wet night wearing a head torch and bucket them. Then you need to dig a deep hole and bury them hard, unless you hate your neighbours then...............

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 22,199

    take a pair of old scissors with youimage and you don't need to bury them and the birds/ hedgehogs/ frogs still get to eat them

    Devon.
  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I use a redundant pair of secateurs for slugs and snails. 

    Also had a caterpillar eat a vulnerable clematis this time last year,  brown thing, just the one decimated my clematis before I realised it wasn't slugs, probably a moth species around this time of year...image

    I'm trying a new product this year for vulnerable plants because although my dog doesn't eat the pellets, I don't want to risk it. Anyhow, yesterday's torrential rain worked wonders on my Lupins, the granules swelled in the rain and felt disgusting, probably have some untasteful agent that works against molluscs 

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436
    mike 14 wrote (see)

    What Fairygirl says is absolutely right. I get out at midnight on a wet night wearing a head torch and bucket them. Then you need to dig a deep hole and bury them hard, unless you hate your neighbours then...............

     

     

    You know they live in the ground right? image or is it only the smaller garden slugs that ascend in the middle of your prized plants in the darkest hours ? 

  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 597
    Honestly wintersong I have the worlds population of slugs in my garden lol big ones small ones spotted ones stripped one. God knows what the neighbours think of me in the garden at midnight killing slugs and picking off catapillars lol I will definately encourage more wild life Ito the garden as I would rather do that than use pellets. I just hope my clematis recovers from the constant attacks image
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,550

    The bigger spotted striped slugs http://www.slugwatch.co.uk/?portfolio=leopard-slug  and big black and big orange ones eat the small slugs rather than our plants, so I leave them and concentrate on the small grey jobs. 

    http://www.slugoff.co.uk/slug-facts/bad-slugs

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 26,957

    Craig - what you could do is lift the clematis and pot it up for now. I'm assuming the clematis will be easy to lift as you've just put it in, so it wouldn't be a difficult job. Then you can protect it more easily and once it's grown on a bit, you can re plant it. It's something I've done quite often in the past.  

    That's probably easier than dealing with it in the ground just now image

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


  • CraighBCraighB Posts: 597
    That's a good idea actually. I think I'm going to do that!
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