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 Gardeners Corner. War on slugs

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windypops
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I've got all my seeds sown getting ready for this years veg crop in my garden. As usual it's open warfare against slugs that is uppermost in my mind before planting out next month.

I am thinking of giving Nematodes a try for the first time instead of other chemical based methods that I don't like.
I was wondering if any other gardeners here have tried them and what were the results ? They are quite expensive so I want to know if it's a cost effective way to keep the little pests at bay.

I grow all the usual veggies, spuds, cabbages, carrots, sweetcorn and all the salads.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:55 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I pick them up and chuck them as far as I can over the fence, so they can graze happily in the fields behind. One day I might hit a passer by.

I used to put salt on them, but found all the slimy agony to be too upsetting.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Half full glass of stale beer.

Slugs love it, crawl in, don't crawl out. And I guess they die happy Smile

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Seven of Nine
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:14 am Reply with quoteBack to top

2nd vote for Beer. Yucky home brew in shallow bowls.

Assuming your veggie patch is in your own garden, ducks and or chickens are popular pest controllers amongst the no chemical gardening brigade. Although your pest controllers will find seedlings and young shoots quite tasty too. On the plus side, home produced eggs beat store bought anytime.

This website offers a few more suggestions.

Happy gardening Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Here's another great place for advice on slugs: http://www.gardensalive.com/article.asp?ai=627 (and gardening in general).

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windypops
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I have tried beer with mixed results. The thing is with beer and slug pellets is they seem to attract the little beasts as much as anything. It's a matter of placing slug traps near enough to protect the pants, but far enough away to act as a deterrent.

I'm much too lazy to go out with a torch and tweezers or cocktail stick as I know some do. Laughing

It's after rain that the real danger lies. I really like the idea of them being eaten alive by these little worms. I do have some frogs that help but there aren't enough to give full cover.

I tried putting copper pipe around the plants in the past but that doesn't work either.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Normally birds and hedgehogs balance the scale, so if you make some cover for them the snails won't like it. Until then, a nice beer party will keep them busy, a mole will eat them too, but that brings some slightly different problems Smile, broken seashells around the patch you want to safe works for a few weeks and remove all places where they can shelter during the day.
Electrical fences keep snails in tubs, so they should not cross them, but then a 1" electrical fence gets damaged real easy and you might spent more time repairing the fence than growing some stuff Laughing

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I vaguely remember something about copper circles around the bottom of the plant, stopps the slugs DEAD in their tracks...I heard the beer trick works well too, why don't you setup hundreds of half glasses all around. Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:16 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I used pellets very sparingly with good results in the past. Just a few do the job and I would reapply after a rain or every month which ever came first. I now set out cat food that is finished off by the possums. They keep the bugs down after they polish off the cat bowl.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is what I use...

Quote:
Diatomaceous earth (DE).
After testing all kinds of slug barriers, Jeff Gillman, author of The Truth about Garden Remedies and professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota, concluded that DE is the most reliable. "DE is a white powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, one-celled algae that have a skeleton made of silicon," Gillman says. "To a slithering slug, this lethal powder is extremely sharp and cuts their undersides, causing dehydration." DE does have to be replenished each time it rains, making it a better choice for climates where it does not rain frequently. (Note: Buy only untreated diatomaceous earth formulated for garden use, and wear a dust mask when applying it. DE made for swimming pools is chemically altered and not suitable for use in any garden, much less an organic one.)
You can buy bags of Diatomaceous earth at Gardener's Supply or Planet Natural.


I just sent in my seed order to Burpee today, thank goodness spring is finally here. It has been a long winter.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:51 am Reply with quoteBack to top

We have a paved garden with a bunch of containers around, and a major slug problem (many neighbourhood cats keep the bird population away). We set up loads of slug pubs (beer and cider in shallow plastic lids) which drowned a large number of slugs (dozens!), but the cats kept drinking the nasty stuff. We also planted a bunch of cabbages and put them around the edges to act as slug bait (we're not so interested in growing cabbage). But it didn't end up helping - they ate our courgettes (zucchini) as soon as they started to grow. Our garden is too small for any "removal of cover" options to work - they just sneak across the border. Making a little salt border worked very well, but only until the next rain.

This year we're mostly sticking with tomatoes - slugs don't seem to be interested in them.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:59 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Another fan of the beer-trap here.

I get loads of the little buggers in my garden and it's about the only thing that works. I've tried pellets but with the UK weather, they wash out too quickly.

Interesting fact: scientists ran studies and found that Budweiser was the best beer for trapping slugs.
Now ask yourself: what the fuck sort of sad life do you need to decide to run a research paper on which sort of beer slugs like most?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:32 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I use pellets and thanks for reminding me to put them on my list. Wink

I hate slugs! puke

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:57 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Canadian419 wrote:
I vaguely remember something about copper circles around the bottom of the plant, stopps the slugs DEAD in their tracks...I heard the beer trick works well too, why don't you setup hundreds of half glasses all around. Laughing


something to do with the charge copper has.

another good tip is to keep any vasaline and rub a ring around your plant pots. slugs cant get up the pot !

also been meaning to try, a salt slurry / vasaline mix, doing the same trick with pots. it should work too, even is salt is soluble / insoluble in vasaline.
just looked on the `net
the salt / vasaline works, just mix in lots of salt to vasaline, and smear on pots. but not near the plant !

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windypops
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:18 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks for the advice everyone. Looks like beer is the poison of choice.

I grow my veg in raised beds which helps a bit with getting rid. I'm going to try a dual approach this year with beer traps for the slugs on the surface and nematodes to clear the underground buggers.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post some result pics in a month or so of a bumper crop, and clear ground if anyone else wants to consider microbe warfare with this problem.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Corona wrote:
(..)

I hate slugs! puke


Me too. What a waste of all that precious beer!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:29 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^^Yeah, we don't waste that precious beer. Wink

Lovey bought pellets yesterday. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My mom loves her garden and is always at war with the slugs...among the many things she uses, one that hasn't been mentioned is egg shells.

Under her sink attached to the door is a double paper bag that collect all egg shells that they use throughout the year. In the spring when the plants go into the garden, she'll crush the egg shells in the bag(also used when the bag gets too full to get more room at any time) and liberally sprinkle the shell fragments around her plants especially the peppers. It's the same thing as those powered algae PF mentioned. The shells are extreamly sharp and the slugs avoid the plants. The birds seem to like picking at the shells too but not enough to make them disappear, and they outlast the rain unlike the algae dust.

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