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15/07/2014 at 23:59
For the less scientific. Not some new cultivar of a bean or pea. No this is the scentific classification of our now, well known garden helper, or destroyer. Depens which way one looks at it. So this friend/enemy, the gastropod? Let me introduce the Hon Mr Slug and Snail. Let's be honest. Even amongst the dedicated naturalist, the past two years have been HELL, in the garden. As so many of my forum friends have posted. 'I waited so long for the seeds to sprout, and befoer I could blink, a slug or snail had chomped it away. So in attemptes to help and advise, as well as offer some kind thoughts, feelings and suggestetions. Many of us added our meagre two pennarth. I for one so often said. Kill them. Then arose debates regarding ways and means. Some kind persons said. I collect them up and chuck them over the fence. From me. They will come back. Then the squeamish would say. I just can't kill anything. Believe me. I do not wish to offend anyone. However there come the time when you must act. Or might you be one of the idle rich. Pay out for seeds and plants and sit there and watch them being eaten up. Apart from my usual grab and squash. I have used slug and snail pellets. Some claim that there is a risk to wildlife. I can't say yes or no to that. I have found them to be beneficial. However. Especially in the greenhouse. After a while the pellets go all furry and are unsightly. Then although wishing to destroy. I have stood and watch as a snail or slug has come into contact with the pellets. Even I have to admit. It's not a pretty sight. A slight digession. Every living thing on this beautiful planet, is here for a purpose. IMHO mankind has yet, once again cocked everything up. The gastropods were content for however length of time, to forage and clean up fallen debris. Then something went wrong. Now they will eat anything in their path. I have used chemical spray solutions. When I say spray. Actually the directions for use, usually refer to watering via a can. I found that using a spry, less waste and soil pollution, plus, fences and containers can also be sprayed. However whetherornot these methods worked, there was always many if's and but's. The various chemicals in pellets sprays etc, in most cases are neutralised after a down pour. Some have suggested garlic etc. Give it a go. Now from a scientific angle. The gastropod is made up mostly of water/moisture/mucous. Much more than any of us humans. Now. There is a process known as, 'Osmosis' This is where the natural balance is intervened/violated. Common table salt, will in fact prove to be gastros' worst enemy. It immediatedly causes the moisture to dry up. THe victim become toatally dehydrated in seconds. No frothing up etc. A light sprinkling of salt around your favourites, or a light spraying of salt water. Following a rain fall. The salt remains. Answers on a post card.
Edd
16/07/2014 at 00:28
16/07/2014 at 06:09

As you say Mike, everything on earth has its role in the great scheme of things. Snails and slugs' digestive tracts are designed to convert old plants back into their molecular components with the result that these components become available as food to new plants. They are mobile compost heaps. 

So I put mine on the compost heap where they can do what nature intended them to do. By being congregated there in their hundreds they are also a sitting target for the blackbirds and thrushes which have learnt to go to the compost heap to find them.

16/07/2014 at 07:06
I leave em alone, after a few years things settle down, they now seem to pick on things that are either very young or unhappy and therefore weak, its quite interesting to see that in my cabbage patch, only the weaker plants have been nibbled, i would love to post a pic, but only have a phone, will email a pic for someone else to post?
There is more than enough to go round, i wont starve if i loose one or two crops! I feel fortunate to live in a country where food production can be just a hobby
16/07/2014 at 07:56

Very good point,bekkie. One I will try to remember more often.

16/07/2014 at 08:18

I found this slug yesterday in my hedgehogs food bowl

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52656.jpg?width=512&height=350&mode=max

 It had several tiny white bugs on it, moving around at speed, but you can't make them out in the pic for food dust.

Are these a form of nematode or are slugs prone to mites or something?

16/07/2014 at 08:58
Must be a parasite that is adapted to slugs if they arent getting stuck in the slime

Why do slugs and snails like paper so much? They have even eaten the label on my snail spray!
16/07/2014 at 09:27

That is just to test you bekkie

 

16/07/2014 at 09:34
I just find it funny.

I really like slugs and snails, especially when they are on tbe kitchen door which is glass and i can see underneath, their mouth parts/ faces remind me of a horse or rhino.

Maybe im just odd
16/07/2014 at 09:44

I'm quite fond of snails. I left my fence baskets up all winter as the snails were sheltering on the fuzzy brown liner stuff

16/07/2014 at 10:06
Cool VS! Glad im not alone
16/07/2014 at 10:34

..I completely agree with posts by pansyface at 06.09 and bekkie hughes at 07.06... refreshing to see that attitude...

..incidentally one of the best selling gardening books is ''50 Ways to Kill a Slug'' by Sarah Ford....  it's an irreverent look at the subject but it's surprising what you can learn... I never knew slugs were hermaphrodites for instance and can breed with themselves.... perish the thought..lol...

..apparently the average garden has about 200... presumably this is on top of all the snails, which I think do more damage actually... but at least they are natives, unlike most of the stuff we plonk in the ground for them to eat...

Edd
16/07/2014 at 10:38

200!!!!! Think that is a miss type.

Research has shown that the average UK garden has a population of over20,000 slugs and snails. A cubic metre of garden will on average contain up to 200 slugs. A slug's slime enables it to glide without difficulty over glass shards, or even the edge of a razor blade.

Edd
16/07/2014 at 10:43
Victoria Sponge wrote (see)
It had several tiny white bugs on it, moving around at speed, but you can't make them out in the pic for food dust.

Are these a form of nematode or are slugs prone to mites or something?

 

They will be slug mites Victoria. Likely to be Riccardoella limacum or at least a very close relation. They can easily be found on wild slugs and snails. They are tiny, white, move very quickly and are true blood feeders:

16/07/2014 at 10:52
Edd wrote (see)

200!!!!! Think that is a miss type.

Research has shown that the average UK garden has a population of over20,000 slugs and snails. A cubic metre of garden will on average contain up to 200 slugs. A slug's slime enables it to glide without difficulty over glass shards, or even the edge of a razor blade.

..I did find that a bit odd.... but similarly, I would find 20,000 excessive, and 200 in a cubic metre..?  not sure about that... at least in my garden... they appear like thousands but I wouldn't put it that high really...perhaps my garden isn't average...?..lol..

 

 

Edd
16/07/2014 at 10:57

Above average Salino. Above average im sure. ( who wants a average garden).

16/07/2014 at 11:05
If all goes well, the very lovely Victoria Sponge will post some pics of my veggies for me, i just want to show that im not lying that it is possible not to have to fight gastrpods
16/07/2014 at 11:48

photos from bekkie hughes:

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52674.jpg?width=274&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52675.jpg?width=287&height=350&mode=max

 

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/52676.jpg?width=287&height=350&mode=max

 Phew, think it worked finally...just had to crop them a bit bekkie

Edd
16/07/2014 at 11:59

Did you crop all the slugs out. Lol.

16/07/2014 at 11:59

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