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Has anyone got any good tips on keeping slugs at bay,without using harsh chemicals.
You can put a ring of diatomaceous earth around the plants, or crush up eggshells very finely and use that instead. Another way is to sink a tub of beer into the ground, the slugs fall in and die happy. All of these methods are entirely human and animal safe,and they work perfectly. You just have to remember to reapply the earth or eggshells every time it rains.
First have a hunt round the garden for the hiding places-they will hide under anything bits of wood, pots etc.
Then go out after dark with a torch-you will find them having supper and you can dispose as you wish
Thirdly slug pellets -if you are against the traditional blue ones there are available a wild-life friendly alternative
The midnight hunt is probably the most effective route, backed up by wildlife-safe Growing Success Advanced Slug Pellets.
i use every possible method: the beer one seems to work only once in the season, even when putting fresh beer out. neither coffee nor eggshells seems to be very effective, but i use them anyway. copper is supposed to keep slugs away. a copper band around pots, or edging the vege beds with copper slats. for me, the most effective killer is the ferrous-based slug pellet, which is not harmful to other birds and beasts. there is a very good article on slug and snail deterrents on the gardener's world site, so have a look at that.
Thankyou all very much for the many methods, which I will give a try.
Start with the wildlife friendly slug pellets in late winter/early spring. Valentine's Day is an easy date to remember. Scatter pellets thinly near susceptibleplants and in places slugs may hide and repeat regularly as the garden warms up.
This way you will catch slugs emerging from hibernation before they get the chance to scoff your treasures and breed as well as new slugs emerging from eggs - often the most voracious munchers of new shoots.
Then, as mentioned, night time patrols of susceptible plants - hostas, clematis, day lillies, delphiniums, lupins, veggies and so on.
I found that bitter/ale works much better than lager. Sainsbury's own brand lager the slugs put their nose up at but the bitter went down a storm.
I've read that putting out the shells of grapefruit is another good way of trapping them and if you are sligtly more sadistic oats apparently makes them swell up and die. Garlic smell is supposed to put them off, not sure if that is because they fear that they are going to be eaten by the French.
Please see this link:
I find encouraging Thrushes and Blackbirds into the garden does help. Once they have been attracted by the normal bird feeder approach the slugs are next on the menu!
I got this from the closed down site a couple of years ago, but haven't tried it yet.
Lots of interest about the garlic wash. Thought you may want the recipe which was featured in Friday's Gardeners' World. Una Dunnett's Garlic Wash recipe for Hostas: Crush 2 bulbs of garlic. Steam or boil in 2 pints of water for 3 to 4 minutes until blanched. Strain mixture and make back up to 2 pints. Leave to cool. When ready to use mix one tablespoon into a gallon (3.8 litres) of water Sprinkle on to leaves in late afternoon (in dry weather) The mixture will apparently dry on the leaves making them rather unappealing to slugs and snails!"
The systemic garlic spray does work - you boil a few cruched garlic bulbs and store the whole thing till cooled. You add the garlic water (can add some more water) and water your garden as usual. The garlic chemicals are supposed to get picked up by the plants making them less attractive to slugs and snails. it may work over time, as it is systemic but...
Slug pellets are the way to go. A bird would need to eat 10,000 slugs a day to get poisoned by the pellets - they are quite safe to use. I have started to use them this year and the dent in the slug population is remarkable. The amount of seedlings coming up is just!!
Is there anyone there who can tell me which article in Gardeners World Mag that has the gen on slugs and snails, I have spent the last half an hour looking for said article, my sister-in-law wants to check it out - I rely on the birds...if I come across a snail I put in on the path under a certain tree and stamp on it - then kick it under the said tree, next day - all gone! Fox maybe. Slugs get chopped in half and put on the bird table! I know, but I'm not violent in any other way, although I might be if I see a cat at 'my' birds!
Slugs and snails - the bane of so many gardeners! Luckily there are a number of chemical free methods of slug control which can be very effective. Have a look at www.getridofslugs.co.nf in particular the 'Slug Control Methods' article.
Happy slug hunting!