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in Problem solving
I grow my french and runner beans in deep beds into which I have dug in lots of homemade garden compost. But my compost heaps are probably full of slugs and their eggs, so it is no coincidence that these deep beds are also full of the pesky things (but not others into which no compost has been incorporated). The problem is: how can I get the beans started without them being eaten even before they surface? I do need to improve the soil and I make all ths fine compost for this purpose. Help!
Simple solution-start them off in pots-that is what I do-then after planting out, scatter slug pellets.
I do this, but maybe I don't leave them in the pots for long enough to get tough and unpalatable? They will climb up the stem of a planted out runner bean several inches high and nip off the tender tip. I cover the ground around the stem with coffee grounds which usually works, but no joy this year!
Then go down the pellet route-it is the the survival of the fittest
They adore pellets which obviously attract them. I hide little piles under a tile to keep them dry and away from birds, and next morning the've all been eaten. Sure, the odd dead slug succombs, but the main army seems to be unaffected. I've wondered whether the best approach is somehow to clean the garden compost of slugs before using it? I understand they do a useful job in helping to break down organic matter. I tend to make my compost one year, turn the heap after six months or so, then spread it the following season. It doesn't get all that hot in the winter since most of what goes on then is brown stuff - wood chips, prunings, etc. I'm loath to put all my garden waste in the wheely bin, then buy it back at considerable expense once it has been processed, but this just might be a way to reduce the infestation.
I don't think there is much you can do to get rid of slugs completely-if you have organic matter you will attract them.
I am going to disagree with you about piling up pellets under tiles -what you are doing is repelling them rather that attracting them- scatter them around the plants-birds will not eat the pellets but if you are worried about that then wildlife friendly pellets are available
Thank you, Sotongeoff, I will give that a go, and in the meantime sow lots more in pots to put out much later!
I couldn't agree more with Sotongeoff - pellets used approprately are the only answer!
You could also use copper rings around the small plants when you transplant them. Ok, not cheap to initially purchase, but can be reused every year around any suceptible plants. J.