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A query from a friend. Delphiniums are very attractive to slugs, and my friend has heard that something called ALUM is a successful deterrent. She has learnt that it can be bought by the ton, but wonders where small quantities can be obtained. Is anyone aware of this product, or indeed any experience of its use in this way? 

fidgetbones

There seems to be plenty of 500g and 1kg packs listed on amazon.co.uk

I use crushed, baked, eggshells around my delphiniums.

Steve 309

Wow.  Just read the Wikipaedia entry for alum.  Useful stuff.  But slugs aren't mentioned.

Jimmy Crawford

Not sure about Alum as a mineral, but Aluminium foil reputedly works almost as well as copper foil. 

Dried eggshells, fine gravel or coffee grounds all get my vote.

Dovefromabove

Putting 'alum slugs gardening' into Google brings up nothing at all, so if there are gardeners out there using it successfully they're certainly not talking about it - that doesn't make me very hopeful that it works.

A bit more reading reveals that exposure to low levels of alum can cause serious lung damage, neurological disease and some cancers.

http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodchemistryfaqs/f/Is-Alum-Safe.htm

Don't think I'll be spreading it around my garden

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Ceres

I think it is aluminium sulphate that is injurious to slugs. Apparently it can make the soil more acidic but I do not know what affect it has on animals.

Lyn
  • Copper sulphate, bordeaux mixture, alum. They cause copper poisoning of the land in the long term.
  • Salt. This is poisonous to most crops and the land.

just found this on the net, it's only a tiny bit of the article so not covered by copy right (hopefully)

Steve 309

Bordeaux mixture contains copper sulphate (or is it nitrate?).  Alum (the usual potassium aluminium sulphate) clearly doesn't: I'd guess it's the aluminium that's toxic.  But it ain't organic - and nor is Bordeaux mixture, strictly speaking although I think it's 'permitted'.

I think the Romans (or someone) scattered salt on their enemies' land once they'd conquered them to make sure they couldn't grow crops.

Personally I'd be reluctant to use anything on the garden that hasn't come from a living organism (with the possible exception of rainwater) but chacun a son gout, as I said recently in another thread.

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