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young codger

Last week I put about 30 marigolds in a border along the lawn. Something has eaten 11 of them down to the stalk. The ones that are left appear to be all ok. I have inspected some of them with a magnifying glass and cannot see any insects on them.

Could the problem be mice, rats birds or something else?



slugs and snails at the top of my list


I'm with Nut. They have chomped many of my plants to stalks over night!


Out with the torch tonite yc, collect them up and stomp them

young codger

Thanks guys for the prompt replies. Torch ready! (Bird food in the morning)



As soon as I saw the headline I thought 'slugs and snails'. Other possible is caterpillars but they seem to leave well alone.

young codger wrote (see)

Thanks guys for the prompt replies. Torch ready! (Bird food in the morning)

Don't forget to put a lid on or they'll all be gone

young codger


Went in the garden after dark creeping along the border with a torch on two damp nights. (Normal behaviour for me according to the young woman who lives on her own next door).

Managed to find (mostly) slugs and one or two snails on both nights. I have since put down quite a few slug pellets. All may be ok now, but was also thinking of putting a line of salt along the edge of the border. Is this a good idea, in respect of that the salt will eventually enter the soil when I next dig the border over?

I`m not sure what effect salt has on plants, but I heard that where sand is concerned we should always use horticultural sand (as opposed to building sand) due to the salt content. Any thoughts?

Salt is a really good weed killer,I use  it for weeds such as dandelions in paving cracks, I wouldn't use it near plants as it will kill them. In any event some slugs actually live in the soil. Try putting slug pellets, just a few, in a jar on its side or even better a slug beer trap. This is kinder to wild life in general, encourage birds with a scattering of sunflower hearts and any blackbirds will happily gobble up slugs. I recently sowed some annual poppies protected the area with raised netting to keep the birds off, felt pleased as seeds germinated now almost all have disappeared probably to the slugs...oh well! 


young codger

Ok, I will try the pellets in a jar on it’s side. How does the beer trap work? Is it basically an "almost" empty beer can on it’s side , similar system to the pellets in a jar?




If you do use pellets make sure you are out first thing to collect all the dying and poisoned slugs and bin them before the birds try to eat them


Never had much luck with the beer trap, it either rains too much, or the slugs just drink it then go on a drunken eating binge.

If it is slugs you will see the slime.


You can buy slug pubs or use a margarine tub. Sink the tub in the soil and fill with beer  which the slugs love. They fall in and die happy!  Unfortunately you can trap the odd beetle which is a shame as they are gardeners' friends. I have had success with this method, especialy when my son lived at home! 

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