Start a new thread

1 to 20 of 30 replies

We have a real clay soil and I just cannot weed properly as the soil just sticks to the fork or hoe. Please give me some suggestions, I cannot even break the soil up after it has been turned over. We cannot afford to spend much money on the soil so please help.
@Tea-Rose, i'm no expert but i'm not sure if its true about the slugs cutting themselves, i saw a programme on t.v last week & the guy said that slugs could crawl over the edge of a razor blade without cutting themselves as they don't actually touch anything when they crawl as the slime acts as a barrier, similar to a hover craft effect, in away.Like i said though, i'm no expert : )
I've never tried this but others have told me they've tried it and it has not worked. My mother uses egg shells, washed, dried and crushed, sprinkled around plants. This works for me. Also those abrasive wire kitchen scrubber things, pulled apart and put round the pot like a skirt or collar: the slugs cannot get past as they'd cut themselves (like with the egg shells). This does not stop the little bar-stewards from mounting an aerial attack by accessing plants from walls or other plants.
barbaraandjohn, I had this soil in my last garden, it was really hard to work with. I was advised to grow potatoes in it as this would help break up the soil. I've also heard if you can dig in organic matter that will help a lot too. We have clay soil here too, very boggy, but not as heavy as our last place.
I too hate snails and slugs; I'm still in the learner stage of veg growing and they seem to know it!!! However, I've just read somewhere on this site that someone puts their collected snails down the drain.......... please don't. I work in the industry and I would appeal to everyone to keep the drains for human waste and toilet tissue and absolutely NOTHING else. Too much distress is caused already by blocked sewers, I know, I deal with this every day.


I collect the critters & put them in a sandwich bag, sprinkle salt inside, knot the bag,& shake it like a maraca. The bag can then be placed in a bin with no mess involved. Im going to buy some copper tape (its cheap on a certain internet site) but I will experiment & try lining a couple of pots INSIDE the rim as I would prefer not to see the copper tape. In the future,I plan to have pond & introduce frogs and toads into the garden & then hopefully I won't have to 'salt and shake' anymore :-)
Must say, I've tried copper tape round pots and the copper rings around plants and the little darlings still manage to make their way over it. Think I must just have mega hard slugs.

you can't beat them, they are taking over. my veg is 1foot high built with sharp surface brick, this surrounded by sharp gravel and on top of the bricks is a strip of 3" slug pellets and the bloody things still get to my plants. maybe i should add beer traps as well. i encourage all the birds with feeders all over the garden. if anyone finds a proper solution please, please, let me know.

It would be SO helpful if you could provide a link for where to buy recommended items. I have never seen copper tape on sale anywhere!

Forget copper tape, ask your local hair dressers or barbers for their chop off hair.

This is like barbwire on the slugs and will break down in the soil as well. With regards to heavy clay soil. If you know anyone who has a wood burner, get the wood ash and fine grit and spinkle it on the soil. Use garden compost as well and when its not too dry dig it over. If you dont want to plant anything in it this year grow green manure over it. I use red clover and once the plants have flowers just dig it all into the ground. Over the years this soil will get better if you do this every Oct - January.


I watered in Nematodes two weeks ago, I havent seen a slug since so lets hope they work. I will do it again in about 4 weeks, just in case. Money wise its much cheaper, I can easily sprinkle on 3 - 4 boxes of slug pellets in a season, so I think the Nematodes are cheaper, and you can eat the veg with no worries. Also safe for the birds and toads.

Afriend of mine advised me to put porridge oats around my plants. Apparently slugs will eat it, then it swells inside them and kills them. Not sure if it works, but am going to give it a try! Has anyone else heard of this method?

This does work initially, but I've actually seen slugs learn to arch over the tape. The width of tape therefore needs to be wider than the biggest slug. Letting it weather will also not work as it needs to be kept clean for the electrical charge to happen.

   ............................... Copper pots!!! 

I placed a circle of copper pipe around a treasured violet plant that constantly attracted slugs n snails. The copper does work. I also use copper tape around pots of hostas and this is effective too. Copper protects well but, clearly, any slug/snail in the soil inside the copper ring can still do damage. For me, copper tape seems to work in wet weather as well



Improving clay soil - I have this and add what ever I can get, compost from used pots and seed trays. soil improver from local tip ( here its £10 for 5 bags), compost. I don't attempt the whole garden just earmark an area at a time for a couple of months. It's not an instant fix but slowly i am seeing an improvement.

As for slugs and snails - - I use copper tape on some pots but you need a wider strip is 2 widths together. I got it from large garden centre, but mostly now rely on rough compost, sea shells ground up, grit, again whatever I can get. On special plants I use that organic growingsuccess pellets BUT very rarely and then a light sprinkle until the plant has established. Always aware of birds and wild life.

Bjay's, got my copper tape online. It's fairly wide, maybe wider than you get from GC. Re compost bags from council, I bought small lorry load few years back and I was unhappy with it. Veg and some plants did not seem to like it. I'm concerned when I see what people put in green waste skips.....saw Jap Knotweed dumped and that was alarming.

Never thought of that Verdun.

I don't use copper tape any more, used it for a year as experiment where I lived before-it was slug heaven

plant crazy

I have a lot of hostas and use a few pellets but mainly dried and crushed egg shells.I have been told that as birds only eat live slugs and snails they wont touch those which have eaten pellets. I also put used coffee granules down (use them fresh -don't wait until you have a bagful.) Also you can boil garlic cloves and spray the liquid on the leaves - it doesn't make the plant smell of garlic. 

I hate the horrible things,but i only have a small garden with a variety of what i do is check my plants towards the end of the evening for slugs and snails..but i do use a large amount of vaseline i paint all of my planters with it and it seems to stop them climbing.Also i to use diluted washing liquid for the greenflies also when ever i can i squish them of my plants.