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black slugs I was told to leave alone as they eat the others and do little damage to your plants. I lost 90% of my veg to the slimy critters last year and won't be this year...I've been out today and walloped the little so and so's whilst they were sleeping hehe I've tried the copper tape round pots and it didn't work; I'm sure they climbed the geraniums and launched themselves onto the petunias for a big meal time...most were gone by the morning! I'm tempted to try nematodes this year as last year we tried so many methods to no avail. Luckily I didn't find any in the greenhouse
I just chop 'em in half with my weeding knife, if there's lots of small ones I go indoors for a nice cup of tea whilst the blackbird and sparrows fight over them. There must be at least two nests in the hedge, and sometimes the blackbird chases the sparrows off of 'his' feeding table. It doesn't matter, there's also a hanging feeding station that the blackbird doesn't use, I make sure there are fat balls or suet blocks in both, so they all get fed.
I put my nematodes down about two weeks ago and its looking very promising...only found 5 baby slugs the other night and they were on the grass not the borders and veg beds ....kind of miss 'the kill' though something very satisfying about squishing the little slimers
If you find a slug that's dark grey with random spots all over it's a Leopard Slug - adults can be several inches long and really fat. See Google for pics. Please don't kill a Leopard Slug as it eats decaying wood and vegetation for starters and slugs for main course. On warm evenings I go on slug safaries with an old pair of scissors to snip nasty slugs - and I often come across my Leopards nibbling on smaller slugs and the remains of last night's kills.
just about to plant my runner beans for the second time! Beer traps worked quite well so adding more plus coffee,grit, night hunting and leaving the intoxicated pile near my log pile. Fingers crossed my hedgehog fancies a midnight tipple and I will be able to "harvest" a bean !
gardenfantic-that's a great idea with the fir cones...have a pine tree here so will pick them off as I prune it back! The bitumen paint sounds good too but do you make sure it doesn't touch your plants? I would think it may not be very good for them if it does! I have very large snails here but not so many slugs.
Can't get nematodes from garden centre......a friend suggested SALT.......do you think a couple of pinches around a plant would be ok as long as it wasn't too near.......not sure.....I know it would affect the acidity of the soil......anyone got any thoughts about this?
FB, I wouldn't use salt. A bucket of salty water to drop them into, yes, but the salt will not do your plants any good at all. If you get a slug and cover it in salt, it's like some disgusting effect from a sci-fi movie. I didn't know about that until I moved into a shared house at college which had a serious slug infestation, not helped by one of the girls leaving food out all over the place, we had a serious clear-out one day, and found an apple crumble absolutely heaving with the things. She accused us of eating it! Next time we just left it out, and let her clear it up!!
FG, the bitumen paint is very good on rasied beds, but is black like tar, so if you've a veg patch covered in brand new beds, it might not be the way to go! It does dry quite quickly, so as long as you're careful, I don't think it will be an issue with plants, especially if you do it on a dry, still day (I know we don't get many of those). It's great for beds on an allotment, though, where looks aren't that important.
MMP- I've used it on walls as a bit of waterproofing before putting soil in but I'd be wary of putting it too close to an actual plant I think.
Much as I don't care for them I couldn't put the slugs in salt or chop them...I'm too soft probably.
Thank MMP.......will stick to natural methods of coarse grit........
Coffee grounds mixed with crushed egg shells,seems to work well.
This year I'm trying a new tactic ....
Two weeks ago I put organic type slug pellets around all my vulnerable plants (such as hostas) just at the new shoots had started to show. I then put big piles of pine needles in heaps over all the pellets / new shoots a really thick layer. My hope is that they will deter the slugs and as the foliage grows it will hide the needles. Then I'll be starting with the garlic spray. Will let you all know if all this works...
I used pine cones last year to tuck under my ripening strawberries ... kept them nice and dry and off the soil and it stopped the slugs.
Happy to report still no slugs at all...nematodes all the way for this gardener
just been on night watch, slugs crawling up my pots (removed) but not on my beans! there is hope ! PHEW