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I wouldn't normally be thinking about this at this time of year - but my delphiniums are shooting already! Should I protect them from slugs or would I be wasting my time?

Slugs and snails are active whenever it is warm enough for them. Which is right now


I don't think they ever really fell asleep this year.

When the alarm clock goes off !  

Any mild spell will encourage slugs ESP when new shoots appear.  So,protect now 


Roughly on the topic of slugs. I don't know if I got the idea of doing this from this forum or elsewhere but I have of late been collecting my egg shells as they're used - washing them out in soapy water and then popping them in the oven for 10 minutes when I'm cooking dinner to kill any nasties and dry them out.

I now have half a jar full of egg shells (crushing them slightly to save on space since they'll be crushed eventually anyway) ready to use when I sew seedlings out into the garden.

Does anyone else have any novel ideas for keeping the slugs at bay?



Slugs only stop when the ground is very dry or is the temperatures fall below -5C. We have had mild wet weather and there are a lot of slugs out that have  hatched and survived! So yes you need to protect.


Egg shells are a waste of time - as soon as it is wet they can crawl over them! 

Apparently rough surfaces are no deterrent to slugs ..their slime just "oils" their path.  


Really? That's a shame it seemed such a simple idea since I can remember my grandparents using egg shells as a deterrent. Oh well it'll be broken down calcium for some creature of the garden no doubt. Looks like I'd better not give up on my chop sticks in the evening method then.

Probably not much help on beds  but last year I smeared Vaseline around the rim of my Courgette bin.  It wasn't a particularly scientific experiment but I think the slug damage was less.  The Vaseline lasts forever so you are good for a season ( but not too good when you lift the container to empty it...... ).  I have heard of varying results with copper tape or wire and beer traps can help too.  You can also buy a preparation (nematodes ?) which you just water in around the plants.  I've never really fancied using it as it strikes me as overkill. 

If you have well trained Chickens,  they will eat the slugs ( sadly, as well as your seedlings too of course ). 








I've had limited success with Pistachio nut shells, they don't like the salt. But my waistline doesn't like the volume needed.

The Manic Slughunter

I've found the only sure fire way to beat the slimy critters is to use Nematodes, I tried so many approaches without a noticeable difference; everything was demolished the next morning:/..after applying Nematodes my veg patches were slug free most of the Spring/Summer/Autumn I put a few lettuce leaves on the grass well away from the veg beds too so any slugs that smelt my tasty veg in the evening stopped and ate them first (and the slug pellets around them hehe) The only problem I have is we have grass areas around the veg beds with walls as our garden is raised so slugs hide away and venture out from the brickwork onto the grass so although I tackle the veg areas the grass is still a battleground for me hence the lettuce leaves/pellets (and me doing a dusk patrol). 


I find slugs in my rabbit dish every evening, he does not eat the food then as he is put in the shed every night, trouble is have to waste food as I do not want him to eat it after they have been in the dish, they are driving me nuts.


I've also used a 'liquid' to water the area round the seedlings & that was quite successful. Also tried using small pieces of gravel as well as broken egg shells.

Its an ongoing battle---almost as bad as the cat poo!!!!!!!

KEF wrote (see)

I've had limited success with Pistachio nut shells, they don't like the salt. But my waistline doesn't like the volume needed.

I tried that as well -  a few weeks later I found a slug inside the Pistachio shell.

I did read a paper once on using very dilute salt water on the garden. Enough to kill/deter slugs but not enough to kill all your plants. I do think Garlic spray works but it takes months as it is systemic.


We have a big hosta grower nearby. His advice is slug pellets on 14th Feb (the valentine day massacre) followed by garlic spray when the leaves come out.  There wasn't a nibble on his thousands of hostas when i went for a visit!


I use egg shells in the GH bed and in pots outdoors, I'm convinced it works and even if it doesn't it gives me a sense of satisfaction and if nothing else the calcium is good for the plants .

I also start using a garlic spray around hostas early in March and use a home made seaweed spray from mid summer. Mulch pots with washed up seaweed too. It has a little sea salt in it which slugs don't like and if all else fails rely on a sprinkling of blue pellets.

The GH bed is also mulched with seaweed a couple of time during the growing season and there's never been slugs in there.  

Woodgreen wonderboy

If it's warm enough for plant growth I think evolutionary theory would probably suggest the slugs are following just behind?

Woodgreen wonderboy wrote (see)

If it's warm enough for plant growth I think evolutionary theory would probably suggest the slugs are following just behind?

I thought wind had got my Arum lily leaves but it was lots of small slugs eating the stalk making them fall over...I found loads tidying up a few days ago. It has been very wet and mild so they are out having a feast. I use pellets but I think it is too wet for them to work properly.

Zoomer, I have always felt natural seaweed is a great defence against slugs.  Used to use large quantities of it ...the texture but mainly the salt seems very effective.  Seaweed spray too seems to have some value.

If we really had the answer to slugs n snails then everybody would use that solution.  So, whatever works for you in your garden keep doing it.  


How do you make garlic spray? I keep seeing it mentioned and it seems a very useful product!