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Slugs

Got a slug problem? Follow our simple advice to prevent them from eating your crops and perennials.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do Time to act in January

Do Time to act in February

Do Time to act in March

Do Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do Time to act in December

Every garden has its fair share of slugs and the bad news is that they are around for most of the year. They’re active mostly after dark, especially when it’s damp. In hot dry weather they bury themselves to avoid dehydrating.

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Symptoms

Holes are chewed in soft, new growth, young stems are toppled, seedlings vanish overnight, and slime trails are left behind.

Find it on

seedlings, bedding plants, herbaceous perennials, root crops, strawberries

Organic

Go out at night with a torch and collect slugs by hand. Set traps in the border, such as upturned grapefruit skins, the slugs will hide under them during the day making collection easy. Sink shallow cups of beer or milk in borders, setting them slightly above soil level – you don’t want ground beetles falling in as they are a natural predator of slugs. Keep your garden tidy, slugs love to hide under plant debris. Wrap copper tape around the rims of vulnerable pot plants. From early spring to late-autumn, consider using a biological control, such as Nemaslug.

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Chemical

There’s a wide range of brands, with those containing aluminium sulphate being less toxic to pets and wildlife than those with metaldehyde. In both cases, a light scattering usually does the trick. Bin the bodies in the morning.