Slugs: Top tips for being SLUGcessful!
SLUGS....eurgh! It can often be SLUGgle to get rid of the annoying squidgy creatures, they munch through our seedlings, cause general devastation... and don't get me started on what they can do to Dahlias and Hostas...
Here are my top tips for keeping them at bay!
1) Create a garden full of wildlife. Hedgehogs, frogs and birds gobble up slugs so by creating a garden full of wildife, this can massively help to keep them at bay in a natural way. Add bird feeders to your garden and hedgehog houses and a small (or large) pond to encourage the bouncers in.
2) Wool Pellets: prevention not cure! Wool pellets laid around the base of small plants and new seedlings will certainly help create a scratchy layer that they don't want to travel across. My top tip here is more is more! Don't hold back on how much you put around- you're better to add more than have too little. This doesn't work 100% of the time but is definitely worth a try! I've used this method for years and had pretty good results from using it.
3) Beer traps. I'm going to try this for the first time this year. You simply fill a glass with beer and bury it. Ensure you leave about 2cm sticking out the top to stop beneficial insects from falling in. The slugs will go up and over and head towards it and then they will get stuck in the beer.
4) Scent: I've recently read that they get put off by smells of lavender, Rosemary and Perennial phlox. Let's hope my lavender borders encourages them to naff off!
5) Egg shells! Crushing egg shells and putting these around the base of plants will prevent slugs because of the sharp surfaces. I've personally never found this to be too effective as you have to eat a LOT of eggs!
6) Copper! The RHs have shared laboratory trial results which show that slugs don’t like crawling over copper. They think the copper reacts with slug slime to give these pesky blighters a mild, but off-putting electric shock. You can buy copper tape to go around pots or copper circle rings to put around plants. I've personally not yet used this method- let me know if you have had success!
7) Physically remove them. Head torch on in the nighttime, some gloves or chopsticks and you will see them everywhere! Ensure you dispose of them and don't just fling them. There are studies that show they can track where they were and return to the same place! I usually put mine in the garden waste bin or near the bird feeders.
You can buy chemical slug and snail killer but this is not how I garden. It can cause issues in the eco system so keep to the natural methods for better long term results.
Any methods I have missed? Let me know! I would love to hear any you have had success with!