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Scientists (and gardeners), I need your help, please!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon468, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    We have a major problem with slugs (*shudder*) in the garden. Been looking into the best way of dealing with said problem and husband has come up with this:
    I'm somewhat sceptical as to whether this will work. What do you think?
    It also still leaves us with the galloping snail population which won't respond to the above.
    It's so bad that our lawn is literally heaving with the little horrors on a damp summer night. Oh for a tame hedgehog or three... [​IMG]
  2. Nature is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Don't muck about with half-***** "caring" "green" measures: either you want shot or you don't.
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I gave up trying to control slugs with anything other than slug pellets long ago. Nothing else actually works. I use them as sparingly as possible - mostly around favourite plants - and try not to use them at all around my strawberries as the area around them is as organic as I can manage.
    My mother has a troupe of hedgehogs that visit her garden but has the biggest ORANGE slugs I've ever seen. Mind you, maybe the hedgehogs aren't interested in them because of their colour or because mum feeds them my inheritance.
  4. Nematodes work well. I don't use them because of the cost.
    If your lawn is heaving with them, you could try mowing at night - chop the little beggars up as you mow. If that doesn't appeal try slug traps - you can buy them or make your own - half fill with beer and they drown happy. I promise you this is true.
    Mulch your vulnerable plants with crushed egg shells or used coffee grounds. Go on a slug hunt - on damp evenings especially - go out and handpick. Drop them into a bucket with some beer in it and then tip the whole lot onto your compost heap/bin. You can chuck live slugs into a compost bin - they are effective decomposers.
    there are some products that are suitable for organic gardeners: Growing Success Advanced Slug Killer and Slugstoppa work very well without harming beneficial creatures in your garden.
    Finally, don't use salt. It kills the slugs horribly and the salt compromises your soil fertility.
    Stamp on the snails and the birds will eat them.
  5. My husband is a very keen gardener - he has tried everything to get rid of our slug/snail problem. I can honestly say that nothing has really worked. Even slug pellets dont get rid of them - they just keep on coming![​IMG]
  6. A large part of the problem is the way we garden. Left to their own devices slugs prefer decaying vegetation. When we remove that we leave them no alternative but to eat the plants we are trying to cultivate.
    By being a little less tidy and in less of a hurry to remove rotting vegetation we then give slugs a food source.
    The thing about slug control is that it is an ongoing process. It can't be applied once and then forgotten about. It does take an effort to stay on top of them but it can be done. Regular slug patrols together with other forms of control will keep slugs down to a manageable level.

  7. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Oh gawd, that's really put me off my dinner, cosmos! [​IMG]
    I hear what you're saying Lily, I am indeed a half-*****, caring green! But it's mainly the prospect of the hunners of dead 'things' that we'll (okay, not me - poor old Mr manny!) have to dispose of in the wake of a slug pellet blitz.
    And we have a dog. And birds.
  8. Salt is cruel? They're all cruel! Nematodes enter the slugs and release bacteria which slowly kills them. Chopping them up with a lawnmower isn't even quick! Drowning is seldom a happy experience even in beer.
    Just kill them with slug pellets. You're killing them because they are spoiling the plants you paid good money to look at. It's hardly eradicating smallpox, is it. This is no place for sentimentality.
  9. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    If the slug pellets just killed slugs I wouldn't hesitate to use them but they can be poisonous to other animals and so I tolerate the blighters. TBH I have plenty of things the slugs like to munch on so don't have a huge problem, I seem to get more snails.
  10. See post 4 marshy for two that won't poison anything other than slugs and snails.
  11. I use them but only in raised beds as they are expensive. The best way to get rid of slugs is wait for a rainy night and then get out there with a torch and a homicidal temperament. If you feel kindly towards the *** you could stick 'em in a bucket and drive them miles away and inflict them on a distant forest.
  12. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Non starter for me, I'm afraid, airy!
    I think I'm going to opt for one of the organic 'thing' slayers that cosmos recommended (thanks, cosmos [​IMG]).
  13. You're welcome manashee
    I have more tricks up my sleeve if you need them!
  14. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Dear auntie cosmos
    Mr manny has removed two large hebes from the front and side front garden, which has left two big baldy expanses of soil, that the local moggies have now taken to using as their toilet (yuk).
    Have tried 'Scoot' and the like, but no joy. The madly barking dog at the window doesn't deter them in the slightest and indeed it seems to spur them on all the more. A cat version of the middle finger to the dog!
    Any suggestions?
    Yours gratefully
  15. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    You are right that slugs/snails first prefer rotting vegetation but I don't buy that, if we are too tidy, the blighters then have no choice but to eat our plants.
    Keeping an untidy garden, with plenty of rotting vegetation, encourages slugs and snails, both with food source and cover. Keeping it tidy and removing the vegetation where they hide and feed, keeps the numbers down.
    I garden in nearly an acre and have been organic since we moved in, 3 years ago, apart from the occasion blast of glyphosate for the bindweed. I grow (for example) hostas in pots and also in the borders - much-loved snail food - but they stay mostly damage free. I keep the area free and mulch with chipped bark. I use a (very) few organic slug pellets sparingly around choice plants but otherwise do nothing. I do go on slug and snail patrols, especially when it's been rainy, but not often. They don't die happy in beer in this house - straight into a bucket of salty water for them!
    In 3 years our garden now teems with wildlife: lots of song and mistle thrushes, frogs, toads, newts, slow worms and lizards and hedgehogs, all of which munch through vast quantities of slugs and snails. I am always amazed at the numbers of empty snail shells around near imrpovised 'anvils'.
    It's also worth ensuring you grow plants 'hard' before you plant them out. Many of the plants bought from garden centres (both vegetables and annuals) are grown 'soft' in greenhouses and under lights. Consequently, when they are planted out, they become delicacies for the slugs and snails. If you can grow your own and not give them too much softie tlc, or give shop-bought plants chance to grow on outside before you plant them, to harden them off, this also helps to deter slugs and snails.
  16. I hate slugs and snails.
    Have tried every thing and my latest has been a return to organic pellets. Hve not tried the nematodes though. A friend has tried copper wire etc, no good.
    I have discovered they over winter, those that are not in the ivy, in my pots. Lost a whole batch of cuttings. Very cross. Potting on is always a 'treat' when faced with what look like embryonic dinosaurs.
    I hav e decided I am going to mix the pellets into the compost at potting on ...... and I now throw a load in with the crocks at the bottom of pots.
    Have been told it is the little ones that are worse for soft shoot destruction. The big ones preferring the decaying matter.

  17. Would it be too daft to suggest plant something new?
    Or do what I used to do - stick those kiddy windmills in the soil. Birds and cats seem to hate them.
    And cats (I was doing this to deter my own blinkin moggies, btw) seem to hate it if you have fluttering strips of tin foil on sticks. An old lady gave me the tip - I thought it was daft, as moggies like to play with moving things, like hmmm, birds, mice...but also when you play with them with a ball of wool or whatever. But they really didn't like the tin foil strips, for some reason.

  18. First manny:
    you could try a couple of things: either strew prickly leaves, such as holly or rose twigs around the area and that helps to deter them or surround the area with little sticks and criss cross with sewing thread so you end up with a cat's cradle effect - do you see what I mean? If they can't get in to scratch they tend not to poo.

    You are quite right GL in that leaving some vegetation does offer shelter to slugs, but it also offers shelter to beneficials that will eat your slugs. I've been gardening organically for many years and I have found that it isn't always easy to strike the right balance between pests and predators but that it can be done - takes a while. You have a wonderful wildlife haven - I envy you. With only a very small garden I don't have so many predators so can't let nature take it's course and have to be more vigilant. However, you should see the number of ladybird larvae this year - extraordinary numbers!
  19. anon468

    anon468 New commenter

    Ha, ha! I have been suggesting for weeks (he calls it nagging... [​IMG]).
    He's the gardener, I'm the cook (he hates cooking, I hate 'things'). Although I have been known to weed from time to time on a boiling hot sunny day.
    Will try the windmill idea. I like them. They is purdy. [​IMG]
  20. F*CKING HELL it's like a f*cking microcosm of what's wrong with education!!!
    Who's in charge? Do you WANT them to eat your plants or what? Are you planning to have an understanding chat with them?
    Kill the f*cking slugs. They're a pest in the heirarchy of life. If your crops were all you had to live on you'd train your toddlers to kill them. as it is you have the luxury of abundance, so either share it with the molluscs and stop complaining, or do something effective about it.

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