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Just thinking about my crap year in the garden

(4 Posts)
CatherineDeB Mon 20-Jun-16 18:22:46

I have had a massive slug problem, most of my vegetables have been eaten and I am left with a few purple sprouting broccoli plants, aubergine, pumpkin, squash and tomatoes (plus strawberries). Started off with three times that.

Have discovered that whilst the little gits ate my lollo rosso they don't seem to go for the cut and come again type.

All Salvias decimated by them.

Then onto my seedlings, I planted a dozen different flowers and have only got 4 wild geraniums, 1 agapanthus and a few of something I can't identify.

My alpine strawberry seeds produced nothing, not one plant!

Worst year ever in my history of gardening and I kept my heater on for ages. I was very fed up earlier as I emptied the unsuccessful trays onto my compost heap.

sorbetandcream1 Mon 20-Jun-16 19:43:22

Oh dear, I've just posted something really similar. No advice but lots of sympathy. I will be watching your thread.

shovetheholly Tue 21-Jun-16 07:59:42

It's a terrible year for slugs everywhere, but I think some locations are really having an almost apocalyptic outbreak. Round me, you actually can't walk in the rain without standing on them, there are that many. It is repulsive! I thought I was pretty used to the little buggers, since I have a shaded north-facing garden, where they happily munch through things all year round. But this is something else.

Here's what I'm doing (vive la resistance!)
- Growing veg on in a greenhouse until they're really quite big then planting them out. There seems to be a sensitive period for seedlings at the start, where they are particularly vulnerable to slug attack. I'm guessing that as they get older, they start to build up chemicals in the leaves that resist attack a bit more. Getting them through that first bit really helps. I direct sow very little now and am envy of those who can just plant seed in the ground and have it come up.
- Abandoning things that simply get decimated (salvias, dahlias) or growing them in pots instead. I know it's depressing to lose plants, but it's also a learning experience. Don't be discouraged - it does NOT mean you are a bad gardener!! There will be a plant that is more slug resistant that approximates to the 'look' of the ones you've lost. For example, I've had my Anthriscus 'Ravenswing' decimated by slugs - really healthy, big plants were torn apart virtually overnight. I wanted it for the dark foliage, so I replaced with Actaea simplex 'brunette' which is far more impervious to slugs.
- Growing plants that have decent levels of slug resistance built in instead - the fact that your geraniums are OK tells you something really valuable here.
- Hitting them with a combination of nematodes, organic slug pellets, coffee grounds, slug traps.

bookbook Tue 21-Jun-16 09:08:48

shove has covered all the bases there. I just wanted to share your pain.
Even my aubergine got nibbled - thats when I cracked and got out the organic slug pellets. I already have copper tape, it doesn't seem to have made much difference. And I have lost 2 squashes for the first time - am growing my spare up in pots to be much bigger before I plant them up
I am trying to justify buying nematodes, but its going to be ruinously expensive sad

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