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The fight against the slugs.

(101 Posts)
sorbetandcream1 Mon 20-Jun-16 19:41:32

Help!
My strawberries are being eaten by earwigs...how can I protect them? There are zillions of them.

My other veg is being eaten by slugs and snails. I've covered the ground in slug pellets but they don't kill them straight away. The slugs eat a pellet, have a final meal on my veg then die.

What am I doing wrong?

When I'm at home, I'm out 4/5 times a day removing slugs.

Any other way of keeping them away?

Thank you!

CatherineDeB Mon 20-Jun-16 19:46:21

Nemaslug is apparently the way to go, I have just ordered some!

TinklyLittleLaugh Mon 20-Jun-16 20:09:27

I have had a few gardens in a few different places. I honestly think you just have to leave nature to find a balance.
I have certain borders in my garden where I don't plant certain things because I know they will be scoffed. But by trial and error I have found plants that don't get eaten.
I would worry about the impact of slug pellets and pesticides on the birds. Encouraging birds into your garden is a good way to keep down the pests.

CatherineDeB Mon 20-Jun-16 20:20:31

nematodes are wildlife and everything else friendly Tinkly.

I don't care about the flowers, like you I have enough that are being left alone but I do like to grow vegetables.

TwentyCupsOfTea Mon 20-Jun-16 20:24:12

Coffee grounds!!! It's a humane way of keeping slugs at bay smile if you dont make 'proper' coffee at home go ask a local cafe, they may look at you strangely but they will be destined for the bin otherwise smile

CatherineDeB Mon 20-Jun-16 20:26:10

Yes, my local Eco deli at my old house bagged them up and gave them away ......but I didn't have a problem there!

We drink so much coffee we could bag our own up.

TroysMammy Mon 20-Jun-16 20:31:30

The little f**kers have slimed themselves over gravel to ascend my herb pots but they have been despatched in a jam jar of salty water. I'm going out later, under cover of darkness to kill more with my special slug knife.angry

CatherineDeB Mon 20-Jun-16 20:35:37

I have got some of those beer things somewhere, green plastic things you fill with beer, had forgotten about them. I might put them in my cold frame.

There are slime trails in my utility room every morning atm, laughing at me with their bellies full of lollo rosso no doubt.

Qwebec Mon 20-Jun-16 23:34:54

I'm with Tinky.
I grow what they don't touch. The less interesting things for them in my garden the less slugs I have. It's been proven that the beer traps attract way more slugs in your garden than it kills and the egg shells trisk has also the opposit effect.
The way I get to grow strawberries and basil is by planting them in pots and keeping them away from the garden. For the tomatoes, I wait that the seedlings are quite big before I plant them if not nothing is left after a night or two.

pieceofpurplesky Mon 20-Jun-16 23:38:52

I fucking hate earwigs. Will have nightmares now

CatherineDeB Tue 21-Jun-16 07:38:47

I would only be growing tomatoes, strawberries and cut and come again lettuce if I grew what they didn't eat!

I have bought some copper foil in a sheet that I need to score and cut, I thought I would have a go at making these (sheet was only £6 and will make 8 or so).

www.selections.com/the-original-copper-slug-repeller-rings-starter-pack-by-slug-rings.html?gclid=CP_5v4jBuM0CFUE_Gwod2lsDqQ

shovetheholly Tue 21-Jun-16 07:47:50

You're not doing anything wrong - this is the worst year I can remember for slugs. Probably the combination of a mild winter and then a lot of rain over the last few months.

I have a north-facing, shaded garden and I've had to dig some things up and put them in pots for protection. I've used nematodes, which really helped, and I'm also deploying (and it does feel like a war!) a combination of slug traps (beer in a jam jar sunk into the ground), organic slug pellets (not metaldehyde), and coffee. Of the three, the organic slug pellets are the heaviest hitters.

With veg, I find I have to grow things on until they are quite big to get them past the moment where slugs want to attack them. It's a pain!

CatherineDeB Tue 21-Jun-16 09:05:03

Do organic slug pellets kill the wild birds Shove? My garden is like a nature reserve, hence I haven't used slug pellets before.

I was always a bit taken aback at the price of nemaslug hence I haven't used it before but I have lost so much veg this year I braced myself and bought some.

CatherineDeB Tue 21-Jun-16 09:06:18

Must add that I grow on in cold frames on a concrete slab and they have scoffed most things in there this year, I suppose I could use pellets in there at least.

Bubbinsmakesthree Tue 21-Jun-16 09:09:15

Woodlice have had my strawberries and my courgette plants have been killed off by slugs (despite being in a pot protected by copper tape!). Pissed off! angry

CutYourHairAndGetAJob Tue 21-Jun-16 09:22:54

I've pretty much given up the fight. My back garden was supposed to have a vegetable patch but I couldn't find anything which killed the slugs while being safe for my children and cat. I've planted blackberries and raspberries there instead.

I have managed to grow some veg in large pots with copper tape around them although I start them off inside until they are big enough to survive the odd leaf being munched by one of the slimy fuckers angry

shovetheholly Tue 21-Jun-16 10:10:40

Catherine - it's better for wildlife to use nothing at all, but the organic ones are ferrous-based and not metaldehyde and seem to be less damaging to the environment. (Do check the ingredients as they are easily confused).

Mind you, we had a thread on here about metaldehyde recently, in which I learned it wasn't quite as bad as I had thought. The organic ones are still less impactful, though.

CatherineDeB Tue 21-Jun-16 12:49:16

Thank you shove.

OP things I am going to plant today (in my utility room) are oriental turnip, radish and pak choi; winter squash, beetroot, purple carrots, peas and runner beans. Not too late for those.

I am, as of this morning down to one ps broccoli plant, my aubergines have only half of their leaves. I hope the nemotodes work quickly.

What is the best way of controlling slugs inside a coldframe on a concrete slab
?

Cloudspider Tue 21-Jun-16 13:18:12

The best way I have found is to go out at night in the rain (or after rain) with my Tourch and Tupperware. Go hunting as often as possible to see the difference, it's now year 3 in the garden and I'm winning the veg war.

CatherineDeB Tue 21-Jun-16 13:40:16

Wow, Cloud - that is dedication grin. Every day there are trails on the glass and I am finding even absolutely tiny ones everywhere in there.

I have never used slug pellets (children and pets as well as the birds) but I think I might have to in there - would just sprinkling them on the ground in there work? I don't even know what slug pellets do to slugs (apart from kill them obviously), I must google it.

If they slink off somewhere and die underground is that better for the wildlife or are they not deep enough for the birds to avoid them.

If they keel over clutching their tummies in my cold frame that would be ok as I can remove them.

Cloudspider Tue 21-Jun-16 14:58:50

Sounds like a plan. I have never used pellets etc as have small child with nasty habits.
There is a very good article on bbc sience and environment page with advice and tips on what to use. Very interesting things slugs I'm almost starting to like them.

CruCru Wed 22-Jun-16 15:22:36

This is a very timely thread. I've just read a thing about nematodes in The Garden and have ordered some. I've realised that the reason lupins don't grow in my garden is the slugs eat them.

dolkapots Wed 22-Jun-16 16:24:55

I read on a gardening blog that pouring an ammonia/boiling water solution kills the slug eggs (which is how most infestations start) but I wouldn't imagine that it would be suitable for veg. Slugs destroying my plants has confirmed my beliefs that I will never attempt to grow veg!

CruCru Wed 22-Jun-16 16:27:01

Hmm. I'm quite fond of my plants. I can imagine that boiling water and ammonia won't do them much good.

CatherineDeB Wed 22-Jun-16 17:14:09

I am putting great hope in nematodes, not arrived yet.

A family of four hedgehogs moved in to my garden at lunchtime so I doubt slug pellets will be an option for me (still haven't researched them tbh).

All of my trays of new veg seeds are planted, I just need to deal with the slugs! Hopefully the hedgehogs will help me!

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