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Slugs out in force

(20 Posts)
Traintrackmad Sun 23-Apr-17 23:01:50

Help!! I've finally realised why nothing grew in my garden last summer and why none of the summer bulbs and seeds have come up so far this year (I'm a novice gardener). I went out to fetch the washing in three nights ago to find slugs and snails having a feast in my pots/borders. Hundreds of them. I got the salt on the buggers and went out again last night, again loads of them and I salted them too, same again tonight. I'm not convinced salt is the best way forward so could you give me some better ideas please. (We also have a frog pond, a pet cat and I'm a childminder so that influences what we can use to get rid of the slugs (I'm also not convinced frogs and salt go well together so need to sort it quickly).
Also, are there any plants that slugs don't like to eat? They don't seem to have gone for one of things I planted last year (flowers start of as a big bud and then blooms into big dark red flowers) or the clematis I planted but lots of other things about are obviously quite tasty. I can't afford to be wasting money on feeding bloody slug a lovely plant and seedling diet, when I want my garden to look beautiful. Thanks for any help.

MrsBertBibby Sun 23-Apr-17 23:25:57

They never seem to touch snapdragons.

How about nematodes? Little microscopic worms you water into the soil. They invade slugs and infect them with death. Done wonders in my garden! You have to order them online and use asap, they work for 6 weeks.

www.nematodesdirect.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwofHHBRDS0Pnhpef89ucBEiQASEp6LJZVtMnwM0Mb39p545oKjtCQ4hMiVMBHJvdJAahpo0caAkIn8P8HAQ

Qwebec Wed 26-Apr-17 02:14:46

Salt is toxic for your plants too.

I used to go out at night and throw them in a soapy water. Then for a few years I only baught plants that were not touched by them. This has helped loads. They used to eat everythin leaving me with leafless stalks. Now that my garden is less appealing bar a few wholes in the most sensitive plants and my strawberries at ground level they are fine.

arbrighton Thu 27-Apr-17 10:54:57

I was about to say NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo to salt, that'll stop everything growing too (but Qwebec already did so)

Slugs like beer. Dig yoghurt pot or similar into ground so it is flush, put in bitter (they seem to prefer it) then every day or so empty of dead uns and top up the beer.

Or go round each eveninng and pick the sods off. I chuck mine in the river, but that's cos it's at the end of the garden

mummytime Thu 27-Apr-17 11:10:22

Coffee grounds is supposed to be good. Works on the snails in my pots.

Draylon Thu 27-Apr-17 16:58:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

arbrighton Thu 27-Apr-17 18:06:50

yeah, sorry @Draylon, you are indeed right. Hence every day or so. And with gloves on.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 27-Apr-17 18:11:37

You need runner ducks.
I inherited a couple when I bought my house and they are very good for keeping the slugs down. They don't wreck the garden the way chickens do and they don't need a pond.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 27-Apr-17 18:14:03

In my old house, which was very sluggy, I discovered the only lettuce they wouldn't eat was Red Salad Bowl.

arbrighton Thu 27-Apr-17 20:56:47

Ducks plus two dogs who think ducks are for chasing/ catching............. errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmm

Traintrackmad Thu 27-Apr-17 21:21:32

I've sadly realised salt is no good for grass. I've woken Up today to find my grass covered in patches of dead grass where I killed the snails. Lesson learnt the hard way. Probably around 50 snails were killed on my front lawn that first night, I now have 50 patches of dead grass.

sunnyhills Thu 27-Apr-17 22:27:30

Ok ,well after googling I found this
^Treating Salt Damage to Lawn"
Use pelletized gypsum soil condition to reverse salt damage on lawns. The gypsum, or calcium sulfate, replaces the salt with calcium and sulfur, which will help to heal the grass and encourage new growth. It is also useful in helping the soil retain water. Use a lawn spreader to spread a thin layer over the affected grass and water well
.
and this
^Gypsum is recommended as a soil improver, but appears to be sold
in garden centres as a proprietary product costing nearly £5 for
2.5 kg^

^On the other hand, I can pick up a 25 kg bag of multi-finish
plaster for under £5, and AFAIK this is essentially the same
material^.

Any reasons not to go with plaster?

No reason whatsoever.

Leafs123 Mon 09-Apr-18 12:48:59

There is a baby fest in my back garden!!! The little buggers are everywhere. I can't bear the thought of emptying slugtraps and they seem to have learnt not to eat the slug pellets (I have super evolved slugs...).

Urgh *shudders

Harebellmeadow Mon 09-Apr-18 22:36:54

I wouldn’t use slug pellets if you have frogs or newts: frogs eat the slugs, and the pellet toxins accumulate in them and poison them too ( and newts if you have them).

The garden centre claims that beer traps
Simply attract more slugs (which is barely possible with you), but the beer traps really do work and should cut down on slug damage. Nematodes I am looking to try this year as I am
Growing my lupines and peas and beans in through plastic bottle tubes to protect them. A lot of slug damage last year, but also lots of plants that are slug proof: nigella, peonies, roses, marigolds, Scilla bulbs, hellebores . . . I will have a think and continue my list.

Leafs123 Tue 10-Apr-18 08:06:07

I think slug proof plants may be the answer. Hebes, dianthus and sweet peas seem to survive. My soil is very clay heavy so maintains the moisture which I don't think helps. I have wagered a war on the snails in the front garden over the past two years. I am not exaggerating when I say I have collected hundreds over a couple of days. I WILL win!!!! angry

thestickereconomy Tue 10-Apr-18 09:50:03

I have the same situation with slugs and im trying nematodes this year. Also on clay. It's v early days but I think it's making a difference.

Leafs123 Tue 10-Apr-18 11:13:59

I'll have a google of nematodes

snowdr0p Tue 10-Apr-18 12:47:53

I'm about to order my nematodes off Amazon (best to use the day you receive them, or stick them in the fridge till you can use them eg next day). I've used them for a couple of years and noticed a big difference.

The air temperature needs to be consistently above 4C as they're less likely to survive in freezing temperatures.

Online, instructions are to "apply early in the morning or predusk when temperatures are cooler and the sun is not so bright (UV rays harm nematodes)." I also try to choose a mildly drizzly grey day, as I think the rain helps the nematodes get down into the soil better.

Astrabees Tue 10-Apr-18 14:04:17

I'm afraid only slug pellets do the job in my garden, I love hostas which are delicious to slugs and snails. The Hosta Society recommend putting out slug protection of whatever type you use on 14 February.

Leafs123 Thu 12-Apr-18 18:22:47

Happy valentines day slugs grin

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