Slug Wars!!

I think this year has been the worst ever for slugs and snails! I have tried everything and thought it would amuse you to share this. These ‘pests’ are always at the top of the leader board every year but I have never experienced anything like it. It’s like they’ve all been in lockdown and come out for a party in my garden!!

Arion hortensis

This is me giving the common garden slug it’s proper name because I normally only extend that privilege to the plants I’m writing about.

Are they beneficial?

Apparently, slugs and snails help decompose organic matter in the compost heap but all this has done for me is to spread them over the garden. Apparently hedgehogs eat them too…..well we have a huge hedgehog population and they prefer the kitten food we put out for them, never seen them eat any of the enormous slugs only the small tender ones!

Are they a pest?
Yes!!! They eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and young shoots of a plethora of herbaceous plants and climbers. I had the joy of witnessing a ‘snail tree’ in a garden hanging with hundreds of them and marching up the trunk like something out of a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

How do you control them?

I don’t think I have enough room in this column but this is what I did this year:
⦁ Mulched with Strulch
⦁ Used Grazers spray
⦁ Surrounded lettuces and particularly tasty plants with a mixture of wool pellets, slug pellets (organic ones) and baked, crushed eggshells (yes really). Also in very large yoghurt buckets I emptied a whole can of beer. They particularly enjoyed this after their vegetable feast and some drowned in a drunken stupor. In fact I think each night I’ve caught about 20 in each slug trap.
⦁ Picked them off in the night after dark and placed them in a bucket of salt water.
⦁ My husband dealt with them individually….

Did it work?
No!! Next year must do better and start earlier before they have woken up from their winter hibernation. Would love to hear your stories!!

Cathie’s Gardening School Services
Consultancies, mentoring sessions, pruning and garden armies are all happening with many days already booked. CGS is running the greenhouse module from January so come and meet me, see the garden and join in! Also don’t forget to book your £99 consultancies for January. Ideal outdoor gift! Can’t help with slugs I’m afraid…..

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