Avoiding Slug Damage

 In Gardening

It’s that dreaded slug attack time. This year has been so bad that I am seriously thinking of giving up on plants that feature on the slug menu. That suggests that I would need to stop growing all vegetables and revert to fruit bushes. All form of beans and cougettes are also manna to the little devils. They devastated my beans as they emerged from the soil. They often eat out the centre bud so that the plant cannot grow. My dahlia tubers simply could not put a shoot above ground. It looked as if the dahlia’s were dead but not so, they just struggled to get into the light. Consequently, the slugs get a life but the bees and insects get no nectar or pollen. That’s because I grow the dahlias for the pollinators. Avoiding slug damage keeps me awake at night.

To kill or not to kill?

I noted people on television talking about this year’s slug problem. It is the worst ever but who has kept data to prove such a claim? I am afraid I kill the little devils, going out every night as light fades. You quickly recognise which plants they favour and which they don’t. After a series of night checks, their numbers fall. Then, on a wet evening, they are out in force once again. Forget copper strips, gravel and coffee grounds because they don’t work. Some people sacrafice bedding plants, their argument being that if eating these, the slugs spare their vegetables. One thing I note is that if you leave the dead slugs on site, other slugs are attracted to eat their remains.

Avoiding slug damage

This year I have tried a new product and it really worked. It cost £9.99 for a 3L box so it can only protect a few dozen plants. However, if that includes prized plants like courgettes then you might consider it worthwhile. As you need to put a barrier around each courgette then it does not go far. You also need to reapply that barrier as the plant increases in size and the leaves touch the soil outside the barrier. The product is called Plantgrow Slug & Snail. It is a barrier and not a killer. You put down a band of the material, like finely shredded wood slivers, and the slugs don’t appear to want to cross it. That said, one or two slugs were inside the barrier but I was there to sort them out. Success, at last!!

PS – the photo is is my African Marigolds, safe within their Plantgrow barrier.

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