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Old 22-07-2004, 12:27 AM
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Default Slug bait kills earthworms too, which in turn kills birds and other wildlife. So dont do it

For the net nannies.

Protective barriers
Disposable plastic drinks bottles, with the bottoms cut off and the
screw tops removed, make excellent individual protective cloches for
young transplants. Check for the first few days after transplanting
that a slug hasn't been trapped inside the bottle.

A slug and snail tape that creates a protective barrier is now on the
market. Slugs are repelled by the small electric charge naturally
contained in the copper face. Being self adhesive, it is easy to fix
onto pots, seed trays, garden furniture, even onto sturdy plants.

SAS slug and snail repellent contains a natural yucca extract. When
sprayed on the ground it forms a physical barrier which slugs and
snails will not cross. As with many other repellents, it will
withstand light rain, but will have to be renewed after a heavy

All sorts of materials such as lime, forest bark, crushed eggshells,
wood ash, human hair and soot are said to make effective slug
barriers, sprinkled on the ground around plants. The idea is that the
barrier either dries out the slime that the slugs move on or that it
irritates them so they will not cross it. Their effectiveness must
inevitably be weather dependent but they may be worth trying,
especially under cloches. Make a smooth seedbed type surface before
applying a good layer of the material, a few inches wide.

Direct sown crops
Direct sown crops can be totally eaten off by slugs, especially in the
early spring when top soil is cold and the seedlings are slow to
emerge and grow away. Try to increase the rate of seedling emergence
and growth by:
sowing later in the season,
choosing the warmer, drier parts of the garden for early sowing (if
there are any),

pre-germinate the seed,

improving the soil so it does not hinder germination. If the soil
tends to set to a crust, cover the seed drill with some potting
compost or sand mixed with the soil,

if the soil has had a thick organic mulch over the winter remove it a
few weeks before sowing to allow the soil to warm up. If mulches are
used for growing crops, wait until the plants are well established
before mulching. Mulches can harbour slugs, but they also provide
shelter for slug predators, such as beetles.

If direct sowing always fails, the alternative is to raise
transplants. They must again grow quickly to survive slug attack, so
it is best to raise them in individual modules, so there is minimal
check to growth when they are planted out. For the earliest plantings
it is worth growing the plants even larger before transplanting - in
individual plastic cups for example. For row crops such as peas, about
3ft lengths of plastic guttering can be used for sowing into. Whole
sections of row can then be slid into place when the seedlings are
well grown.

Avoid susceptible plants
Gardeners too often want to grow things that aren't suited to their
site. In the case of plants that are very susceptible to slugs this
isn't really worth the effort.

If, for example, the slugs get more out of your hostas each year than
you do, the answer is to give up on the hostas and try something else.

Alternatively, these plants can be grown in rough wooden tubs or
terracotta pots, out of the reach of slugs.

Potato slugs
The main attack on potato tubers happens in late summer and autumn, so
lifting the crop by the end of August, at the latest, can help to
reduce the damage. If lifting early reduces the crop too much choose
early varieties and consider decreasing the spacing between plants to,
say, 12 inches each way. This will reduce the size that each
individual plant will reach, but it will also make them crop earlier -
and because there are more plants than usual in the given space, the
overall crop should not be reduced.

Alternative feeding
A spring planted bed of lettuce is a real treat to the slugs as they
may not have had a good meal recently.

It may be possible to keep transplanted plants safe for a while by
offering an alternative food supply to slugs - such as lettuce or
cabbage leaves spread between the plants.

The slugs tend to collect under these leaves to feed and shelter, so
examine them regularly and remove any that you find.

Another idea is to sow a sacrificial crop of something that slugs
love, such as brassica or lettuce. Hoe this off while small and leave
the hoeings in situ around the transplants.

Slug traps are commercially available. DO NOT use them. Sometimes this
sort of trap also catches the large, black ground beetles and other

Winter digging
Autumn digging, leaving the soil rough and cloddy while the slugs are
still active will allow those species that hibernate to move deep into
the soil. If you must dig, do it in the winter while the soil is cold
and the slugs are less active. This may also expose them to predators
such as birds. While digging, look out for slug eggs in the soil.
These are little clusters of colourless, round eggs, looking rather
like small frogspawn or sago.

Garden friends
Though you may not think it, slugs have enemies too. They are eaten by
frogs, toads, hedgehogs, centipedes, ground beetles, sloworms and

So make sure you don't use any chemical sprays which can harm them.
Providing suitable habitat and food will encourage these beneficial
creatures to live in your garden.


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  #2   Report Post  
Old 22-07-2004, 12:30 AM
Neil Ellwood
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Default Slug bait kills earthworms too, which in turn kills birds and other wildlife. So dont do it

On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 09:56:40 +0100, Hamish wrote:

For the net nannies.

Just ONCE would have been sufficient instead of the multitudes I have just
had to wade through.

delete delete to reply

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