Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Slugging it out

There comes a point in every gardener's year where you have to take a deep breath, say a little prayer and suppress your protective instincts and release your seedlings into the wild.

Last year I had a squash plant. It was duly squished.

Last year's courgette, leaves and fruit partially munched - that turned out to be starters for the slugs
Slugs and I just don't want to share the same canvas. You could say last year I lost by knockout. This year I'm determined to go the whole 12 rounds. But this is no ordinary fight. No, we're going underground, fighting dirty.

What weapons are available to the slug fighter?

Pellets - standard in the extreme fighter's arsenal, but controversial to some.

By hand - as long as you're not squeamish

Barriers (soft) - egg shells, coffee grounds, sand. The delicate underbelly will be torn apart ha ha ha

Barriers (hard) - a cut plastic bottle. Ain't no slug getting past that

Nematodes - mini trojan horses that devour slugs from the inside. Apparently you can buy in packets, add to water and apply to the ground. Nasty, cunning and sweet revenge.

Beer traps - rubbish. Although i used Carlsberg. Bristol slugs, it seems, are discerning (or go for cider).

Slug rage is currently only suitably calmed with pellets. But this year I'm also trying copper (recommended to me by a copper - true story!) It gives a mild electric shock for any slug that dares. Suitably nasty.

Protection for my, er, cucumber

Lets get ready to rumble...


Richard said...

Hi Tom, I used beer traps to great effect, but then I used the dregs of my homebrew real ale :-)

Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Hi Richard, I'm surprised there's any left! It must be good stuff as my snails wouldn't go near lager.

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

My photo
I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.