How to protect your plants from slugs

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender May 14, 2012 Posted No Tags Comment 13 Comments

We are all having a very wet spring and slugs seem to be a big problem this year. There are more than 20 different slug species in the UK and one can lay as many as 500 eggs. They munch away on your precious seedlings and can cause an irreversible damage. Here are a few tips on how to protect your plants.

Place copper ring or wire around the plants you would like to protect. The copper reacts with their slime so the slugs will not cross it. Some folks say it works some say it does not. Well, try it yourself; if you have a big slug infestation which can be he case in this rainy spring, then use more than one method at the same time for the best results.

Sprinkle about an inch thick layer of sharp material around the plants. The best is crushed egg shells as it is a really good fertilizer too as breaks down later in the season. You can use sharp grit too in and around pots or a thick layer of sawdust; it will stick to their bodies so they will avoid the area eventually.

Fill jars with beer and place them around the plants. The slugs will fall in and drown.

Place huge chunks of grapefruit peels in the garden. The slugs will gather underneath, you will have to collect them in the morning and … well it’s up to you what you do with them.

Make your own garlic spray and use it on your plants., it will repel slugs, and aphids too.

On the long term make sure you have an area near to your garden dedicated to wildlife. Hedgehogs, rove beetles, centipedes and slowworms love slugs and snails. Dig your garden in the autumn and rake it well this will bring the eggs closer to the surface so the frost will kill them in the winter.

Does any of this work for you? Do you know any other organic method? Please leave your comments below…

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13 Responses to “How to protect your plants from slugs”

  • Marcia:

    None of these work on an allotment, organic slug pellets (i.e. not toxic to animals other than slugs and snails) and not harmful to the environment, are the only thing that work on a large scale, all the other methods will help a little though but not for long!

  • ballyrisode:

    egg shells and sand work for me.

  • martin fordham:

    strong diluted coffee or strong brewed tea using old tea bags poured around the plants [but not touching the plant] worked 4 me last year.

  • Sarah:

    Slug pellets only, tried a couple of the others you have mentioned, but as with Marcia (above), these are simply not effective on an allotment.

  • I grow my own:

    http://www.tuinadvies.be/shop/product.php?id=1001
    i use these although i got them much cheaper elsewhere.
    they cant get round the bend/collar
    i have 2 plastic tubes in the ground (vertical) so i can put my water in the shade/coolness of the ground. they seem to gether in there. i pick them every day and let them loose in the compostbin at home (the one they pick up) it’s nirvana for them i think ;-)
    i dont believe in pellets even if they say they are safe(r) for other animals i have seen what it does to mice that eat the slugs, the cats or birds that eat the mice and so on, it ain’t pretty
    don’t water in the evening if you can in the morning otherwise you’re just paving the road for them, making it all nice and wet and slippery
    there’s special grit in garden centers you can buy to put around plants, doesnt seem to work
    beer drown slugs are horrible if you;re the one to pick them out of the trap.
    copper tape seems to work
    and cayenne pepper or lime they don’t like
    i never dig my garden as i believe it harms ground ecosystems more than it helps
    snails prefer your pulled out and slightly wilted weeds more than the crunchy salad leaves
    don’t bee too tidy in the garden helps as they will choose the wilting stuff but if there isnt any….even iris leaves doent seem to be safe this year

  • Nicki Davis:

    I have tried all products,not economical and failed,Contents from vacuum cleaner,pegged with hair pins,helped me,those slugs,hate,the dust,hair,and pet fur,good luck,works for me,also pick out the garden munchers,that you might see with a torch,Plus leave a pet food bowl out,no food inside,see how, In the 1st couple of hour of darkness,they home in Good luck peeps!

  • Mark Roberts:

    Having tried all of these we find that the plastic collar (made from a cut down plastic fizzy pop bottle) works as well as anything else.

  • sylvia:

    Can someone tell me whats wrong wit5h my xmas tree, The stems are all black and the needles are going brown and falling off.I believe there is something i can spray it with,but i can’t remember it. many thanks. sylvia.

  • Lajos Szabo:

    Sylvia it is best ask questions on the forum: http://www.seedparade.co.uk/forum/

  • james fahy:

    u can buy organic slug pelletts online slugaway .com i think made from sheeps woll, however i plant radishes early use the leaves as slug bait scatter them around the ather stuff , keeps them away from seedlings, however nothing as good as the slug pellets for convienence sorry!

  • Vanya:

    Has anyone tryed nemaslug?

  • Della:

    Yes i used Nemotodes last year for slugs and snails, i found it worked really well.Have bought more for this year,i also tried the aphid etc one. Worth a try i reckon .

  • joanne:

    i have used the stick on copper on my planters with my hosta plants in+ had lovely hostas everytime. they work great but you have to replace each year as they get weathered.
    i forgot to do it before the hostas started this year.the slugs have had a field day with my hostas,i wont forget next year

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