FEATURE: How green does your garden grow?
With summer on its way, I’ve been busy planting out various veggies and herbs in my urban wilderness. However, it seems almost as fast as I can plant things the slugs come along and cause havoc. There seem to be a disproportionately large number of slugs for my small garden and even though most of my veg plants are in pots, they still manage to get in and have a big munch.
There aren’t enough natural predators around to make much of a dent in the population. I’ve never seen many birds in the garden, due to so many local cats. There’s one visiting toad but there’s only so many slugs one little toad can eat! And he doesn’t stick around for long each year. I’ve never seen a hedgehog around either. I live near a big park, so I expect that a lot of the usual slug predators hang out there away from cats and people.
I figure that leaves 2 options: deter them or kill them. In the overall ecology of my garden, I’d really like to encourage more birds and they need something to eat. Plus slugs themselves are predators of other pests. So first off I’m going to try deterring them. There are a few ways of deterring slugs from young plants, and once the plants are older and tougher, they become less appealing to slugs anyhow.
I’ve heard or read about all of these methods, so it’s time to try them out, in rough order of availability & cost:
Coffee grounds: in ready supply & free
Eggshells: in ready supply & free
Plastic bottles, cut down and upturned: a good use for empty bottles
Copper rings: would need to buy them specially
Gravel: need to investigate what size & buy specially
Opinion seems to be divided over the use of coffee grounds and I don’t want to harm other beneficial soil-living creatures, so I’m going to try the eggshells first. The general idea here is that the eggshells are uncomfortable for the slugs to move over, so they seek out something easier to eat than my precious tomato plants!
Check back later to see if the eggshells are a success.
Bye for now