City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

Google Search:

City Hippy

CityHippy has posted its last post now (I now work for EMP plc, run At Home magazine online and more and personally blog over at Why? Click here to find out. We might be back. Keep our RSS feeds, keep us bookmarked, sign up for the news alert on the right. You never know...

We are dedicated to exploring how to live a greener and more ethical life. City Hippy is a growing collective of writers bringing you two types of content:

ARTICLES: Enjoy real content by real people trying really hard to live a greener and fairer life. Generally in-depth with weekly updates at least. Located in main body below.Subscribe:
BOOKMARKS: Follow our web travels & explore our 1400+ links to a greener life across various categories i.e. baby, cosmetics, DIY, furniture, garden & shopping. Short, sharp and frequent updates. Located down to the right. Click here to see our latest three bookmarks.Subscribe:


Saturday, May 13, 2006

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


Technorati tags:


At 1:26 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

We use the plastic bottles for many of the young plants in our garden, and we have had very few bug outbreaks. Fortunately, our biggest problem is aphids, and our garden is small enough that one or two ladybugs can feast on all of the aphids pretty quickly. So, if the eggshells don't work - the bottles will!

At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Tracy said...

The slug problem in my cold frame has improved with covering the floor with crushed sea shells, and we protect the very little and tempting cabbage seedlings with New Horizon Organic Garlic Granules. It seems to be working well.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Whiskers said...

I can't say I disagree. I'll check to see the consensus. Happy mother's day!

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Adam said...


I just found your site, very nice. Re your problem with slugs getting into your vegetables I have a suggestion.

When I was going to university, I worked during the summer at a
botanical garden as a gardener. The director, wise as he was, had a
policy against herbicides and pesticides. People marveled at how weed free we kept our garden without them. Out biggest pest was the snail
but we had a vegetable garden as well and the slugs were a problem. We planted our veggies in raised beds, with wood chips down in the walk ways. The Wood chips inhibited weed growth and the slugs didn't like it much either. We also laid rings of sawdust down around the plants. The slugs really do not like crawling over fresh dry sawdust. The
benefit is that the sawdust will break down and add to the soil.

If I remember correctly, there is a problem with the enzymes sucking
the nitrates out of your soil if you use too much sawdust, so don't
dump on barrels of it, just enough to make a circle around the plant

Hope this helps,


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Mrs Moo said...

Orange peel will work to keep slugs at bay. They don't like the smell.


Post a Comment

<< Home