How to Keep Slugs at Bay
Back in (Flaming!) June I noted how attracted slugs were to the beautiful Dahlia Rip City flowers that had just started flowering in my garden:
Slugs are a real pest in the garden, so it was time to take action! Here's my advice for keeping those pesky slugs at bay.
Slug Gone Natural Wool Barrier Pellets
I put a thick layer of sheep wool pellets around each plant such as these by Slug Gone. They are widely available, including on Amazon and are totally organic. The abrasive wool fibres act as an irritant to the slugs and ensure a ‘slug-free zone’ around each plant, providing you use a thick layer.
They seem to be an effective barrier against the slugs, especially during the critical first few weeks after planting out, and also act as a mulch that eventually biodegrades in to the soil after about 6 months.
I got another great tip for dealing with slugs from garden designer Matthew Wilson, who won the People's Choice Award at this year's Chelsea Flower Show.
Matthew explained that sprinkling slug pellets, whether organic or chemical, all over the place is a waste of time. Apparently, pellets contain a pheromone that attracts the slugs to the area.
So, if you sprinkle lots of them around the base of the plant you are trying to protect, the slugs come along, eating whatever they come across on the way before getting to the pellets - and then eating your beloved plants.
What you should do, is place one organic pellet per square meter away from the plant you want to protect, so that the slug goes right to the pellet and does not eat your plants along the way.
The Garlic Treatment
He also said that, as far as hostas are concerned, you also need to boil up three whole garlic bulbs, sieve the mixture and then spray it twice a month on your hosta stems. Slugs hate the smell, but the problem is, you might hate it too!
I only grow hostas in metal planters now, as my battle with slugs always ends in defeat. However, he got this tip from the holder of the National Collection of Hostas, who did not have one sign of slug damage on any of his 500 plants!
Do you have any tips and tricks for ridding slugs from your garden?