Monday 4 June 2012

How to kill sluggies er ..naturally!

OK so I must confess, my wonderful happy moment was dashed when I went to look at all the new and wonderful  foliage that should have been sprouting in my garden.

 After using some of the remedies I found to rid the grass, I went and planted a huge garden filled with wonderful produce.
It took all day to hoe, dig, pull, mutter and toil to get it finished, but I felt a certain satisfaction an earthly, human "I'm growing my own food" giddiness.
A few days later however I was not so giddy.

 2 things struck me #1) the grass was back. and #2) all I saw was nubbins of green, then to my utter horror I saw Little and big slimy sluggies all over the garden bed!
I did what all good gardeners do I walked away, left my garden bed and vowed never to set foot in it again! On my way out I stomped on a few for good measure, unfortunately one squirted on the little one and made her cry, ops. More therapy to pay for.

So after cooling down a tad and thinking more rationally I decided to look up ways to kill the pesky things, I am hoping I can catch it in time to repair some of the damage done.
I know what your thinking, and yes I do have crushed egg shells all the way around the outer edge of my beds. I was hoping to make the beasts mighty uncomfortable so they would leave my veggies alone, since this didn't work I am thinking I will incorporate #'s 2, #3,and possibly #4

I still don't feel too inclined to go and look at all the damage done, the grass growing and the nibbins, but one must face the slime and walk on through right? Besides if I don't do it, no one else will, and frankly how can I show my face in this Eco community with a garden filled with spoiled toil....You would have to see the neighborhood to understand, every one and I do mean every one has a garden filled with beautiful green edible goodies. Not a weed, not a blade of resistant grass, not a slug...I tell you it's a darn shame!
So here you are, a list complied not only for me but for you as well.

  1)    Beer. Yes, It’s also greatest way to confirm that overnight damage is due to the slimy beasts, without having to wake up at night. Just don’t use “stale beer”, which slugs figure is about as tasteless as well stale beer! Put out old margarine tubs on top of the soil close to the damaged plants, wait until dusk and then fill them with the cheapest—but freshest—beer you can find. The next morning, they should be filled with dead drunken slugs. Dump this defeated debris nearby (where it will attract their cannibalistic pals) and repeat every evening. Oh so much fun!
2)     Coffee. New research has found caffeine to be very effective at dispatching slugs. Save your dregs and spray them full strength directly on the beasts in the evening. Surround plants under attack with a mulch of used coffee grounds to deter slugs and feed the plants. OK sorry chickens no more caffeine for you!
3)    Copper. Slugs get shocked when they touch this shiny metal. You can buy ready-made copper plant guards or just adorn your raised bed frames with copper flashing. Hot-glue rings of pennies around the tops of your containers. Drop captured slugs into a jar of pennies and watch ‘em spark! Hahaha OK so here is a  use for our soon to be disbanded pennies! I always loved crafting!
4)    Boards. Lay some old planks between your garden beds. The vampiric slugs will crawl underneath to hide from the sun. Come morning, lift the boards and scrape the slugs into a bucket with a flat piece of metal. Then do with them what you will. Hey—got any pennies?
5)    Human hair. Surround your plants with a protective barrier of hair. The slugs will get all tangled up in it and strangle (hey—it was them or the hostas!); and the hair will eventually add plant-feeding nitrogen to the soil. weird!
6)    Citrus. Leave lemon, orange and grapefruit rinds out overnight near slug prone plants, and then collect and trash them—covered with slugs—first thing the next morning. Old lettuce leaves work well too. No thanks, I don't want contact with the beasts!
7)    Vinegar. A spray bottle filled with plain white vinegar is a great cure for slugs that aren’t on plants. An extremely effective mollusk dissolver, vinegar is also an herbicide—
 8)    Toads. Avoid all pesticides, provide water low to the ground and a damp shady spot for them to hide during the heat of the day, and these wonderful nocturnal predators will eat lots of slugs for you.Haha a defense for the frog festavel. I will be an activist as well. Can you see me with my sandwich sign, SAVE the Toads or suffer the slimy consequences. Toads have rights too. Hahahaha!
9)    Rove beetles. These big black bugs don’t bother plants, but do eat LOTS of slugs and their eggs. So don’t hurt them!
10)    Ducks! Just turn a few loose in the garden—these feathered friends (and natural fertilizer providers) are among nature’s FINEST slug-eaters! Ah, darn Dear Husband was right again! I guess we will be adding ducks to our little "farm"...My question is won't they eat your garden too?

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