I do feel a bit sorry for slugs. I mean, who likes them? They don't have a pretty swirly shell like a snail. They don't improve the soil like a worm. They just slop about the place eating..and eating and eating... See the image above for an idea of the damage they do. It's not like there isn't anything else in our garden to eat ..noooo, they just prefer anything we want to eat. Naturally.
Slugs are supposed to be Nature's clean up guys, chomping on old, diseased or decaying leaves to help bring valuable nutrients back into the earth. However, nature made a mistake. These guys like almost any delicate or edible plant, and it seems to me, they particularly love to munch on the vegetables and herbs I have carefully just planted.
It's a most disheartening thing,I can tell you, to walk out to look on the darling little seedlings you planted a day or so ago to find them all munched to the ground, by the slimy gardeners enemy.
There any number of poisonous pellets available on the market to kill these pesty beasties, the problem is though, if ingested by a bird or other animal they can be fatal. In the UK hedgehogs are particularly vulnerable, as they love to munch on slugs, so any slug that has eaten a pellet passes on the poison to them. Not ideal really.
But but but but... MY VEGETABLES!!!!!! Why oh why must they munch all my delicious veggies??
Enter Nemotodes. I discovered how well nemotodes could work a few years ago when I was living in a house in south London with a small but useable garden. The problem was it was small but I swear it had all of the suburbs slug population in our postcard back garden. They chomped through pretty much everything I planted. I managed to grow a few herbs in pots with copper tape around them to prevent infestations, but this didn't deal with the root of the problem, IE, we had too many slugs.
So, after much research due to my reluctance to use chemicals I discovered nematodes. Nemotodes are a microscopic worm that are a natural parasite & killer of slugs. They invade the slug's body and produce a toxic bacterium which kills it between 24 to 48 hours. The dead slug then provides the nematodes a rich place to reproduce.
And, in my small South London Garden, they worked a treat! They also reduced the slug numbers the next year too, well at least in the beginning of the year, I moved out int the spring to where I am now living with The Gardener.
I spent most of last year grumbling about slug pellets which were our only use of non organic gardening methods, but that we couldn't seem to overcome due to the sheer volume of the slimy things.
But this year, ... this year we are going to be different. This year I am going to try to be 100% organic in the garden. It would be hypocritical to be otherwise.
And so, I have purchased 2 rounds of nemotodes to spray over the garden. One which will arrive soon to sprinkle over & hopefully kill any emerging slugs now spring has sprung. And another in 6 weeks, to hopefully catch any survivors of the first cull.
I have my fingers crossed for a good result. And so do my cabbages. I'll let you know the results.
Do you have any slug control methods I could learn from? Let me know in the comments!
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