Monday, May 10, 2010

A little bit about slugs.

Slugs were once the bane of my gardening existence. They chewed on my corn plants, left gaping wounds in my squash leaves, and decimated an entire crop of peas. After ranting and sobbing, I asked around to find out what worked to keep out slugs. Here is what I learned and what I now use. And it works.

*Don't use salt. Yes, it is fun to watch the nasty beasties shrivel up, but salt is not actually good for the soil. So don't use it.

*Beer works. Yep. It is true. Get a shallow tub and either bury it or do something else to help the slugs get into the booze and leave the tubs out for a few days. When you go to check on them, you will find that slugs can be alcoholics too, but that they have drowned more than their worries in their beer.

*Egg shells. This is all around the best way to go. They are easy to gather and easy to use. Basically, just put your used egg shells back into the carton until the carton is empty of eggs and filled with cracked shells. Then set your carton outside for a week or so. Maybe put it in a shed or something. When the shells are dry, dump them in a trash bag and stomp them to bits. Now you basically have glass for slugs. Spread this stuff around the base of the big plants and at the edges of the beds of raised plots. Basically you are making a wall of shattered glass that will slash the slugs and snails to bits. A bit bloodthirsty? Yes. Are we willing to kill for our gardens? Absolutely.

Some other methods of slug control include using a special kind of slug-repellant soil and even hair clippings. But those are both too much work and the soil can be quite expensive. So just stick with egg shells.

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