Don’t let slugs destroy your garden! Here are some tested natural and organic slug control methods to help keep them in check.
It has been a particularly damp spring in some parts of the country, and the slugs are on the hunt! Slugs can be a major garden menace, quickly reducing your beautiful little plants to stubs before you even realize they are there.
If you’re dealing with a major slug infestation, you may need to resort to more drastic measures, but for many organic gardeners, there are a number of ways to control the slug population in your garden without resorting to any sort of chemical or even organic-approved bug killer.
The article below explores a few methods that the author has tried to help with slug control. However, if you really have a major infestation (especially of the tiny little mini-slug), you may need to resort to something stronger. I have had great success with Sluggo, and organic-approved slug bait that you can find online or in some garden stores.
However, before getting out the big guns, it’s always a good idea to try more natural slug control methods that support your natural ecosystem first:
There are many opinions on how to deal with slugs. The most popular—and least effective, in my yard — is the beer trap. First, the trap fills up with rain water, diluting the beer….
…I have found them collected on the rim of the container, peering down, but not moving in. When they do occasionally fall in, the result is slug plus beer — not good early in the morning….
Hand Picking: I tried hand-picking slugs one spring. Right before bed, I would wander out into the garden with a flashlight, a fork, and a jar of soapy water. I became quite adept at spearing the slug and dropping it into the jar. The entire mess was then dumped into the compost pile. It did help — but then…my long-haired cat began carrying slugs into the house — and onto my pillow — in her belly fur….
Setting up a board trap was quickly abandoned. My entire garden was a board trap — and it required hand-picking.
Salting, which I did try one day, brought out the cannibal instincts in the slugs, and I had a munching, salty slug pile. Disgusting!
Chickens helped… Although chickens do not eat slugs (ducks do), spending a month on each garden bed, rooting around in the soil, did destroy many eggs and reduced the population…. They also love to dig around the outside edges of the raised beds, exposing more slugs to sunlight and desiccation….
I also try to dry out the top layer of soil before planting. Three weeks before the first planting out, just about when I start the seeds, I place the cold frame over a garden bed, or I create a small hoop house. The soil stays damp enough for planting just from bottom moisture, but the surface dries out and is less appealing to a slug. In a really bad year, I will sprinkle some Sluggo, but the chickens tend to eat it and that just does not seem like a good idea.
My best decision, however, was to work with Nature and just plant later. I now start all of my seeds in pots, either in the greenhouse or on the shelf outside. Greens, vines, beans—all start in pots and are transplanted out when the temperature is right….
The slugs might still munch, but the plants are able to grow more quickly and survive….
For more info, check out the full article at MotherEarthNews.com…