The main battle on the plot at the moment is with the slugs that are determined to munch their way through any seedlings that are within reach.
The mild temperatures and copious amounts of rain seem to have created a paradise for slugs and it doesn’t seem that the weather is going to be changing radically any time soon.
If the slugs devour ten per cent of our future crop then that’s bearable, but they don’t seem to know what is polite behaviour – battle lines must be drawn. Here are a few ideas for a slug-free patch…
Crush up some eggshells and litter them around the seedlings. Slugs won’t like crawling across the sharp edges of the shells and will hopefully look elsewhere for their dinner.
This method solves the problem of slug damage without diminishing their numbers.
One More Cup of Coffee
Another non-lethal method is to sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants. Similar to the eggshells method the slugs won’t like the texture of the used coffee and will head in the opposite direction.
It’s easy enough to do but after rain the grounds will lose nearly all of their effectiveness.
Scattering slugs pellets around your precious seedlings is probably the easiest method and highly effective. These little blue grains are a very common sight on allotments.
Some common types contain metaldehyde which can be harmful to other animals but you can also try to find a brand that uses ferric phosphate which breaks down safely and is actually beneficial for plants.
We’re Only Here for the Beer
Using beer to attract slugs seems a popular method. The idea is to sink a cup, or saucer, of beer into the ground. The slugs will be attracted to this and will ultimately drown in it.
Is this really the best use of perfectly quaffable beer though? It’s a tough choice. Let me think about it over a pint…