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Strawbale Gardening: Nasty, slimy, sap-sucking slugs!

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darci_
Jacksonville, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2012
3:59 PM

Post #9096267

We live inside the city limits (in a little rural town), and I've never raised more than flowers, herbs and a few tomato plants in the backyard. We've always had slugs, but they haven't really been a problem because they didn't much care for what I was growing...but this year, I got all inspired by the straw bale gardens, and I got 6 bales, printed out and carefully followed the instructions I found here for preparing the bales, and planted cantaloupes, okra, sweet peppers, winter squash, and 3 tomato plants on the bales and put radishes, pole beans and sweet peas in the former flower bed, with marigolds scattered among everything. So far, so good. Everything looked healthy until I started noticing lacy leaves. Mental giant that I am, it took me a while to realize that Sevin dust wasn't helping and that it was slugs that were devouring the leaves off everything, including the marigolds.

Well, I replanted the beans, peas, okra and cukes and got busy trying everything I could garner online to try and save my brave little garden. So far, I've used Epsom Salts, coffee, diatomaceous earth, saw dust, beer in saucers, and a product called Slug-go. My neighbors have seen me out there at 9 PM with a flash light, ambushing drunken slugs in the beer saucers...but my plants continue to get eaten.

Just curious if anyone else has faced a slug problem this stubborn and if so, what in dickens did you do about it?
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

April 25, 2012
4:26 PM

Post #9097705

darci: I hate you're having the slug issues.

My neighbor always has a battle with them, but I've never had any issues.

I'll find one every once in awhile, so I'm truly blessed since they seem to be such a problem for some.

Good luck with them.
gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

April 25, 2012
8:16 PM

Post #9097983

If you have a really bad infestation (and it sounds like you do!) it may take more Sluggo than you have used since they have to ingest it, then crawl away to die. They also do not like to cross copper so last summer I bought some of those copper cleaning pads, unwound them and placed the curly strands around the plants, especially the tomatoes. I think they helped. You can only try! But do add more Sluggo every couple of days and I do believe in a few days the numbers should be reduced - I hope!! Good luck!!
darci_
Jacksonville, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 27, 2012
3:47 PM

Post #9100405

Thank you both for your suggestions and encouragement. I've been close to giving up, but I do believe the combination I'm using now is making a difference: The flower beds that are beside the garden are shaded, thick with flowers and herbs, and a perfect hideout for slugs, so I've sprinkled the ground there with sawdust from my husband's wood shop, making a sort of boundary between them and the veggies. Second, I'm using the Slug-go, and yes, already I can see I've got to order more. It takes a lot. Third, I'm continuing to put out dishes of beer at night and then going out after dark and gleefully salting the slugs I find tasting the brew. It seems the little ones fall in and drown, but the big ones only sip from the edges. Good idea about the copper pads, too. I'll get some tomorrow.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 27, 2012
4:42 PM

Post #9100460

If you put out shallow pans (like aluminum pie pans) filled with beer, the slugs will crawl in overnight and drown.
darci_
Jacksonville, AR
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9103615

Yep, been doing that, Darius, and it's part of my overall kill tactics. I also read that you can put a jar with a little cornmeal in it, and they'll eat it and die. Haven't seen any sign that it's working, but it is feeding beetles...
darci_
Jacksonville, AR
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
4:21 AM

Post #9106765

Here's a pic of my straw bales and a link to more pics of my little garden. Despite chilly nights and slug attacks, it's looking healthy. I've gotta order more Slug-go, which by the end of the year will cost more than whatever veggies I produce, but it's also about the experience :)
http://catbounds.blogspot.com/

Thumbnail by darci_
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gardadore
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 2, 2012
6:11 AM

Post #9106883

Looks good!!
Hopefully you will need less and less of the Sluggo once they are under control. But my husband always kids me about my "Million Dollar" Tomatoes, which taste better to me because I grew them! And your are right - it's all about the "experience" and a lot of self satisfaction that YOU produced them! Good luck!
KentNC
Wake Forest, NC

May 3, 2012
4:14 PM

Post #9109174

darci: nice pics on your blog.

fyi, you'll need to secure those tomato cages with a rod or something. They'll never hold up those tomatoes by themselves, especially as the bales soften up and start to collapse.

Plus, if the tomatoes are indeterminates, expect them to grow WAY over those cages.

Keep up the good work!

Kent
KAMasud
Rawalpindi
Pakistan
(Zone 9a)

August 21, 2012
10:47 PM

Post #9249656


I also have a snail problem after i planted Marigolds. Same time, as my soil is alkaline (ideal for snails) i started using Acetic acid (vinegar) in order to make the soil acidic. This vinegar in watering can thing it seems is not liked by snails, it weakens their shell.
Regards.
JaxGma
Warrenton, NC

August 25, 2012
10:08 AM

Post #9253225

I had a problem with slugs and started washing, drying and crushing egg shells.. I put them all around the bottom of my plants and no more slugs!
chookie2
Camperdown
Australia

August 27, 2012
4:26 PM

Post #9256113

Slugs will not cross ash or kitty litter anything that dries or scratches their body which is why your sawdust works, but they will go elsewhere so keep up the Slug Go too.
Gourdbeader
Toledo, OR
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2013
3:16 PM

Post #9461697

Okay, we are going to be moving into deer country. YEP so I need all the help I can get to keep them from eating me out of house and bales. Someone suggested that orange plastic tape fence as they don't like it. I have heard that human hair works, If I were my dear departed friend I would just sit out there and wait and smack them on their nose. Yep they kept bothering her dogs and no matter what she tried they wouldn't leave so she walk up to them and tried to shoe them away. nothing so she smack them on their nose and they back off and looked at her like, did you just hit me, then they took off. I love the animals too much but I also don't want to feed them either. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I will start a book and see what works best.
KAMasud
Rawalpindi
Pakistan
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2013
7:30 AM

Post #9503971

LOL. If smacking them on their nose works I suppose that is the most humane method but smacking a wild animal on the nose, don't know if that is a good idea. How about a stun gun set to mild? One zap should be uncomfortable enough and a respectable distance kept.
Regards,
Arif.

Solace

Solace
Monte Vista, CO
(Zone 4a)

May 2, 2013
7:53 PM

Post #9506083

Electric fence. Not that expensive and it works. I noticed that one resident in this area had white grocery bags tied along the electric fence, too. But they live next to the wildlife refuge- they must get a LOT of deer and even bears. I heard on the news tonight that bears are coming out of hibernation and a late freeze might force them down to forage for food. Oh goody.

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Other Strawbale Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Straw bale gardening: no weeding, no hoeing, no tilling KentNC 274 Oct 18, 2009 1:58 AM
Strawbale Gardening (part 7) Jnette 126 Mar 20, 2007 9:51 AM
Straw Bale Gardening LauraK 49 Apr 2, 2008 12:02 AM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 8) KentNC 114 Apr 2, 2007 5:32 PM
Straw Bale Gardening (Part 9) KentNC 124 Apr 21, 2007 12:39 AM


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