slugs and frogs

lucyfretwell(ireland)June 27, 2011

My garden is a little too big for me to keep trim all over and so the edges tend to get overgrown .

I have seen frogs in the long grass and I wonder if I can take advantage of them to control (to a degree -I do realise there is no magic bullet ) the slugs.

Should I make them a specially wet area to encourage them or will this be just as attractive to the slug population?

Do they feed on the eggs or do they go for anything bigger?

Would be nice if they could suck out the snails from their shells but I have my doubts....

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Toads and frogs can be a good source of help in controlling slugs as well as some other insect pests of our gardens. Toads will move into a good organic garden where the environment provides cool, moist places to stay during the day while frogs will need a small body of water.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:18AM
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oliveoyl3

Can also make a toad house by laying an 8" clay pot on it's side & partway burying it so soil is the bottom of the "house". I've done it, but not noticed the toads there, but feel better that I've made it & kids love it.

I have toads in the shadier areas of the informal mixed garden beds, so not sure if they'd be in the full sun cultivated areas. I've just not seen them there. They startle me when I'm walking nearby & especially when reaching in to trim back ornamental plants after flowering. I just count to 10 & all is well. I don't particularly dislike them, just when a foot from my face are a bit frightening.

I use lots of mulch (mostly a blend of compost, arborist chips, dry grass clippings in veg. garden) and don't have a huge slug problem even in my rainy climate. I do use Sluggo (iron phosphate) bait & spray hostas & daylily foliage with ammnonia water (diluted 1:5) especially in early spring, after rains, & early evenings. I sometimes see the toads & frogs when I'm doing my rounds in the evening, but it's usually during the day.

I have native areas as well, so not sure if leaving some high grass affects the slug population. I think my patrols & keeping up in early spring as well as in fall made a big difference here.

Also, some plants are just loved by slugs, so if you grow those you can bait them away from your lettuces & cucumbers.

This year they've been choosing my chinese cabbages (bok choy) over lettuces, so I just cut the cabbage back to keep it growing & keeping my lettuces nicer.

In the past I've grown the small bedding dahlias just to divert slugs to them rather than tomato, cucumber & zucchini. It works well, but I don't get many dahlias to grow enough to flower. It also is a slug indicator - if dahlias are eaten up then I know there are slugs around despite bait & patrols. Seems to always be tiny ones that don't eat the bait, so those are the damaging ones to attract away from veggies.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 5:28PM
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