For those with a lot of hostas, how are you controlling sl

CindyCRNA(6a)May 17, 2012

I know many of you have 300+ individual plants. I am using Ortho Bug Geta Plus for slugs, snails and rolly pollys but find I only get about 3 weeks out of it due to rain breakdown and my watering. Since we have working in the garden now 2 months, I am on my third round, on hands and knees, placing a nice ring around the base of each. Is this how everyone does it? Do I need to quit whining??

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Haha!! Thanks Ken! :)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:10PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

they say.. brevity is the soul of wit.. or something like that ...

your system is a lot of cost.. a lot of chemicals.. and dont argue with me.. its UN-natural ..

why not just use the 10% vinegar/ammonia in a pump tank.. and spray down each plant once a week ...


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 3:20PM
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Gesila(MI Z5)


I sprinkle the slug bait around the edge of the hosta beds, not each individual hosta. Remember, it's called slug bait, it attracts the slugs to it.

I also sprinkle along the back of the fence so that the slugs coming from the woods will hit the slug bait before they enter my gardens.

I sprinkle about three to four times a year at the most. First application is right after the snow melts. This killed all the slugs that hatched from the first set of eggs.

I sprinkled again this week. I saw my first tiny, tiny slug, so I'm assuming that more eggs are hatching.

When reviewing all of my pictures from last year, I noticed that I didn't have any slug damage until the July 4th weekend.


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 5:07PM
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bernd ny zone5

Every month or so I walk around with a bucket containing 3 lbs of BugGetta Plus pellets and with a measuring cup type spoon sling several pellets around the stems of hostas. The first time this year I did a month ago. I just did it again after 2 inches of rain have stopped, 75 degrees forecasted the next 10 days. I did not see any slugs yet, but saw 2 weeks ago a slime trail, so one must have done it. The only holes on hostas are from recent small hail. I noticed the longer I do apply these pellets in years the less I see damage. I also noticed less slugs elsewhere.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 7:38PM
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Ken, did a little research and ammonia seems to be the way to go. Gesila, I have been over doing it. Yes, I'm going to put a few pellets around the base, then broadcast a bit on the ground. And I agree, Berndynyz, I do have fewer this year but worry that due to the warm winter, it will be a bad one.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 7:54PM
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hosta_freak(z6 NC)

I don't have a big problem with slugs,but I do as Ken does. Just spray them when you see them. I never use slug bait,because I think that just attracts them to the hostas. And yes,I do have well over 300 hostas. Phil

    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 10:38PM
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I read this thread about an hour ago (just past dusk) and decided to go out slug hunting. OH MY! I must have killed 30 of those little @#$#s. Most of my beds were fine, but one bed was seriously infested.

I have now googled the ammonia protocol and will be attacking these guys with a vengeance. The damage to my plants is pretty severe, but I'm going to get a grip on it now and work on prevention for next year.

I read that amending the soil with lime will make it less attractive to slugs. True?


    Bookmark   May 17, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Cindy, when you put out your bait, think like a slug--which is what Gesila is doing. (guffaw guffaw guffaw....)

One nice thing about the ammonia/water solution is that it can also stop the sawfly larva. Heck, I don't just spray it. I dunk the pot into the 10% solution. So far no hosta has been killed in filming this documentary. I might be more accelerated with insects and slimy critters than many in a more northerly clime. I'm already dealing with foliar nematodes--which Hosta Yoda Ken says tells him a lot about my growing climate. I now can recognize the silvery slime trail around the soil of my pots, not on the ground like a slugs, but inside the pots. My observation is they are not chewing on the plants in the pots where the silver slime appears. The plants chewed up have no slime trails.

However, I received the rolls of copper "slug tape" to stick to the perimeter of hosta pots. Each roll has only 15 feet of tape, and I have 130 hosta (thereabouts, I am in denial)so I ordered 5 rolls for the present. If it works, I can always order more. I also ordered the Sluggo Plus.
Like Gesila said, this sprinkled around the perimeter of the bed, or around the base of the pots in a random pattern, seems to be keeping the slugs down.

Of course, it keeps saying RAIN forecast and no rain, so that may be keeping the slug numbers down too. I won't be putting out more slug bait until I get the new shade structure complete and the bulk of my plants will go beneath its 90% shade cloth. Then with the pine bark in place I'll dose it good with slug bait.

Let's hope the copper tape works.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 2:51AM
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Anita, I looked up lime and it says it raises soil ph but hostas are acid lovers. May cut the slugs but may stunt the hostas. I read the ammonia spray also releases nitrogen for the plant to use so kill slugs, fertilize plant. But ammonia only works directly on the slug, not as a prevention so maybe in combo with pellets? I was going to overhead spray the beds this evening, then make the rounds with the slug bate as they come out after a "rain", artificial or not.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 9:38AM
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I spray everything in my yard with an organic food safe systemic insect growth regulator. I am all messed up with the spraying this year because of the growth and weather being so up and down but I have had good control on slugs,snails, pill and sow bugs, ear wigs and just about everything else. Rob

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 8:40PM
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is it 10% vinegar and ammonia or one or the other? Do you have to spray slugs directly or spray the leaves?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 9:34PM
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irawon(5a Ottawa)

I use a 1 part ammonia/ 10 part water solution. I soak the hosta with this solution once the pips are emerging; about 1 cup per medium sized hosta. This kills the slug, snail and earwig eggs within the root system, thus controlling the population thereof. ViolaAnn adds something else to this solution but I can't remember what it is. Spraying a mature slug with this solution will kill it. However, if you see the slug, you might as well pick it off the hosta and drown it in a pail containing a shallow amount of said solution.

I use a solution of 2 cups of vinrgar, 1/4 cup salt and 1 capful of liquid detergent as a herbicide. The detergent makes the solution adhere to the weed.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:01PM
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So spraying the leaves periodiocly with the solution will not help?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Mbug, my understanding is "no". It is a direct kill thing which is why I'm going to use pellets also.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2012 at 10:28PM
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I could write a tome here on this topic, but it wouldn't help anyone.

The final line, with around 1200 hostas on about 2 acres here, we have to get serious about pest control.

Over the past few years we've gone on 'slug patrol'.

Though we're normally naturalists, we now use chemicals with regards SLUGS.

There are two major chemicals used for slug control, and we've tried both for a few years and see no provable differences.

So go find the best bargain price, and apply! Three times a year! Early spring, Early July, Early Fall.

We've many compliments about how good our garden looks even late in the season.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:52PM
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