Regarding slugs, is it a good or bad idea ...

oceanna(7 WWA)May 21, 2013

... to mulch around strawberries?

And will slugs get the bait you put on gravel?

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IME, slugs like ripe or almost ripe strawberries as much as humans do. By all means, I'd recommend baiting for them around these plants. Mulching usually just supplies a good place to hide during the day but it does provide other benefits to the soil and to the plants. So I'd mulch AND bait for slugs.

Have you seen the slugs on gravel? Typically slugs avoid rough/scratchy or sharp surfaces although they will crawl across concrete....if it isn't too hot. Bait on gravel may be wasted.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 8:12PM
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oceanna(7 WWA)

Thanks for your reply, Gardengal. No, I haven't seen the slugs on gravel. My problem is if I want to ring the strawberries, I have to put the long side of the ring on gravel.

My other choice is to sprinkle the bait right among the plants. Doesn't that just draw the slugs to the plants?

I like the mulch because it keeps the berries off the ground. The mulch seems somehow cleaner.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 3:46AM
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Just scatter the slug bait pellets, not pile next to plants. The slugs are probably already there, so you're not attracting them to your plants. Be sure to use iron phosphate type or you can make your berries poisonous.

I mulch our berries with composted manure plus topped with a light layer of straw & use sluggo types (iron phosphate) to reduce slugs. The strawberries prefer a cool moist soil & mulch keeps them happy. I wouldn't skip mulch for fear of slugs.

Slugs slither on my gravel driveway in wet weather. We live in a clearing in the woods, so have lots of slug habitat nearby. Catch them now & you'll have less slugs when berries ripen.

I also gather in morning, after rain, or at night. If you plant a trap crop such as small bedding dahlias slugs are attracted to them than the berries. This works well if you don't mind getting few flowers. In late July there are less slugs & the dahlias can grow fast enough to keep up, so will bloom in August until frost livening up the strawberry bed.

You could also spray a diluted ammonia mixture (1 part ammonia to 3 parts water if it's wet outside or up to 5 parts water if dry) to get those tiny baby slugs with BIG appetites. The ammonia turns to nitrogen & doesn't harm the plants. I avoid spraying blossoms & tender seedlings, but everything else including slugs' favorite -- lettuces do much better if I can get rid of the nearly invisible slugs.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 12:12PM
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oceanna(7 WWA)

Thanks Corrine. I switched to Sluggo years ago because I have dogs.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 9:18PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

"Slug Bait" is a misleadint term.

Slugs are NETHER attracted to it NOR congest it. When they crawl over the stuff, the chemical disolves their memberand and they sort of bleed to death.

So when you sprinkle stuff like SLUGGO around the plant(s), individually or as a group, when a slug crawls over it will die. PERIOD.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:35AM
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oceanna(7 WWA)

Oh, interesting! I didn't know that.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 4:51AM
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Since relocating here and never had the experience of these *slimy* slugs, I have had numerous people tell me that if you put copper wire/tape around your garden which I was told it was sold everywhere ie: Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's etc. Or if you have an old bucket to pour a can of beer in it at night and make sure you empty it out in the morning because they will be in there. Also had someone tell me to just open a bottle of beer, bury it so the top is exposed and the slugs will climb in but will not be able to get back out. I personally have used the copper wire around a few plants but haven't seen or had much problem with them yet. But I'm thinking I may have to go buy a 24 pack of cheap beer and set it in the garden! Hopes this helps!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 3:13AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Even cheap beer is TOO expensive for getting rid of slugs.
Instead, dissolve some yeast on water and use that instead. As I understand it, they are attracted to the yeast that still has traces of brewing yeast in it.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2013 at 2:45AM
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