Slugs everywhere; cannot sow seeds at all

chueh(7B)June 25, 2013

I have sowed sunflower seeds 3 times this season, but none of them survived. After the second time of sowing, I put a layer of coffee ground over the top soil and made sure it covering well in the perimeter of the size of a palm.

This 3rd time was the only time I even saw the happening of the delightful sprouting. From the morning, I saw the first baby leaves coming up 1/4" above the ground and grew up 1/2" at sunset. I was hoping that the coffee grounds really did their magic. Nonetheless, all the sprouts were gone this morning with all clearly seen slimy traces, while a few slugs were still hanging around.

Please advise me what other none-killing methods I can use to prevent slugs getting to any sprouts. I saw some ads of copper tape that would shock slugs, but I have not gotten it. I am not sure if it is working. A lot of people told me to use some slug killing media, but I don't wish to kill them. It does not matter how small a life is; it IS a LIFE. Thank you in advance

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

non-killing methods

==>>> seriously.. there are none ...

the hosta folks have a couple methods ...


ps: you could grow in hanging pots.. at least getting them off the ground ... but ridiculous images come to mind with big sunflowers.. lol ...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:01PM
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LOL I may be the first to start the trend.....Thanks for your practical but humorous way... :-)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:32PM
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bostedo(8a tx-bp-dfw)

I've heard gritty barriers, copper tape, and non-lethal traps mentioned as options. I'm skeptical, but are worth investigating if you're intent on not killing them. Google "slug" or "snail" with these terms for ideas.

Your local big box home improvement store may even carry the copper slug & snail tape.

Another option is to start the plants in pots in a protected area, then transplant when they are large enough that the snails and slugs are less likely to destroy them completely.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:18PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nah, I don't see a trend happening here. :-)

You might want to post your request for a "no-kill " slug program in the Organic Gardening Forum. I still remember someone from a year or so ago who was practicing and promoting a "catch and release "policy for her slugs. She would catch them and toss them over the fence into her neighbor's yard. Lolol. She was soundly scolded for that brainstorm.

Tell us what you find out. I honestly don't know of any method of harmlessly repelling these plant eating pests.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 9:31PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

I've heard gritty barriers, copper tape, and non-lethal traps mentioned as options. I'm skeptical


i will repeat myself.. NONE OF THEM WORK ....

i seem to recall pics of a slug crawling along a razor blade ...

and to present my CV.. i have 1650 different hosta... there is no stopping a maurauding slug population... w/o the kill ... may as well have tried talking nice to Genghis khan as he swept east across most of asia.. and nearly europe ....

so try picturing them all with littel fu man-chu mustaches [hey chue.. chu .. see what i did there.. lol]


Here is a link that might be useful: they all look mocked up ...whatever

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:23AM
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Slugs need a cool, moist environment to live and grow in, so anything that provides that environment will be where they are during the day. Any board or rock, or even mulches can harbor these wee beasties.
Traps, shallow sauce like things, baited with stale beer, or a yeat mixture, will attract them and then they will drown in the liquid.
Diamotaceous Earth sprinkled fairly thickly can provide some protection.
Baits, such as iron phosphate, will also be of some benefit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Slug control

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:44AM
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hello chueh,
I also have a very bad slug snail problem. This problem has gotten worse every yr. for the past 4/5 yrs. I have been gardening here for 28 yrs. last yr. I started counting it was so bad, I filled a bottle w/ pinesol and water ( when I realized how bad it got)hunt them early morn. and dusk, I counted min. 7,000. no lie. u must kill them because they reproduce very fast w themselves, they do not need a partner. this is a list of what I tried-- sluggo, oatmeal,copper which will only deter them if there are no eggs or slugs inside the circle. egg shells coffee grinds, rinds of lemons/oranges they gorge then u can pick them and kill. beer, vasiline w/salt around the rim of pots,only works if no slugs in pots.human hair, ash from fire place. now I,m using espom salts and trying to plant what they do not like to eat! thay are not a good insect, they have killed some of my favorite plants,they are evil so do not feel bad about killing them because there will be 100 to every 1 u kill. I love sunflowers always planted many kinds--none this yr. worried about my dalhias. pick and kill them they just keep multiplying the espom salt only deters them for a little while, not a real fix. slug hater ruining gardening for me.nothing worst then going to pick a nice ripe tomato w/ a big bite on it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 5:20PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

When I plant sunflowers I've learned to soak the ground with 1 part ammonia 10 parts water first and it keeps the slugs away long enough for the plants to get going.

LOL rhizo, I remember that post about flinging the slugs, wish I could find it. I remember having a bit of fun with it.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:06PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

tj, I'm glad you remember was hilarious! As I recall, the poster wasn't too happy with us. Lolol

tj...I found it! Search 'slug and snail question ' by beatrice. I didn't want to post it here because it did get trolled by a meanie at the end. It's still a classic.

This post was edited by rhizo_1 on Wed, Jun 26, 13 at 18:31

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 6:21PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Ah, that's it, thanks. Fond memories. I was searching here instead of the Woodland Forum.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 10:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you stinkers could have linked it for us lazy peeps ...


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:26AM
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