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Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Posted by Ludisia 7a Philadelphia (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 20:10

Hi Everyone,

Just a friendly reminder since the majority of us are 'pipping' at this point.

10% Ammonia Solution (1 part Ammonia 9 parts Water)

Mix up a batch or two and water all your hostas that are just emerging. No need to soak, just enough to go down about 2-3 inches.

Don't pour the mixture on the leaves if they are beginning to unfurl. If they are a bit unfurled then carefully water the soil directly around the crown.

The goal of this is to kill any snail and slug eggs that may be lying dormant in the soil near the crown.

I just watered all my pots today and I thought it might be helpful to others as a preventive. My hostas in the ground have not begun to emerge. When they do I will bath them as well.

Happy Gardening !

Ludi


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Thanks for the reminder, Ludi. Today I was doing some repotting, and using new pots which had spent the last two days sitting on the ground upside down. Well, don't ya know I was disgusted to see 7 slugs inside the bottom one, and had to break out the Natria stuff to sprinkle in that wet area of the garden. So the slugs are back. Have yet to see one eating a leaf, but I'm sure they are hungry and ready.

I'll break out the ammonia tomorrow.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Ludisia 7a Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 20:34

Indeed Mocc :)

You grow 'em a lot bigger down there where the air is warmer and wetter. They smell 'Mama P' and are eager for a snack. :p

Hahaaa . . . for some reason I just remembered Paul's Hobo Slug picture.

Paul if you are reading this please delight us and link it again.

Good times :p

Ludi


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Thanks for the reminder!


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Ahem...Paul....HO-BO SLUG! HO-BO SLUG! HO-BO SLUG! HO-BO SLUG!!......If you please...

Don B.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

I'm a travelin' slug
and I've made a lotta stops
all over the town
And in every yard
I own the leaves of at least one lovely plant
slug with pack photo: Slug with pack slugwithpack.jpg
Apologies to Ricky..

Paul

Here is a link that might be useful: Ricky Nelson - Travelin' Man


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Ludisia 7a Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 21:55

Yessss !!!!

Thanks Paul ;)


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

NICE!! Thanks!

Don B.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

I found this one which sold from an Etsy store.
I think yours is much cuter though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Harry The Hobo Slug


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 23:46

I can just hear Ricky Nelson singing that song...even w/o clicking on the link.

We get 1" snails here and I invest heavily in Sluggo. It is what works for me here, year around.

-Babka


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

One inch.....something similar to ours I suppose.
The ones I found today were about that long, inside a new black nursery type pot. I set it in the sun where it took no time at all for the 7 slugs inside to put on their travelin' shoes.

.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Babka 9b NorCal (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 1:12

The 1" refers to the size of their shells. When they get extended, on the move, they get longer. The gluey spots/dots on the deck and sidewalk are about 3/4" apart. Do you have snails down there in Mobile? Escargo?

-Babka


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

great reminder...

let me add.. 10% vinegar.. is the same..

BUY WHICHEVER IS CHEAPER in bulk ...

either has the pH that irritates them to death ... and the hosta dont mind the higher pH .. within reason ...

i dont know why it has to get 2 to 3 inches into the soil ... since slugs USUALLY dont burrow down ... but that would depend on how porose your soil/media is ...

it IS A CONTACT kill ... NOT a preventative ...

and dont forget my mantra.. kill momma in spring ... and you wont be battling her 50 million progeny in fall ...

ken


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Babka, I was referring to slugs and not snails. However, we have very tiny snails that are easily crushed, and also their small shells are found beneath pots and such, empty of life. Our SLUGS are about 1".....I suppose the snail shells are about 1/4".
If there are other kinds out there in our area, I'm not aware of them.

Early in the year 2012 I applied the ammonia bath and thereafter the presence of slugs was few and far between. Which is why I was surprised at all the slugs beneath my upturned new pots, waiting for me to use them. It is an on-going battle. Considering that they can enter the pot through the drain holes, I'd just as soon give a full soil soak to make sure I get them all.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

I don't have to drench my hostas,as I don't have a really big problem with slugs. When I see one,it gets zapped with the ammonia and water solution. Slug bait isn't for me. I think it just attracts slugs;after all,it is a BAIT!! Just my experience. Phil


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Wow - I'm taking it by all the replies that this really works, and I (duh) have never heard of it. I have TONS of snails in my yard...ha, but not this year, not now. :-)

I have no pips showing yet, so I guess I'll wait until they are then give them a shower. I assume it's OK to use this around other perennials as well? (I'm thinking mostly of my ligularias.)

Ludisia - thanks for the post!


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

The leaves of the hosta aren't usually affected by the Ammonia spray, but other plants' leaves might be, so be careful.

tj


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

In the next few days I expect to see signs of slugs and snails. We had about 3 inches of rain today, possibly more. It will take a while for the ground, and my pots, to dry out.

I've already noticed a couple of the sweet and tender newly unfurled hosta near the ferns have slug holes in some leaves.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Wonderful tip! I'm a newbie to this forum and thought I gotta keep my Hosta looking good into the summer. They always look so wonderful until the the dead of summer then they fade...and slugs do cause some damage.

Sorry for the confusion about the application of ammonia, but the preventive measure once they are emerging is to get the first few inches of the soil wet enough? Let's say we have a 6 inch diameter of pips (new word for me)...pour about four ounces in and around the area?

Thanks!

Or a better option is to mix up a batch in a weed sprayer? That to me sounds more useful.


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Be sure the sprayer hasn't been used before with weed (and hosta) killer and to mark the weed sprayer well that its for Ammonia only.

tj


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Ludisia 7a Philadelphia (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 19:46

Hi Mountains,

Ken actually clarified my original post. The ammonia bath is not a preventative, but rather a direct contact. When the 10% solution hits the slugs and slug eggs they die on contact.

I mix up the solution in a bucket to make sure I have enough room for proper proportions, and also because I usually end up needing 3-4 watering cans worth. Once mixed, fill up your can and water the pots like you would normally. Make sure to cover all exposed areas of the soil.

The reason I prefer to do this in spring is the hostas are not beginning to leaf out yet. Some people say the solution won't burn leaves, others think it does. I'm too scared to find out, so I stick to before they have leafed.

I added the 2-3 inches in my original description to make sure readers understood this is more for the soil than contact with the plant. The depth doesn't matter so long as you make sure you killed what will mostly be at the surface.

The link that Tim posted for the hanging gardens recommends using a similar solution only with raw garlic for when the leaves are fully emerged. I plan on trying this, this year.

Hope this helped clear up any confusion and thanks for posting.

Stay long enough and you might not be able to get away. We're quite the enablers.

Ludi

This post was edited by Ludisia on Fri, Apr 12, 13 at 19:50


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Thanks Ludy:

Guess it doesn't hurt to get after those eggs?

This is a big weed sprayer like 3 gallons. I haven't had any weed killer in it for a few years. More for watering seedlings.

By the way, something is already getting at a few Hosta, and it seems like only one flavor is liked. I have nill rabbit problems, never have fortunately. No deer either. Maybe because I live in the sticks and they don't see people much. I do have one chipmunk. Yes, only one chipmunk. Hard to believe eh? The critter is only seen in this area.

I've seen some talk about slug holes. No idea what I'm looking for. Any clues in this pic?

http://i329.photobucket.com/albums/l391/kdfisherga/hosta-leaves.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: Hosta


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

I've used this ammonia defense for years on slugs, caterpillars (army worms), earwigs, Asparagus worms of some sort.... if it's a bug of some sort that is damaging my garden, this has been my first line of defense. However, I was recently asked by a knowledgeable university educated (in agriculture) market gardener if the ammonia might be killing the soil bacteria and microbes. I don't know. Does anyone else have knowledge of this possibility?

P.S. I have sprayed 10% ammonia on leaves of all sorts and never seen damage. If you are concerned about this, spray then rinse with water after ten minutes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lively Dirt - The Garden Blog


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Gamountains, not slugs. It could be deer. They some times leave ragged edges. Cut worms usually go strait-line across, so probably not cutworm damage. Maybe Rabbits, I have a rabbit problem and they keep coming back to the same hostas. For me it is one of my early risers that also is not as thick substance as some others. I had no rabbit problems for a while, and then one year a gazzilion (very large number). Last year back to very few. Rabbit populations can change quite a bit from year to year. One big Owl can make a difference. Hopefully you will get some more responses from people with more hostas than I have.

Good Luck
Beverly


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

  • Posted by Dgregory 6A - So.Central IL (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 12:58

gamountain,
The damage could be from caterpillars.

Deb


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

I've used this ammonia defense for years on slugs, caterpillars (army worms), earwigs, Asparagus worms of some sort.... if it's a bug of some sort that is damaging my garden, this has been my first line of defense. However, I was recently asked by a knowledgeable university educated (in agriculture) market gardener if the ammonia might be killing the soil bacteria and microbes. I don't know. Does anyone else have knowledge of this possibility?

P.S. I have sprayed 10% ammonia on leaves of all sorts and never seen damage. If you are concerned about this, spray then rinse with water after ten minutes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lively Dirt - The Garden Blog


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RE: Don't Forget The Ammonia Bath

Well done blog there, Mr GW. Really enjoyed reading about the untimely demise of Ms. Bee Gonia at the hands of Jack F. Rost.

We have quite a few Ontarians frequenting the forum, so come back any time, with your hosta observations.


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