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Posted by blaketaylore (My Page) on
Sun, May 23, 10 at 10:02

I just read this off the hills gardening site, thought some may be interested....

Slugs will studiously avoid gardens in which the soil is treated with appropriate amounts of lime or sweetening wood ash; their physiology is powerfully acidic....alkaline conditions are abhorrent to them! They'd much prefer to remain in the acidy woods and weeds. A mulch of freshly made compost will also help to deter slugs (because the pH of properly-made compost is near-neutral!). Use commercial slug pellets only in extreme conditions - and then with great care and concern for children, pets and wildlife. One last slug-point: forget the saucers of beer and crawling around during the dawn and dusk with flashlights, salt shakers and scissors. Keeping it simple has, for our once-heavily-slug-infested acidic woods, been the only way to go. Chances are better than good that it'll work for you, too.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: slugs

Interesting - I've heard of using wood ashes, but I thought they worked like diatomaceous earth - by cutting the slugs body surface. I'm not sure how one can add enough lime to deter slugs, since so many garden plants like slightly acidic soil - we have a fire pit that we use a lot, and I'm always at a loss as to where to put the wood ashes.

RE: slugs

Yes, it is interesting, but there are far too many plants that need the acidity in the soil. Turning the soil alkaline would create havoc for them.

I am a firm believer in using beer to trap slugs and have used it for 30 years with wonderful success, except for last year late summer and this spring.

The beer wasn't enough because of 2 months of nothing but rain and that turned the ground into mud and perfect breeding grounds for the slugs.

Rain diluted the beer far to much and for the first time, resorted to some sluggo when the rains finally stopped.

Combination of both beer and sluggo solved the problem very, very quickly and has done the same this late spring after weeks and weeks of flooding rains here in souther new england.

Sluggo carries the seal for organic gardening as well as non toxic to pets, animals and children.

It is iron phosphate which, when ingested by the slugs and snails, kills them but doesn't harm pets and children.


RE: slugs

I wondered about the alkalinity problem with plants, too, but the article doesn't state a PH range. Maybe they mean a very slightly alkaline.

Blake, I'm still following your Slug Hunt philosophy. Ever since we started that, and found slug nirvana on the shasta daisy, my slug population is minimal. I have some boards out to catch slugs under them, but even with those I don't find slugs. One board is by the daisy. I thought I'd find many under it, but even it has had few slugs.

RE: slugs

I've never used Sluggo. I read on another forum that it's toxic to cats. Anyone know anything about that? Cats' physiology is more sensitive than dogs, so it's possible. I'd much rather have slugs munch my plants than harm our 2 beloved cats! I'll have to call the company to be sure, of course.

My usual method is yeast(dissolved in water with a little sugar - same method as beer).

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