Return to the Northwestern Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Copper foil versus slugs

Posted by arcatamarcia California (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 8, 08 at 13:41

I just put raised vegetables in my backyard (way north California, on the coast) and am enjoying my first organic vegetable garden. But the slugs are eating my chard! They haven't found the lettuce yet, but I'm sure it's only time. I've researched the various barrier/bait options and have a question about maintaining a copper barrier. At $.79 per linear foot, this would be an expensive option, but I'd be willing to do it if I would get a low-maintenance solution that would last for years. My question is whether it is still effective once the copper tarnishes and once installed, how long it would last. I'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I bought a roll of copper mesh from Lee valley, I've had it around the base of a Ligularia for the last 4 years and it has helped a lot, there are one or two holes in the leaves but at least it doesn't look like swiss cheese.
I'm trying the coffee ground thing around my Hostas, from what I've read slugs don't like caffine.
A......


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I just talked to somebody who said that copper did help a lot. I have used foil but I think it was not sturdy enough (bought it at Smith & Hawkins) and it did not make an ounce of a difference. After talking to this gardener I am hoping that if I ever try this again, the success rate will be worth the money.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

  • Posted by galcho z8 Northwest (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 08 at 22:58

Copper is helping for sure. I got some old copper pipes from plumber, flatten them with hammer and made barrier around each bean plant. they are happy and i too.
DE is helping as well, but coffee grounds are not working for me. I brought from Starbucks plenty of grounds and put around cabbages. Looks like slugs enjoy them.
I have sprayed my lettice with garlic & hot pepper spray to get rid of tiny slugs. Will see if it helps.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I bought copper roll some time ago.Can someone please let me know how do you place it? I put it once around few plants and the little slugs got to my plants despite it? Maybe they were already there? I would imagine it would go easily around a pot, but if I have lettuce scattered all around other plants so the slugs wont find it how do you apply it ? to individual plants all around the garden? or what? I can cut to size but I am not using it as yet? Any suggestions please and thanks..


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

Okay, this may not be as popular an answer, (and the doing it once and leaving sounds better), but you might want to consider Escar-go from Gardens Alive for your really tough slug problem. I had a TERRIBLE time when I first moved here, and this is a product I can easily endorse. Read about it on their website, but I think most organic gardeners would be comfortable using it. Very safe around pets and kids, easy to apply. Be interested what you think of it.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

You can also just put a ring of pennies around the plant.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I'm glad you mentioned pennies because I tried it. I filled a plant saucer with pennies and dropped a slug in it. It just wandered around in there for awhile, then left. No sizzle, nuthin'! Anyway, I gave up on that idea but it seems like it should work as well as a copper strip.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

The copper won't kill the slugs. The mild electric shock they get is meant to be a deterrent. Your slug would of course hightail it off the copper as fast as a slug can go! LOL!

The idea is that a slug would not choose to CROSS a copper barrier.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I bought the copper mesh from Lee Valley (it comes like a rolled up sock) and cut into two pieces so it would cover more. Either it doesn't work very well or I must have some of the toughest slugs around because today there is one just happily sitting on the mesh and is far from "hightailing it". Maybe by cutting it I reduced the effectiveness? So I might try the copper tape next and, failing that, go barbaric and use slug bait. They've already destroyed my marigolds and are now after my gerber daisies. When's summer? ;)


 o
copper- what a waste!!!!!!

3 yrs ago i made 100s of hosta rings from rolled coils of aluminum? sheeting. I cut strips of copper foil and crimped it around the upper half of each ring. i placed these around my hostas, copper up to deter the slugs crawling over.
what a waste of a few evenings. Ken A on the hostas forum has said this copper barrier 'solution' doesn't help because the eggs are already in the crowns.also, the slugs can travel from leaf to leaf without hitting the ground. so i've started doing the 10% ammonia, 90%water drench inside the crowns and outside the crowns. so far so good but we shall see. i know he repeats his treatment.
i don't know if 10% ammonia would hurt you for edible plants.
best,
mindy


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

NOT tarnished copper...
I was intrigued about slugs and copper, so conducted my own little experiment. I put 1/2" copper pipe in the sun, and a slug so that, with the sun at his back, in his retreat he would be forced to come face-to-face with the copper. He touched it and reared back like a miniature horse! It worked, and I read later that their reaction is caused by a small electrical charge.
----
One drawback about copper I've never seen addressed in forums or blogs, on garden sites, or by garden suppliers: once the copper is tarnished, slugs cross it like it's nothing.
I don't feel like cleaning my copper, nor wish to rebuy every season, so I've opted for ducks. They're fun companions (in the country), but the hens can be loud. Better to have a drake in town, if slugs are a problem there.
God bless your Garden

--CharlysGardenPlace


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

I had two rings of copper and the slugs just marched right across them (I watched), so I'm not a fan of copper, but I did want to reply to the "how" question. I opened up some paper clips part way and just staked the sheets down onto the soil.

I also have tried rings of ash, coffee grounds, and egg shells, to no avail (a moat of water or ring of salt does work for containers though). For some reason, this is the first year I haven't had many slugs, so I actually have greens finally.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

sluggo is decently effective for me. seems cheaper and easier than copper.


 o
RE: Copper foil versus slugs

Copper ? not a practical way to combat slugs.MO. If you have just a few plants, you might try it but for a garden over 100 sqr-ft , it is not practical.

Number one, and best combat is to hunt them, at night , in the mornings, ... and destroy them. At the same time use slugo type stuff. I use BUG GRTA.

I am also experimenting with some home recepie. Coffee grounds from your coffee machine (or starbucks..) seems to be effective too. I add some fine sand to it and I also grind egg shells in coffee mill and mix with it. SAND & EGGSHELL have roughness that slugs will get wounded when crawling on them, unlike the chemicals that do it chemically wounding their belly.
Yesterday, with overcast skies and some rain, was a perfect day to hunt slugs. They come out during days like that and it is much easy to spot them. I DID that and, even though there are not that many of them in all of my veggies and flower gardens(after combating them last year and this year) yet I found some of them, mostly in non-critical areas. I did that because I do not want them exist, spread, lay eggs, etc. I found them mostly under the dead daffodils tops, in the cracks.. So it can also help if you know where they hide . then you get them.

To summarize, fighting slugs in a wet , damp, rainy climate is an ongoing battle. But once you minimize their numbers, it get easier. The serious danger is to the small seedlings, early in the season.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Northwestern Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here