Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slugs in the Garden

Garden slugsImage via WikipediaThis is just a quick tip and for many people with a garden in South Carolina and elsewhere this may be old news. However, there is always the novice gardener to think about and passing on good information on gardening is what a good gardener does.

One pest that may slither into your garden is the slug. There are a ton of  plants a garden slug love to munch on such as Hostas, and many low growing leafy plants. However a slug will climb to any height to satisfy their late night cravings. Ways to know if you have a slug infestation is the key in knowing the best way to get rid of them or at least keep them from doing too much damage.  The tell tale damage of slug damage is smooth edged holes on the leaves and fruit of your plant. Since there are a few other pests that also leave holes, slugs leave a silvery, trail on the ground around the base of the plant.

If you still aren't sure, one sure way to detect the presence is via setting an easy trap for them. There are many ways but this one is pretty much no fail confirmation, and once set will catch many. Simply take a small container fill it with beer, some advise using only "stale" beer but I have found fresh beer works just as well. Pour into your small container just enough to fill in half to three quarters of the way from the top edge.  Put the container down into the mulch or soil around the base of plants that you suspect slugs have been eating on and make sure to place a twig or a large leaf on the edge of the container, so the slug can easily climb right in. Sort of a beer pool that the slug can dive into. The leaf or twig serves as a ramp for the slug to slither into your trap. The slug will go right into the beer and there he will die a happy death. There is no escaping for the inebriated slimer.

That is one safe method, and some others swear by using a glass container filled with cornmeal which you simple turn on its side at the base of the plant. The slugs will slither inside and eat the cornmeal. They will die after eating. Using natural safe ways to combat pests in the garden assures you of  keeping the wanted visitors safe as well. Give these two tips a try and see how they work for you.

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