I don't know of any gardener that does not have a problem with garden slugs or snails in their garden. Do you?
I think as gardeners we also have to live with the fact that we can't eliminate them. We will never be able to get rid of slugs altogether. Even if we cover our gardens with poisonous slug bait we couldn't! They would just walk in again from the neighbor.
We have to live with them, find ways to control their numbers without poisoning the rest of the world and protect our susceptible plants and vegetable gardens.
Instead of eliminating every slug and snails we should try and create a balance in the ecosystem of our gardens. We also have to accept that they are part of the food chain.
The aim should be to get the population down to a level where we can grow plants without having too many losses because of them.
Having a high slug population is an indication of a problem in the ecosystem. There are not enough predators feeding on slugs and snails!
You can, of course, use chemical slug bait or slug pellets. But...look at the ingredient list of the product. Metaldehyde slug pellets are poisonous to other creatures as well as us and should not be used at all.
These slug pellets can kill birds, hedgehogs, soil microorganisms, and pets. This means you kill your allies in the battle against your slug problem and you are making things worse!
Instead, try and encourage hedgehogs, frogs, toads, and birds into your garden. These will feast on the slugs and their eggs and will in time bring down the numbers of slugs.
We use free-ranging ducks and chickens in the garden. Slugs just thrive in the moist Irish climate! They keep the slug population at bay without the use of toxic chemicals .... and we get delicious eggs as a bonus!!
We only use organic slug pellets that contain iron phosphate as an active ingredient. These won't harm other animals and break down to plant nutrients. They are very effective in protecting newly set plants. We use them sparingly in our polytunnels and on the raised beds particularly after planting out young vegetable plants and seedlings.
As you have probably noticed some plants are more slug resistant than others. They just love marigolds, hostas, soft lettuces and tender seedlings.
In a garden that is infested with slugs and snails it really pays off to find those slug resistant plants.
Garden slugs and snails avoid plants that are bitter, hairy or tough. Aromatic plants with strong scents like lavenders, rosemary or sage are not on their favorite food list either.
The following plants do very well in our slug-infested garden:
Fuchsia, Lavender, Grasses, Roses, Phormiums, Hebe, Escallonia, Anthemis, Hydrangea, Crocosmia, Artichoke, Rudbeckia, Helenium, Dianthus, Viola, Hellebores, Agapanthus, Dierama, Osteospermum, Erigeron, Helenium, Hardy Geraniums, Olearia, Lithodora, Tamarix, Hypericum, Yucca, Iris, Ribes, Heuchera,...This list is by no means complete!
Which slug resistant plants work well for you? Share them with us in the comments below!
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