Part 7: Slugs
Unless you’re growing on a high floor apartment balcony you’re more than likely going to come across slugs at some point during your growing journey. It is important to manage these little pests but fear not we have tons of tips and tricks that will help you keep these guys under control.
5 ways to Combat Slugs
- Copper tape gives slugs a mild shock so they don’t like to crawl over it. Wrap the top of your potted plants or raised beds with this.
- Copper tape is easy to use, cheap and available to buy at most garden centres.
- Slugs hate crawling over anything abrasive such as egg or oyster shells. These are great barriers to use to protect an individual plant.
- We don’t recommend using conventional slug pellets as these can be very harmful to the soil and to other wildlife in your garden.
- Use organic slug pellets such as ones made just using iron phosphate as these will kill the slugs but breaks down relatively harmlessly into soil.
- One of the most effective ways to get rid of slugs are beer traps. Place a shallow container almost sunk into the soil and fill with beer (leave a 1-inch lip to protect ground beetles from drowning.
Slug Hunt at Night:
- The best way to catch slugs in the act is to come out at night with your torch.
- When you see them on your plants simply pick them off and throw them out of your garden!
- Copper tape is brilliant for veg that stay growing in small pots such as basil
- Use your shells to create a physical barrier around individual plants.
- Ideal for plants that need to be protected over the long-term, like kale.
- Make sure to spread evenly across the soil as opposed to just around your veg.
- Make sure to not get any pellets on the plant leaves.
- Slugs love beer but aren’t a huge fan of it if it’s non-alcoholic. You can also try using milk instead.
- Just 1 saucer of beer will cover 1 square meter of bed.
- Change beer trap every couple of days and remove any dead slugs.
Slug Hunt at Night:
- When searching for slugs on your leaves make sure to check under them.
- Slugs have a way of finding their way back so be such to throw them at least 20 meters away from your plants.
- Watch back on earlier episodes of How Food Grows
- Explore individual veg in more detail at GIY Veg Directory
- Join the GIYers Facebook group to ask and answer questions with fellow growers around Ireland and the world.
GIY.ie is grateful for the support of our Growth Fund partners Social Innovation Fund Ireland and The Department of Rural & Community Development, whose funding has enabled us to promote and disseminate this online course, engaging thousands of people in How Food Grows.