Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dealing with Slugs!

I've never been very patient. Lee on the other hand, could be holding a screaming baby,  waiting for a huge document to download, while listening to my grandma talk about her bunions and still have patience to spare. I, however, have no patience at all. It's something I'm working on, but frankly, I'm getting impatient with how long it's taking ;).

Where am I going with this? We have intruders and I have completely LOST my cool when dealing with them . . . I'm talking about SLUGS!
Those slimy little (excuse my french) BASTARDS are eating my hostas!!! I tried the "beer trap" didn't work, apparently they aren't big drinkers.
I tried the upside down grapefruit half, NOTHING! (Apparently slugs will hide under the grapefruit halves to hid from the sun).
I was ready to break my Green promise to my yard and break out the hard chemicals, I wanted to NUKE those little SOBs (again excuse my language).
My mom (her thumb is so green it looks like it belongs to the hulk) suggested Epsom Salt. I was concerned that it would harm the plants but she insisted that it wouldn't, in fact some of the minerals would be good for the soil! I added a ring of salt around the base of each plant,
 and sure enough first thing the next morning I found 3 slugs under the grapefruits, hiding from the salt. We got rid of those three, since then haven't found anymore and the hostas don't look like they've incurred any more damage either.
 Hopefully that will be the end of the All you can Eat Slug Smorgasbord! Victory is Mine! hehe

32 comments:

  1. Brilliant - picking some up this week!!

    PS - sounds like you're married to a saint! Better hold on to him!!

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  2. I'm pretty sure our house was built on a slug and snail breeding ground and they wreak havoc on our raised garden bed. We have to sprinkle out Sluggo to keep them from ruining our hard work and eating all our veggies, but it claims to be safe for pets, kids, and veggie gardens. My husband tried picking them off with chopsticks and disposing of them (haha, that was a funny sight!), but there are just way too many of them. Glad to hear the epsom salts work, we'll have to keep that in mind for flower beds!

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  3. Fantastic info to know Ashli! Have a good day!

    Many Blessings,
    M.

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  4. GREAT advice! I use epsom salts for relaxing baths... I will break them out if I start to see slugs. Ew.

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  5. Thanks for the tip! I believe slugs have gotten to my hydrangeas and I am at my wits end on how to deal with the situation w/o chemicals. I'm headed outside with some salt once this rain dies down.

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  6. You can place copper tape around the bed to keep them at bay also. This is how we keep them out of our raised veggie garden.

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  7. This post cracked me up. I don't like slugs either. Got any idea how in the world to get rid of those tent worms that have seemingly found their way to any and all flowering trees? Been burning them off the tree with hubby's torch from the garage. They are gross! I will remember the tip. As of now.. no slugs around my hostas. Just pesky rabbits eating my plants down to nothing all winter that they sometimes don't survive. Need to figure out how to keep them away too.

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  8. Hi Ashli.

    I read often but have never commented.

    Another way to deal with slugs is crushed up eggshells. The sharp edges of the shells slice the skins of the slugs which kills them.

    Like the epsom salts, the eggshells will not do the plants or soil any harm. All one has to do is make sure the shells get a good rinse so one doesn't have to smell rotten egg.

    Just another trick to keep up your sleeve if and when you need it.

    Stacy

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  9. LOL!!! As soon as I started reading I thought to myself, SALT, definitely SALT! My Granny, an incredible gardener (amongst other things, cooking, sewing, you name it) would send my brothers and I out to the garden armed with salt. We would launch a full on invasion...yes, I enjoyed watching them shrivel...what can I say...I grew up with 3 BROTHERS!!! I was not the slightest bit grossed out. Glad it did the trick. We don't have them much around here, they probably hate our Georgia red clay. It's a miracle anything survives in it.

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  10. I LOVE this post! Now I finally have a chemical free solution for those little buggers!!
    Thanks so much Ashli!
    xo-Lisa

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  11. Thank you!!! My hostas look worse than that and even the chemicals haven't helped (My husbands doing, not mine, I avoid any and all chemicals and plead with him to do the same. He loves my green cleaners, so there's hope!) I do have some epsom salt and grapefruits so I will be trying both tonight :)

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  12. Epsom salt for slugs? Awesome! Thanks for the chemical-free plant maintenance idea. Now I need to start transplanting my stuff outside!

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  13. Oh Ashli, I COMPLETELY feel your pain. Not with slugs but aphids, I tried every 'green' remedy known to man and was about crushed I was going to have to resort to the harsh stuff. We finally got a huge bag of lady bugs and they made quick work! So glad you were able to find a nontoxic solution. And those pests are EXACTLY what you called them. Sometimes you just have to say it like it is!!

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  14. Thats why I dont plant hostas. Everyone I know who plants them has problems.

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  15. Ashli, I think I peed a little in my pants reading this oh so funny post!!!
    Really, funny!!!

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  16. Another "green" tip for you. Ants won't cross a line of cinnamon.
    Brenda

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  17. Oh ...slugs are not suppose to like copper..it gets kinda expensive blocking those hosta hounds tho!...I am all for the salty way!

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  18. This is a great tip and I'm getting some today! My hostas are starting to get eaten too and last year they were eaten half to death!

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  19. Such memories, I remember my great grandmother showing me how to dispatch slugs with salt. Good job!

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  20. Like Stacy, in a previous comment egg shells, I save them all winter and crush them down into margarine tubs til spring, I spread the egg shells everywhere in the gardens and after three years I rarely find a slug, or even those grey wood bugs, whatever they are. Apparently egg shells also add alkali (as opposed to acid) to the soil and make the soil to a ph where most plants can absorb nutrients more easily. Also enough egg shells around hydrangas will turn them pink instead of blue...

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    Replies
    1. Are the grey wood bugs termites?

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  21. LOL'd at this post for sure!! Luckily hostas can take quite a beating and they should be ok. But I never heard of salt so I may have to try that if i get those little "bugga buggas" as my daughter calls all bugs.

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  22. I've also done the beer drowning trick. Though I'm not nearly as green as you, the one place where I HAVE shied away from chems is on the slugs. Just because a certain puppy mutt likes to mouth (eeewww) and kick around slugs and I wouldn't want her getting any of that chem stuff in her mouth. Bad enough she eats/drinks my fish fertilizer. Swear she was a cat. Luckily, I've just pretty much let the slugs feed on my bolted lettuce and that seems to keep them busy.

    Bernadette
    www.b3hd.blogspot.com

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  23. Thank you! I went out to pick some basil and spinach for my lunch and found the slugs had attacked them last night. It's been wet here the past few days. All the other slug solutions required a trip to the store and I just do not have time for that this week. I have some Epsom salt in the closet and will definitely be trying this.

    I've three kids who run through the yard regularly along with however many neighborhood kids they can drag with them. I did not want to poison my yard for them especially with the sensitivities and allergies mine and the neighbor kid has.

    Egg shells! I'll start saving them too. I planted the food for us not the bugs!

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  24. What happens is you put regular salt?

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    Replies
    1. Regular salt isn't great for the soil it will make it too alkaline but a little bit won't hurt the soil.
      ~A

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  25. what if you put beer, grapefruit, and salt around the plants?

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    Replies
    1. Sure no problem, you'll kill'em three times faster!!!
      ~A

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  26. This is exactly what I needed to know, Ashli. Espom salts. This is war! For some readers, there IS a difference between regular salt and epsom salts. Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate (MgSO4.7H2O) as opposed to regular salt, which is NACl. I believe the epsom salts are much more environmentally friendly, so best not to confuse the salts. Thanks, Ashli, I believe you are going to save a dahlia, plus several other plants in my garden! Onward!!

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  27. Copper pennies (prior to 1982 after that they don't have much copper)
    Get a neighbor who has a swimming pool to save the diatomateous earth from the
    pool filter when they clean the filter- recycle the dirty diatomateous earth on the top of soil- shreds the bottoms of the snails and slugs.

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