Tips on Keeping Your Garden Slug Free

It’s a few weeks before I can get out in the garden and start planting a few cool and more warm season crops.  Pests are always a problem no matter where you live.  One that seems to bother many gardeners is slugs.  Though we tend keep our vegetable gardens in sunny places in the shade beneath the plants and around the wood of raised beds and under rocks is a place for them to harbor.  What are we to do when they find their way to our precious tomatoes, green beans and potatoes?

photo credit: Dendroica cerulea via photopin cc

photo credit: Dendroica cerulea via photopin cc

Here are a few handy tips on how to prepare to battle the slimy scourge –

  • Keep leaves from touching the ground.  Trim the lower leaves of your plants to prevent them from trailing on the ground and allow the slugs to crawl up.  This won’t affect your plants negatively at all.
  • Place crushed egg shells around plants.  Slugs don’t like to crawl across the sharp edges.
  • If your plant is potted, put copper tubing around the edge.  Slugs are deterred by the copper.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your plants.  Use with caution and protect your mouth and nose.  Though not chemically toxic you should not breathe in the dust.
  • Don’t throw out your used coffee grounds.  Sprinkle them around the base of your plants.  Use sparingly around plants that like alkaline soil because coffee grounds are acidic.
  • Beer slug traps –
    • Everyone has probably heard about using trimmed plastic cups or used lids with beer around your plants, but check out this tip from a member of HomeTalk –
      Jennifer GClifton, CO

      When I had a slug problem, I used bunt cake or jello mold pans from the thrift store for my beer traps. It works like a moat around the tomato plant. Just place around the young plant, burying it slightly into the ground or pot so that the critters can’t

      crawl UNDER it. Fill it with beer and VOILA! Make sure no leaves hang down past the pan so they can’t gain access to the plant unless they go through the ‘moat’. Works every time 🙂

    Isn’t that ingenious!

20 comments for “Tips on Keeping Your Garden Slug Free

  1. Lisa
    April 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Wow, I thought we were the only ones who had slug problems. These are some very useful tips I am going to try the egg shells around my plants too. My dad use to place salt around my bushes and it kept them away. Great post!

    • April 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      Oh man, I’d be careful with the salt. Too much and it will end up killing your plants :\.

  2. April 15, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Great tips! I wish I could garden!
    Krystal recently posted…Key Lime Caipirinha Cocktail Recipe and Cubero Cigars #ad #CuberoLuxury #pmediaMy Profile

  3. April 15, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    We’ve never had trouble with slugs in our garden, but I like the tip about the egg shells!
    Sara P. (@SensiblySara) recently posted…Windows Surface 2 Tablet: Pros & Cons #WindowsChampionsMy Profile

  4. April 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    We get them in the summer. Salt gets rid of them.

  5. April 15, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Great tips! I despise slugs.

  6. April 15, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    These are great tips. We end up slugs in our garden bed for sure!
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  7. April 16, 2014 at 1:24 am

    We don’t seem to have issues with slugs, but good to know what to do just in case.
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  8. Lauryn Rescoe
    April 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Very good tips!! I am always looking for new (and safe) ways to keep the pests away from my garden. These are great tips for keeping the slugs away! And the beer can, or “moat” is definitely an ingenious idea! Thanks for the post! 🙂

  9. April 22, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Thanks for sharing these great tips! I always need extra help with gardening! 🙂

  10. April 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I will have to tell my Dad about the coffee grounds. Just yesterday, I helped rake the backyard and dig holes to plant these giant hostas that he bought for the backyard. I noticed a few slugs under the leaves close to my old garden box. Gross. We definitely have no shortage of coffee grounds between all of us.
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  11. April 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Such a great idea!! I have always HATED slugs, so this is good to know!
    Dominique recently posted…ErgoErgo Review!My Profile

  12. April 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Great tips! I wish I had a green thumb but I kill all plants. LOL
    Cori recently posted…Easy Baked Potato SoupMy Profile

  13. April 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Great tips! I will make sure to show these to my husband who loves gardening.
    Ditas recently posted…My mad dash to Henry’s graduationMy Profile

  14. April 22, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I always have slugs because I use hay as mulch. I am going to try to beer thing this year.

  15. April 23, 2014 at 12:08 am

    hmmm, I don’t think I’ve had slugs yet in my garden, but I’ll look out for them. I always love these little home remedies. I like to see which ones really work. I’ll have to look up that “diatomaceous earth” you mentioned to see what that is specifically
    MoxiesGroovyMom recently posted…Do I Really Want to Kick Our Child Out of Our Bed?My Profile

    • April 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

      When I first heard about that I wondered what it was too. Have you ever heard of diatoms? They are microscopic creatures. Diatomaceous earth is made from the crushed remains of fossilized diatoms. The powder is so irritating to the slugs it tears them up and dries them out. Gross but cool at the same time.

  16. April 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    Okay now that is weird! Sorry about my comment and I have no idea why the comment I typed didn’t show up. Anyway, thank you for sharing these tips. And these are helpful for those newbie gardeners. We haven’t had any slug issues (knock on wood, hope never), but we do have other pesky problems with our garden sometimes. Aside my garden pests, I sure enjoy gardening and harvesting fresh veggies. I look forward to this year though. And can’t wait to see new growth in our garden.

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