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!

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