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Slugs And Snails And How To Save Your Plants

August 30th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Garden Plants, Garden Supplies

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One of a gardener’s pet hates is the common slug and of course the second is the snail. It is infuriating to find that your plants have been damaged by these pests. There are many products designed to eradicate these pests ranging from the notorious slug pellets that you scatter beside yor plants to various kinds of traps. While many of these products work to a greater or lesser extent, it is clear that there is no perfect remedy, otherwise there would not be such a huge range of products designed to solve the problem.

I was give a book for my last birthday called “50 ways to kill a slug”. This listed all the popular remedies together with a few fatuous suggestions designed more to satisfy the blood lust of the annoyed gardener than to be effective in removing the slugs. But one thing I have noticed as the years roll on and each new season unfolds is that slugs prefer certain plants. I suppose this is not really so surprising since we humans have our likes and sdislikes, but perhaps we should observe and learn from the behaviour of our local slugs and snails. For instance I like to grow lupins, but they ar e they one flower that is always decimated by slugs in my garden.

This year I created a new herbaceous border with about a dozen new plants. Out of these two were attacked mercilously and the remainder were ignored. Pyrethrum and liatris were the victims. I was able to rescue the liatris by attaching a collar around its stem, but the buds on my pyrethrum were all damaged before the flowers could open. Another plant that I no longer grow is the hosta because its large and attractive leaves attract slugs by the dozen. And a hosta with shredded leaves is not a pretty sight.

The conventional wisdom is that you should grow plants that are native to your area and so perhaps this should be extended to taking notice of the habits of your local slugs.

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