Cardwell’s Survival Guide to Beat the Boredom – Part 4
Time to slug it out with the garden snails!
We’ve got at least another three weeks of lockdown and I hope you are all keeping safe and well.
A good way of beating any boredom you may be feeling and to keep active and get some fresh air is by getting out into your garden. So, here are some handy hints from our gardening expert, George Irvine. Here’s what he advises:
SLUGS and snails simply love wet or damp soil and they are usually active under such conditions.
With around 20,200 teeth each, it’s little wonder these slimy monsters can make short work of nice new growth on tender young plants.
Among their favourites are Hosta and French Marigolds, so unless we want our precious plants to be devoured quickly, we must take action to deter these pests.
One of common treatments, of course, is to use slug pellets, which you can scatter around susceptible plants.
Pellets that are safe to use are based on iron and do no harm to anyone including birds and pets. If you intend using slug pellets it is best to water the soil first as this encourages the slugs and snails to come to the surface of the soil.
The alternative to slug pellets is to scatter crushed eggshells or sharp grit around your plants – even bark can be used.
Another alternative is to use beer traps. Don’t use your best ale – keep that for your own enjoyment – but place the beer in small plastic tubs such as old margarine containers as a trap for slugs and snails.
You can put one inside the other and make small holes in the topmost container, so that each day you can discard the slugs but still retain the beer.
Even plants being grown in tubs and containers can be attacked by the slugs and here you can place some copper tape round the upper rim and the slugs will get a slight electric shock if they attempt to cross the copper tape. Another tip is to spray the edges of your container with WD40.
Of course, another option is to go out into the garden after dark armed with a torch and pick up any slugs you find and deposit them in a plastic bag. When finished, add some salt to the bag, which kills the wee monsters and you then put the bag in the bin.
Whatever you do, do not throw slugs over the fence because they have a built- in radar sense and they will find their way back to your garden in a few days!