February Seed Sowing
are your roots showing?

Slug & Snail Hunt - my quest to start the season ahead of molluscs

According to the RHS, Slugs & Snails were number one on the Top Ten Pests list for 2009

Each year I think i've won the fight against these little blighters, and then a row of lettuce disappears overnight.

I've tried every non chemical method there is, - with varying successes in varying conditions. But one thing bitter experience has told me is that you can't give up the fight, and now is the best time to start war on them

Past experience has told me to hunt them down under unused terracotta pots, in the centre of Phormiums or Cordyline plants, or in the corners of steps and patios, - particularly if the grass is long and covers them up.


I also pick up every pot in the greenhouse, and round the garden and often find little hangers on. - This method of destroying them early in the season can give you a head start. 

They can also be found traipsing across footpaths at dusk, - easy pickings for the salt pot.

Now i've got the chickens to help me get rid of them, maybe this year i'll keep more of my lettuces to myself. I'll keep using bran and grit, and copper bands round my pots.

if you've found a surefire method that works for you, please let me know.


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If only there was something to keep them at bay. I pop copper tape around the bottom of my pots of hostas and vaseline just down from the rim (a sort of belts and braces approach, which works until the plants grow large enough to overhang and allow the slugs to abseil across from other plants! At least then though the plants survive if they do become a bit lacy

I'm hoping the song thrush that has returned to our garden after a long absence will help!

Claire Brown

Good Idea Sue, Haven't tried Vaseline before, - No song thrushes here, but Mr Robin helps me out

Robert Webber

I think that the preferred diets of slugs and snails vary from garden to garden.

I have known snails to even eat fatsia leaves.

I do do manual searches. A well lit garden is a huge plus and on a wet night you are sure to find them. I kill them with my feet or secateurs.

I do use pellets and find that if I do a good early kill, I have little to do for the rest of the year.

As I said to you on twitter, Claire, my neighbours swear by coffee grounds and generous soul that I am they have mine!

Robert Webber
The Hegart Webber Partnership

sue Wellman

I have had a thrush in the garden for the last two seasons. The deal was supposed to be that I put out delicious thrush food all Winter and in return the thrush ate my slugs.Unfortunately the thrush didn't keep to its part of the bargain last year and the slugs also evaded the vast areas of grit I spread around my hostas so in the end I reluctantly used slug pellets.I understood the reason for not using them is because they were thought to get into the food chain and interrupt breeding in birds such as thrushes and blackbirds. I seem to remember hearing somewhere this Winter though that it is not now thought to do so. Does anyone have up to date information on whether slug pellets are as dangerous as they were thought to be? Sue W.

Claire Brown

having listened to the Wiggly wigglers podcast today, I think I can throw light on the slug pellets being dangerous thing. - They can be made from different things, - Metaldyhye and Methicarb are the most potent chemicals, - they should only be used very sparingly and no more than once in 3 weeks. pellets made from Aluminium Sulphate are less toxic, but apparently it is knowing the slugs circle of life that is important, and you need to get them at this time of year to win against them for the season.
I do think you're thrushes are being a bit unfair if you've fed them all winter, - they should be doing their bit!

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