I Hate Slugs!!!

geoforce(z7a SE PA)September 21, 2009

Very wet year this one and zillions of slugs and snails and so...

My colchicum blooms look like the poor little tattered match girl. I had divided up a couple of clumps last spring after leaf dieoff and hoped for a great bloom over a larger area, which I got as the 2 clumps made 14, but the flowers are all shreaded and torn. These were the C. byzantium. Still to come are the speciosum and most of the hybrids so I hope as colder weather is coming.

Slug bait didn't seem to help much. Too many of them Darn!!!

George

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

And - they are totally useless as lawn mowers!!!

Deepest sympathy, George. They ALWAYS go for the treasures - without fail. I have bunches of interesting petal-less daffodils in the garden right now and I know those darned gastropods are the villains.

Adding more compost might help for the future. It's about the only way (plus encouraging several blackbirds and thrushes to hang out in the garden) to keep those wretches off the Hostas and other delicacies.
It works.
Mostly.
Except for the treasures, of course.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2009 at 10:42PM
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calistoga_al

Bait will work but it must be used throughout the garden, not just around those plants you want to protect. Snails have been clocked at 13 feet per hour. Allowing for at least 8 hours of darkness they will have time to cross the street to eat your favorite plants. Many plants are incubators for snails without being eaten at all, but at night they are crawling with snails on the way to their favorite plants. Al

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 8:42AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I expriemnted this year with used coffee grounds in one bed. Seemed to help: slugs are much more abundant in the other beds.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2009 at 5:31PM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

Little horrors even ate Asclepias (milkweed) leaves this year stripping an entire stalks in one night...and it's poisonous to other than Monarch caterpillars. Poor little "cats" would've starved if I hadn't planted tropical milkweed in containers to move them to or they would've perished. I lined containers with fine screen mesh but they just crawled up sides and started attacking container plants.

Found them 10' up in the air on Joe Pye Weed leaves.

I just read an article this week that said to bait consistently during Fall to kill off as many as possible so they don't lay eggs underground for next year's generation to emerge early next year.

Calistoga is absolutely correct. I can spread bait in my garden beds/containers but those beds are surrounded by untreated areas in surrounding lawn and all over the neighborhood and woods where the slugs are reproducing unchecked.

I'm going to try extra treatments with bait through the Fall and probably Winter since we get warm periods where slugs might surface. Who knows if it'll make a difference for next year. At least I'll feel like I'm not a "slug victim" without putting up a fight...LOL.

I thought something like Colchicum would be something nice for a bit of Fall color in declining bloom time.

Disappointing to hear I'll just be providing another thing for them to rob from the garden.

Spreading bait consistently and adding layer of compost were in my plans for Fall anyway so we'll see what happens as it warms up next year.

Miserable things even invaded one small full sun baked bed I have to work with.

I intentionally didn't mulch this year to deprive them of hiding place in beds. Had to water much more frequently when it wasn't raining cats & dogs but didn't reduce slug damage.

Sometimes I understand why people around my father's house have only lawns and Boxwoods! I refuse to surrender to slugs, grasshoppers, earwigs and everything else that's decimated my plants this year.

I WILL have flowers...LOL.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2009 at 5:07AM
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socks

You have to be very diligent about the bait. I find Sluggo has to go out about every week, at least in the beginning of summer.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2009 at 2:31PM
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