Mulching in slug country

jacqueinthegorge(USDA 8 / Sunset 5)August 12, 2014

I've just moved to an area famous for slugs. Several things I planted were slimed to death until I started using Sluggo regularly.

So I want to use mulch, and my old standby is straw, but I am afraid I will just be creating more slug habitat. I'd love to know what other people in slug territory use.

Edited to add - my soil is kind of gravelly/sandy, probably old glacial deposits.


This post was edited by jacqueinthegorge on Tue, Aug 12, 14 at 2:49

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Slugs really like the cool, moist environment mulches create. All of us that mulch have slugs and we deal with them as we need to. I have found that cold caffeinated coffee sprayed on plant leaves is a good deterrent and saucers of stale beer is a good trap.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:06AM
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jacqueinthegorge(USDA 8 / Sunset 5)

Thanks, I've heard of the beer traps, but never the coffee. Does a particular strength work best, and will the deterrent effect work through several rainstorms/waterings?

The last place I lived where the climate was conducive to slugs, I never had an issue. But I did have lots of ground beetles, and apparently they eat slug eggs. Haven't seen many ground beetles here...

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 5:04PM
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I've started waiting to mulch (I use hay) until the plants are a little bigger, and then the slugs either leave them alone or eat only the outside leaves and let the rest grow. But my area isn't known as a slug paradise, just medium slug-ness.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:32PM
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I've used whatever was left in the pot but it does nerd to be reapplied after a rain or overhead watering since that will wash any coffee residue off.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:57AM
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I take the 20 oz plastic soda bottles, remove the lid, cut off the top part after the flair, turn it around into the bottle and staple it in place. I do use slug bait, but only in these bottle traps. I place these around the garden on their side. This way I am not spreading pesticide around. The slugs go in, but they don't come out.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:02PM
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I also cut soda bottles and put the top part inverted into the bottom part. Rather than putting slug bait in, I put some water mixed with some sugar and yeast in. The slugs stand in line to get in. Sluggo also does a remarkable job on mulched areas. The recommended application rates are quite low, and I see a marked reduction in slugs and their damage immediately.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 6:57PM
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