Protecting Hosta Plants From Slugs

My Hosta plants are attacked by slugs when the leaves are at their peak! I have tried the beer in low cans which does help but they are messy to clean and when it rains they all have to be refilled again. I also tried putting eggshells around the base of the plants but this was not very successful in controlling them. Does anyone have a non-toxic solution to this problem?

Monica from PA

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Some of the gardening shops in Canada carry long strands of copper to ward off slugs. They are flat, not like copper wire. Don't know if that is necessary.

Apparently slugs will not cross the copper. You lay the strands between the rows in the garden.

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I have heard that slugs do not like kitty litter. Spread in a circle around plants or garden.

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Slugs like to come out at night when its cool so you can go slug hunting at night with a torch and a pair of gloves and collect them in a bucket for disposal. Or you can lay down thick slabs of wet newspaper in the evening. After their little nightime raids on your garden they will crawl back to somewhere dark and damp - hopefully under the newspaper. In the morning just go out, lift the newspaper and collect them. Putting a 'bounty' on their heads and getting the kids to collect them in the evenings is also an option!!

Like most organic methods this takes more time and effort, and will need to be kept up regularly for a while to make a dent in the population and then repeated periodically, but is a much better option than chemicals and poisons.



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Sprinkle salt on them, kills them instantly , also regular copper wire around the plants will work too, and the sand that goes in sand swimming pool filters works also, they don't like to cross anything that will " hurt their bellys "

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The slugs are eating the leaves on the plants when they first come up in the spring. By then it's to late and when the leaves get bigger so do the holes in the leaves. You need to treat them in early spring and i use slug and snail killer as soon as the tips come up in the spring. I also put egg shells around the plants in early spring. This is when they first start to do damage. Since I've been doing this I don't have a problem anymore. Hope this helps

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I place a large piece of sand paper around the base of the plants and secrue it with landscaping pins. The rough texture discourages snails and slugs from crawling across the paper and the thick paper works as a ground cover to help keep moisture in the ground. The leaves of the plant can not hang over the edge of the paper; the pests will crawl on the leaves instead of the sandpaper. I tie a cotton string around the base of the plant to support the outter leaves if they touch the ground. Then I work the paper in the ground at the end of the season as compost. No messy clean up.

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Wood ashes from your fireplace will help with slugs. The ashes act like shards of glass and the slugs won't crawl over it. Don't use too heavily ! It can change the Ph of the soil over time. Sprinkle lightly but fairly solidly around the plants. If you don't get too heavy handed with it, repeat applications after hard rains won't hurt anything. I would reapply every couple of weeks.

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Try mixing a solution of 1/3 ammonia and 2/3 water. spray on slugs and ground around plants. most plants are not harmed. Slugs are active in the evening and hide under bushes during the day.

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They all sound like great ideas I am going to try a bit of each with the exception of the copper and anything that could harm the environment. I have a question isn't ammonia a harsh chemical to use and wont it hurt the soil?

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Another great Idea that I use for slugs and is a natural if you have a sweet gum tree use the dried sweet gum balls under all your plants. the slugs don't like to crawl across the spiny sweet gum balls and eventually the gumballs will dry out into the garden. Try them their great.

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Home and Garden Gardening Pest ControlApril 22, 2005
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