Knowledge is power

Here’s an interesting slug statistic…a slug can travel up to 12 metres per night. So if you’re collecting up slugs at dusk (always a good strategy) then make sure you get rid of them a good 20 or so metres away!

Some more interesting slug facts are:

  • Slugs will be active whenever the temperature is above 5°C (but snails fully hibernate in winter) so you can’t rest on your laurels for long!
  • Slug eggs (those small little white balls that you sometimes find in clumps in the soil) can lie dormant in the soil for years and years and not hatch until the conditions are right. If you find them whilst digging, it might be good to remove them! And also, build a bug hotel as beetles feed on slug eggs.
  • Slugs need to stay moist. That’s why they tend not to come out on hot, sunny days and why they are so active on drizzly nights. This makes a dusk slug patrol on a rainy night the perfect time to collect them up and move them to a different part of the garden.
  • Slugs much prefer nutrient rich, tender young seedlings to old, mature plants. So keep your new veg plug plants well protected in the early days.
  • Slugs love lamb’s lettuce. Planting a row of lambs lettuce a little way away from the rest of your salads can help protect your crops.
  • Slugs don’t like the smell of garlic. Plant lots of garlic chives in amongst your veggies to deter them. You can also make an effective spray by mixing crushed garlic with water and a teaspoon of vegetable oil – spray it on the leaves and stalks of vulnerable plants (but maybe not leaves that you plan to eat, like lettuces and spinach!) They don’t like aniseed or rosemary either, so try planting chervil and rosemary around your veg patch,
  • Slugs like grapefruit and orange peels. You can use the peel as a citrus dome slug trap – cut the fruit in half, scoop out the flesh and place the peel in the garden leaving a space for the slugs to crawl underneath the dome. The slugs will crawl in for food and shelter during the day – empty them morning and night.