A Slug Strategy for autumn

Pests are generally less of a problem in autumn, but there is one that you need to keep at bay when planting out your new veggies….slugs! They really are quite fond of young seedlings, so it’s important to put up some defences. Normally, we would recommend going a dusk slug patrol with a head torch and a bucket and collecting them up. But you may not appreciate doing that on wet, windy evenings so we’ve got a simple strategy to share with you.

Step One: Lay down loads of slug traps
Simply fill several slug traps with beer and water, or cider and water and bury them into the soil in between rows of veg. The slugs will be attracted to the traps thus leaving your seedlings in peace.

Step Two: Put a barrier around the stems of seedlings.
This is a good extra safety measure. You can use a number of different things: used coffee granules, broken eggshells (cleaned first!), grit, wool pellets or similar.

Step Three: Put copper tape around pots
This’ll give them a little shock and thus deter them from climbing any higher or closer to your veggies.

Step Four: Repeat steps 1 & 2 every few days
This is an easy way to keep on top of them, and will go a long way to protecting your seedlings in those early weeks when they are a little more vulnerable. If there’s a heavy rain, it’s worth topping up the beer traps as they’ll become very diluted and ineffective.

As a final piece of advice, try and keep your plot as tidy as possible – fewer weeds, fewer empty pots lying around and so on will give slugs and snails fewer hiding places.