‘Cheap’ but ‘effective’ methods to keep slugs away from plants – including fruit punnets

Clodagh McKenna reveals tip for getting rid of slugs

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According to Miracle-Gro, it is estimated that the average garden can contain as many as 20,000 slugs. They are most active during the summer evenings, when it is cooler but humid. While they are no longer deemed pests by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they can cause havoc in the garden, especially if gardeners are growing lettuces, cabbages and broccoli.

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It is thought that slugs prefer the taste of young plants compared to older ones.

With the ban of metaldehyde, it can be hard for gardeners to know how to keep slugs at bay.

Kate Turner from Miracle-Gro recommended using homemade cloches as well as plastic bottles.

She recommended cutting the bottoms and tops off which can be used to protect seedlings.

This is also a great way of recycling too.

The gardening expert added: “If growing in pots, always check the rims and the bottom as slugs and snails love to hide there.

“If you find any slug eggs, put them out for the birds, they love them.”

Various sized plastic bottles can help to protect a variety of different plants, including crops.

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The bigger the bottle, the longer it can offer protection for the plant as it grows.

Fruit punnets can also be used to help keep slugs off seedlings.

Kate said this is a “cheap” but “effective” way to keep garden pests at bay.

She added: “Encourage natural predators into your garden such as hedgehogs, frogs, toads and blackbirds.

“A wildlife pond will really help to attract these predators into your garden.

“Don’t throw them over the neighbour’s fence though as it’s been found that slugs are a bit like homing pigeons, and you will need to throw them over 20 metres to stop them travelling back.”

Instead, gardeners could take them to a local plant.

If looking for deterrents, herbs such as rosemary can be grown in outdoor spaces.

It is thought that slugs despise this scent.

Kate explained: “It’s been found that they hate the smell of plants like rosemary and fennel so it can be used as a deterrent.

“This is known as companion planting.

“If you must, grow hostas then grow the large leaved ones such as Hosta Sieboldiana. These are much tougher and slugs find them harder to munch.”

Keeping on top of weeds can also help to keep slug problems at bay.

This is because weeds act as great hiding places for slugs.

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