Waitrose Garden: Matt James plants a slug-free border
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Slugs are the most active after dark or in wet weather and will often appear during the spring and summer months. They can cause huge damage to the garden, including eating young crops and eating holes in flowers. One expert has shared methods gardeners can use to get rid of slugs, including using plants that will repel slugs.
Garden maintenance and horticulture expert, Alison Novell of Polhill, explained: “Use plants as a natural pesticide.
“The plant Astrantia gives off a scent that repels them. Other plants which deter slugs and snails include Fennel, Wormwood and Rosemary.”
These plants could also be planted around crops such as lettuce to help protect them.
Pine needles or thorny cuttings can be placed around the garden to create barriers.
This can also help gardeners to recycle unwanted foliage.
The expert added: “Remove shelters and expose them to natural predators.
“Slugs and snails will find cover under bricks, garden furniture and shrubbery.
“Removing these will expose them to natural predators. By making your garden an unsuitable habitat for slugs to survive in, the problem will naturally decline.”
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Gardeners could also lure slugs and snails in by leaving a pile of old lettuce leaves in a damp and dark area of the garden.
Alison said: “This will attract slugs and the food source allowing you to catch and dispose of them.”
Slugs are naturally attracted to young plants and often attack mostly seedlings.
To combat this, one method Alison shared was to make surfaces slippery.
The expert explained: “Spraying WD40 on the outside of plant pots will make the surface slippery for the slugs to scale them, effectively protecting your container plants.”
Another cost-effective way to get rid of slugs is to create a trap.
This is typically done with beer as slugs are attracted to the yeasty scent.
Alison said: “To do this, bury half a container near vulnerable plants and half fill it with beer.
“The scent of the beet will lure slugs, which then fall in and get stuck.
“You can also lay down copper tape in your garden to deter slugs from reaching your plants.
“The copper gives molluscs a small electric shock which will make them leave. The tape can be attached to raised beds, garden pots, and even greenhouses.”
For gardeners who have a large slug presence, salt can be used to kill them.
Alison said: “[It’s a] classic deterrent. Sprinkle salt on them to kill them.
“Avoid sparkling too much near or on plants as they can also be damaged by salt.”
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