Monty Don shares ways to stop slugs eating young plants
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There’s nothing worse than spending hours and hours perfecting your garden, only for your beloved flowers and vegetables to get munched by slugs. If you don’t like the idea of putting down pesticides, try these natural methods to persuade the pests to go elsewhere.
With heavy rain forecast across the UK, it’s likely you’ll spot slugs slithering around your garden soon.
These hungry gastropods consume around 40 times their own weight in a day, and any gardener will know just a few slugs can cause utter destruction in your garden.
It is estimated the average British garden can contain up to 20,000 of the slimy pests, so gardeners are up against it.
If you’re dealing with a slug invasion, try these natural methods to rid your garden of slugs.
1 – Make a beer trap
Just like many Britons, slugs love to sink a pint – so much so they tend to drown themselves in the golden liquid.
Where you have plants which are particularly favoured by your slugs, put a container down and fill it with beer.
Thirsty slugs will dive in following the scent of their favourite drink and get stuck.
2 – Create a prickly or slippery barrier
The underside of a slug is very sensitive to the texture of the surface its slithering around on.
You can exploit their weakness by creating unpleasant textures around the plants you’re hoping to protect.
Create an abrasive barrier by putting down crushed eggshells, or even leftover pine needles from your Christmas tree and rough sand.
Alternatively, you can protect plant pots by adding a layer of WD40 to the outside, which prevents slugs from climbing the pot and reaching the tasty plant within.
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3 – Remove shelter and team up with natural predators
When they’re not looking for new bits of your garden to destroy, slugs seek shelter under bricks, logs and any other furniture they can find.
The fewer hiding places in your garden, the less slugs will be encouraged to camp out.
You can also encourage natural predators of slugs, like toads, newts, hedgehogs and song thrushes to help take care of the pests.
4 – Plant natural repellents
Another natural method of dealing with your pest problem, you can plant some natural pesticides.
Astrantia, fennel, rosemary and anise will all ward off slugs, so consider planting these as a protective and fragrant border.
5 – Put salt down
Salt is a well-known method for deterring slugs, but it can also damage your plants so be careful to sprinkle it away from any valuable greenery.
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