Slug War – Update

Hi Folks,

Quick update on the onslaught of the slimers.

Up until a few days ago the weather was with them and it seemed like we were hardly making a dent.  Most of the fodder beet and a good chunk of onions were dispatched. But as soon as the sun came out and things dried out a bit we have regained our position and things are growing like mad. Huzzah!

I also forgot to mention a couple of points:

– Mulching. Everyone tells you how GREAT and how IMPORTANT it is to mulch whenever you can. ‘Wow, it’s just so ace. It keeps the plants moist, suppresses weeds and fertilises all in one. Get with it man!’. Yes, this may all be true, but none of these benefits are worth diddly if you have no crops because the slugs have eaten them all. Mulches provide a perfect breeding ground for our foe and a nice hiding place during any patrols. I’m now only going to use mulches over winter months I think.

– Sowing direct vs. modules. I’ve often found that sowing directly into the final resting place or even into a seedbed can have distinct advantages over growing in modules and then transplanting, particularly for those hardier crops that can be outside getting all of the sunshine that they can from early in the year. However, this does put them at the mercy of the slimers when they are at their most vulnerable. What was a neat row of carrot seedlings can be turned into a neat row of not very much in one evening. SO… the plan here is to bring up as much as possible in modules, taking full advantage of staging in the polytunnel to get plants to a decent size before moving them out. This is, of course, still pretty tricky with the likes of carrots (due to size, number, root depth etc)… so they’ll just have to take their chances.

– ‘Slugs won’t go for that…’. Don’t believe anything anyone tells you about what slugs will and won’t eat- it’s all lies, damn lies. I’ve heard that they won’t eat alliums, particularly garlic – RUBBISH. I picked at least 15 off my onions and garlic this morning. I’ve heard they don’t like the tiny hairs on squashes… still doesn’t seem to put them off. I’ve not knowingly found anything they won’t go for. Perhaps those in the know can update me?

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