Ask any gardener what are the worst pests they come across in the garden and it’s pretty much guaranteed that slugs will be up there – in fact, slugs came second in the list of the UK’s top pests in 2018, according to the RHS.
Just at the time that we’re ready to plant out young plants is one of the most ideal times for slugs – the weather is warmer, yet we’re still getting the rain. As they do most of their damage under cover of darkness, it’s only the morning after that you find the slime trails pointing to damaged, eaten plants. They tend to not be that picky either – their dinner menu can contain salad leaves, strawberries, any cabbage family, plus marigolds, dahlias, hostas and soft herbs.
It always used to be a challenge to remain eco-friendly at the same time as protecting plants from slugs. The traditional blue slug pellets contain Metaldehyde which is extremely dangerous to wildlife such as hedgehogs, amphibians and wild birds – exactly the group of wildlife we want to encourage in our garden. Use of Metaldehyde will be banned totally from next Spring, and sales will be banned from this summer, 2019.
We have a solution, though, which is eco-friendly and highly effective. ecofective® Slug Defence is a physical, non-toxic barrier which prevents slugs and snails from getting close to your plants in the soil or in pots. The white granules dry quickly, and stay effective even after rain or watering.
If you do have a particularly serious slug problem, then ecofective® Ferrimax® Slug Killer might be the answer. This contains a natural active ingredient, Ferric Phosphate and is approved for organic gardening, working well with flowers and vegetables.
Of course, it’s still a good idea to be preventative – slugs can get everywhere and seem to enjoy laying eggs in pots so we make a particular point of cleaning pots before we use them.
Planting where there are fewer places for slugs to hide helps protect your tender plants so raised beds offer better protection and giving small vegetable plants enough space around them helps, as does planting out in full sun when the soil is warm.