ok next question about slugs.. Apparently they can lay several hundred eggs under the surface of the soil which are tiny, almost transparent, and can overwinter in very severe conditions. So this summer slugs were rampant in the garden, possibly all of them busy laying their eggs in the soil. So what to do about THAT so next summer things aren't even worse than this year? I want to put copper on the edges of the raised beds but that won't do anything for the slugs which are born inside the beds, it'll just (hopefully) prevent any new visitations.
The only suggestion I have found regarding the eggs was to rototill thoroughly and remove all cover from the soil, not very helpful when speaking about raised beds.
About the only two plants that were not touched at all by slugs this year were purple orach and the purple lolla rossa lettuce. I am wondering if they have some sort of slug repellent quality, does anyone know? I wasn't happy with the lettuce, it was very bitter but it's a fabulous looking plant so could plant them with marigolds around the base of the beds. I have let the lolla rossa go to seed so as to collect a bunch for next year. The orach grows too tall.
BTW I think I owe the birds an apology..when I saw one picking at my bean plants this spring I thought it was responsible for the sad state of affairs on my beans; now I think it was likely eating baby slugs. YAY birds!
Put out stones for lizards to sun themselves. I've got rocks in several places (including between beds and in the center of a bed) and since doing so I have noted more lizards (someone laid eggs and there's a bunch of babies that scamper away when I water) and much less slugs. Baby lizards probably think baby slugs are tasty
I have had success with egg eradication by taking a layer of dry hay.... layer of sheets of newspaper..... and setting them on fire. The heat deals with numerous pests, weed seeds, and adds valuable ash to the soil.
I believe I read Sepp will pile up fresh clippings near where the problem area is. You want the clippings to stay nice and moist. The slugs come from all over to eat and lay eggs in the pile. After a couple of days he turns the pile over exposing all to the sun and the sun handles the problem.
"Study books and observe nature. When the two don't agree, throw out the books" -William A Albrecht
"You cannot reason a man out of a position he has not reasoned himself into." - Benjamin Franklin
Since I was in an arid climate and didn't irrigate much slugs were only a problem during the winter. Slugs are not fans of hot dry air so they go dormant most of the year unless you irrigate. In wetter climates, slugs can be a problem most of the year.
You said they got to everything except the two plants you mentioned. Would you give us a list of what the slugs ate? It might be that there are other things you can grow that don't get eaten by the slugs. That way you can not even have to take up the battle with the slugs and still have food to eat. I stopped growing lettuce because the snails loved it too much. Although, the lettuce that came up on its own because I let it's predecessors go to seed didn't seem to get eaten up as much. So even though I didn't plant it anymore, I still had some lettuce to eat. What I grew instead where things like beet greens, turnip greens, chard, and malabar spinach. I'd harvest some tender volunteer lambsquarters and purslane to throw in salad as well. In my gardens, all of these survived the slugs quite well. Do you grow any of these? Did they get devastated by those munching critters too?
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