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Are these slug eggs?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 31
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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I have started finding a lot of these little gummy spheres around on top of my soil. They look like they might be slug eggs, but they’re individual, rather than large clutches. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Daniel
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steward
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Daniel, have you added any store bought potting soils to your garden?
These look like the "water absorbing beads" that are added to bagged soils to help retain water, to me.
 
pioneer
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Slug or snail eggs for certain.
 
gardener
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Snail and slug eggs in gardens are often laid on the surface of the soil and usually covered by leaf litter or other organic debris.
They are coated with a slimy substance that is slightly gummy.
The eggs are slightly gelatinous and of no perfect shape. (perfect spheres are probably not slug or snail eggs, particularly if found out in the open)
Sometimes they are laid on vegetation but usually are harder to spot when laid on soil.

Look for brownish-gray, slimy bundles when identifying eggs of slugs or snails.
The eggs hatch in approximately a month and begin to feed immediately, reaching adulthood in three to five months.
A flashlight is a good tool for snail egg identification. (there will be a dark to black dot inside an egg)
Be sure to check under leaves, too, as both animals can cling to almost any surface.

Redhawk
 
Daniel Ackerman
Posts: 31
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Thanks all. These, as I’ve found them, are mostly on top of the surface of the soil. I put in a mound of mushroom compost but bought some unfertilized bags of top soil to top dress. I was concerned about seed germination in the mushroom compost.

I popped a few of those spheres, and there doesn’t seem to be anything other than watery slime inside.... no sign of any gestating critters. That being said, a slug growing inside of an egg would probably bear more than a passing similarity to goo 😉.

I’m leaning towards it being an artificial water retention addition, and I won’t be buying bags again. The red clover didn’t seem thrilled about germinating in the mushroom compost, but wherever it was touching anything else, whether it was a lump of clay or an old leaf, it germinated well. Plenty of clover doing its thing.

I’ll continue to keep an eye out for more obvious slug eggs, and see if I can get my four-year-olds excited about turning over rocks for slug inspection.

Cheers!
Daniel
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Posts: 5725
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Daniel, clovers are primary (first tier) succession plants, as such they are designed to thrive in poor soil conditions since their job in nature is to make dirt into soil.
That's why you will find clovers thriving in clay or compacted soils instead of in a rich pile of compost.

Redhawk
 
Daniel Ackerman
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Location: Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Thanks, Redhawk. That’s a great point about the clover. I hedged my bets on the seeds that I care more about, and bought the topsoil as a thin top dressing. I’m hoping the various sprouts can find a little pocket of something that makes them happy. Alyssum, arugula, beans, and kale all seem to be coming up.
 
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