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Cover crop for slug control

 
dan long
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Came across this just now:

"When researchers experimented with various sacrificial methods to lure pests away from valuable plants, red clover proved best.

Slugs love red clover. Ornamental gardeners regard it as weed and try and eradicate it from their lawns!

Farmers and veggie growers recognise its nitrogen fixing properties as a legume and grow it as a cover or fallow crop.

Easy to grow, red clover is a hardy, but short-lived perennial which often propagates itself by seeds. Plant a strip of beautiful red clover near your garden to lure the slugs away. Makes great nitrogen-rich organic matter as it fades, and you can let another fresh crop grow nearby.

Red clover also has medicinal uses, and the flower petals are edible—hip cool to toss in salads.

Lettuce:
Planting a row of green loose leaf varieties of lettuce, will hold slugs and snails back from delving further into your garden.

It seems hard to sacrifice lettuces, but with leaf varieties they keep on producing leaves even if the middle has been munched at, so some for you and some for slugs and snails—it's a win win.

- See more at: http://www.no-dig-vegetablegarden.com/slug-and-snail-control.html#sthash.qRV2UKKL.dpuf"

I like the red clover one. I can see myself using it as a living mulch amongst tall perennials, trimming it as chicken feed and gaining the nitrogen fixation benefits all while it diverts the slugs attention away from the main crop.
 
dan long
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Someone else on permies reports the exact opposite. That when they chop 'n drop the clover and sow seeds, the slugs jump out of hiding (in the clover) to eat seedlings. My head is really spinning here.
 
John Saltveit
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I want to check this one. Is red clover the same as the purple looking clover?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
Christopher G Williams
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Yep, red clover has purple flowers.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I think a trap crop plus a predator works best. Birds and snakes quickly learn the best spot for slug hunting. The best mulch that I have ever used was a rock mulch laid along the south slope of a hugel bed. The snakes bask there and they spend cool nights under the bed. The slugs don't have a chance. I have no slug problems in a garden surrounded by forest, in close proximity to a skunk cabbage bog. Slugs thrive in these moist conditions.
 
dan long
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Dale Hodgins wrote:I think a trap crop plus a predator works best. Birds and snakes quickly learn the best spot for slug hunting. The best mulch that I have ever used was a rock mulch laid along the south slope of a hugel bed. The snakes bask there and they spend cool nights under the bed. The slugs don't have a chance. I have no slug problems in a garden surrounded by forest, in close proximity to a skunk cabbage bog. Slugs thrive in these moist conditions.


Can you describe this "rock mulch"? Are we talking gravel? Large, flat stones? First sized chunks?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Zach Muller
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I have not had much of a problem with slugs hiding in the clover and then coming out for seedlings.


This is chop and dropped clover with sprouting seedlings.




And here's a pic of a young loveage plant that I transplanted to the area, no signs of slugs



This is not necessarily evidence that slugs won't hide in clover and eat seedlings, just that there are a lot of influences and variables that probably aren't accounted for when people have different results.


 
Dale Hodgins
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That clover is like a forest to a little frog or snake. I suspect that small predators are keeping the slugs under control. If you had bare ground, slugs would have only crop plants to eat and predators would not have suitable cover to protect them from their own air borne predators.
 
Crt Jakhel
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John Saltveit wrote:I want to check this one. Is red clover the same as the purple looking clover?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR


Red clover: trifolium pratense http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-red-clover.html

Crimson clover: trifolium incarnatum, the flowering part is more elongated and the color is deeper http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trifolium_incarnatum

Crimson and clover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTfHhNg1iII
 
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