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Lasagna method and slugs

 
                              
Posts: 11
Location: Denmark
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I am about to start making garden beds in my garden, and has been convinced to try the lasagna method for the first year. But I'm wondering about how to avoid making a slug heaven? I live in a wet climate, and I think the approach will just make the slugs go "yay! ". So should I avoid that approach? (Or am I all wrong in the first place?)
Is there any adaptations that I can do, that will make the beds less inviting to slugs?

By the way, I have about 15 m/50 feet of weed mat lying around. Could I use that in stead of card board at the bottom, or are there some really good reason for using the cardboard? (other than it isn't plastic).
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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For slugs and mulch I recommend ducks or frogs - either work great!  Of course with a couple of ducks you could get eggs 

Another reason for the cardboard was to add 'material' to the mix, but as long as you have enough of that I don't see why you could use your weed cloth. 
Just know that you don't need to use weed cloth for this purpose - so if your asking because you don't have cardboard on hand and felt you needed to substitute something you don't. 
 
tel jetson
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include habitat for slug predators in your garden plan.  could include a pond, rocks and brush, wild-ish patches, et cetera.  lists of slug predators are pretty easy to find on ye olde internets.

Indian runner ducks will eat a lot of slugs and provide eggs and meat as well.  just don't leave them in your garden for long, or they'll tear your plants up.  periodically confine them where the slugs are when they become a problem.

chances are good that you will always have some slugs around, no matter the gardening method you choose.  you just want to keep them under control.
 
tel jetson
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weed mat is made of plastic, yes?  remember what De Beers said: plastic is forever.
 
Jami McBride
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Ha!  Good one Tel 
 
Matt Ferrall
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Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Honestly,I wouldnt worry about slugs unless they actually become a problem.They generally need larger dens than most mulches offer.After a few months most areas will have broken down enough as to eleminate slug habitat.As for the weed barrier:Id probably save it to use time and time again as vegetation control.6 months will kill most plants.
 
                              
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Thank you very much!
No ducks I'm afraid, we rent and the owner of the house forbids us having animals. So I have to make do with wild birds and critters. It is especially the top layer, that I'm concerned about. Straw would be nice, but constantly wet straw would just make slugs happy. What else can I use?

We just moved ½ a year ago to our present location, so I have plenty of cardboard I will use. (Then I'll use the weed mat in my allotment, that hasn't sold yet, and which I don't have time to spend time on).

I have another question: Should I remove the grass first (its a lawn now) or should I just place the beds on top of it? I haven't really been able to figure out from the ready avalible sources online. 
I initially thought that I would remove the grass where I will have vegetables and perennials, but not where I will have berry bushes.
I will not start using the vegetable beds until next spring.

(I do need a good permaculture book with all this questions that arise, but I just can't seem to find that good allround book...)

 
                          
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I use 20 oz tomato sauce cans as a guard for the plants I do not want the slugs eating, like Kale or Chard. I remove both ends of the can and put the tube half way into the ground. I plant the seeds in the earth inside the can. Slugs go after easier prey. Also mass planting works too. I threw an old pack of turnip seeds in to an empty space underneath my mulberry tree. They have grown so thick the slugs thin for me but can't eat everything.
 
Jami McBride
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I wouldn't remove the grass, just cover.

If you want a path around your garden bed soak newspaper in white vinegar and place neatly (don't drip on grass you want) around your lasagna bed.  Then cover with some mulched wood
This isn't deep, but the killing of the vinegar, matting of the paper and covering of the wood chips works great for path on grass.  All natural - it too will break down in a couple of years, meantime you won't have to worry about your grass abounding around the edge of your new bed of nutrients.
 
Chelle Lewis
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SagaInColours wrote:
I am about to start making garden beds in my garden, and has been convinced to try the lasagna method for the first year. But I'm wondering about how to avoid making a slug heaven? I live in a wet climate, and I think the approach will just make the slugs go "yay! ". So should I avoid that approach? (Or am I all wrong in the first place?)
Is there any adaptations that I can do, that will make the beds less inviting to slugs?

Make a Slug Pub! 

Here are some pics of how one guy did it. Slugs love beer.......... Draw them away from your plants.

Chelle
 
                              
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Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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My rule about weed cloth is DON'T DO IT.  Ever try to dig or fork over a bed that has plastic or weed fabric under it?  Fork keeps getting stuck and ripping out little bits but it is still impossible to pull the few weeds that do make it through the weed fabric and the weeds going through the fabric make it impossible to pull out the fabric later when you are fed up with it.

I don't see weed fabric being appropriate for any home use anymore.  Perhaps it is good for a nursery where a large area of ground will be covered in it and plant pots placed on top and periodically the whole shebang replaced but even then, it takes periodic replacement or heavy pesticides to keep the weeds back.  In nurseries it is probably mainly for sanitation purposes of keeping the muck and weeds away from container plants but even so, it isn't perfect.
 
Dave Miller
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One natural slug predator is garter snakes.  I have recently turned up four garter snakes which might give a clue for attracting and keeping them:

1. Under a 1 foot diameter boulder which was half buried.  I would guess this was a hibernation site.
2. Between the large stones that surround my compost pile.
3. Under a 1 foot high pile of loose cut grass (cut with a scythe). 
4. In a loose section of a pile of wood chips.

I'd try the "mini haystack" method first.  I was not trying to attract snakes, I had recently mowed a small field with a scythe and was raking up the cut grass to use for mulch when I found the snake under one of the larger mounds of cut grass.  I think it is important that the cut grass be long, and loosely stacked.  I don't think a pile of grass clippings from a lawnmower would provide the same micro-environment.

Here's a video of some people using scythes, you can see how they leave rows of cut grass:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gL2_chKPWjE

However I am not that good, my rows are very sloppy 

It would be interesting to do some experimenting with mini-haystacks to see if they do indeed attract garter snakes.
 
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