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snails+slugs eating my seedlings

 
Paula Edwards
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I had and still have some nice herbs grown from seed, some of them rare, but most of them were eaten by snails and slugs. The weather is very wet at the moment.
I know we should keep duck, but we can only go step by step...
I usually put several pots in these white Styrofoam crates you get at the green grocer and put them wherever I think it is suitable for the plants.
I have put the crates on pavers, but the slugs still get in.
Maybe the situation would be better if I would have a shade house, but at the moment I don't have.
Any ideas?
 
Travis Philp
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Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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Maybe consider yeast traps? http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=2977.0
 
                          
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tin can around the seedlings
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Beer traps work very well. Use the cheapest beer you can find.

You can eat slugs and snails, if you feel like getting revenge! 
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/sluggo-bait.html

This stuff works great!  And is certified organic.

Maybe try it as a one time application to get them under control and then use beer in a regular maintenance routine.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Ludi Ludi wrote:
Beer traps work very well. Use the cheapest beer you can find.

You can eat slugs and snails, if you feel like getting revenge!   


The cheapest "beer" is, literally, hooch: the liquid that rises from sourdough starter.

Very badly-made beer has been compared to hooch, by way of hyperbole, in that both are sour and have a "complex" aroma. Some people have forgotten that hooch is its own substance, with its own history. Genuine hooch is probably even better at attracting slugs, than any commercially-made beer.

If you don't keep sourdough, make some thin flour paste (maybe including some whole wheat), and let that go sour. Much cheaper than beer.


Other ways to control slugs:

Coffee grounds, even used ones, have enough caffeine in them that slugs don't like to crawl over them. Same goes for holly leaves, and any other botanical source of bitter alkaloids.

Copper.  (expensive, but it can work)

An overhang that shelters a surface from rain, smeared with vaseline and sprinkled with salt. Many plastic flowerpots have such an overhang, but this could work on all sorts of barriers, commercial and homemade.

Predator habitat. Slender salamanders have helped my slug situation, ever since my garden bed has improved enough to sustain them; in other locations, toads or hedgehogs might be better-adapted.
 
gary gregory
Posts: 395
Location: northern california, 50 miles inland from Mendocino, zone 7
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

Predator habitat. Slender salamanders have helped my slug situation, ever since my garden bed has improved enough to sustain them; in other locations, toads or hedgehogs might be better-adapted.


We place broken pottery in the garden as shelter for the toads and garter snakes.
 
Roger Merry
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If you're growing in pots put a line of vaseline round the pot they wont cross it . Don't know why, but it works Just make sure they cant cross over from another plant to your seedlings.
 
Ed Waters
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I can never spell this word but its something like diamentaceous earth works well, until it rains.  It's cheap though.  Feedstores have it for something like 10 dollars/50 pound bag.

I'll echo a comment up above.  Sluggo which we get through Johnny's works really well. Certified organic and breaks down into good things for the soil.

Careful Ludi Ludi.  You can eat some snails, but there are alot of slugs that will make you sicker than all get out.

Ed
 
Bull norris
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Location: Chanute Kansas
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Egg shells is what i use , crumble them all around i think it is the salt in the shell that does it.
 
Mekka Pakanohida
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Location: Zone 9 - Coastal Oregon
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Encourage more frogs onto the property.  The return takes 2 years, but it is well worth it.
 
                      
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Yes on the beer traps, they really work. I haven't tried a yeast trap, but I imagine it would work.
 
Travis Philp
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The yeast traps have worked for me. If you have a huge infestation, traps may  be needed every few feet.
 
T. Joy
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I second the broken pottery/egg shells suggestions. They are sharp, slugs are soft.
 
Roy Hinkley
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Location: S. Ontario Canada
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diatomaceous earth is very handy to use, sprinkle a bit around each plant.
If we used more eggs maybe but the shells just go in the compost bin
 
Paula Edwards
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I think I will try the diasomething earth. We want to have ponds, but we certainly don't want to have the snakes, they are all very dangerous round here some deadly. Maybe as well the beer traps, but with the cheaper stuff the sourdough.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Norris Thomlinson and Tulsey Latoski (Portland, Oregon) show a solution for keeping slugs away from plant starts while simultaneously increasing the amount of water on an urban lot. 

Water comes from the roof of their house.

Water from the moat is used to water the plants.  Excess water to the plants goes back to the moat. 

Mosquito larva seems to not be too much of  a problem.

Mud daubers, dragon flies, duckweed, cattail, wapato ... a possible duck habitat.



 
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