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Looking for a slug barrier

 
Saskia Symens
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Is there any plant (preferably ground cover and edible ) that I could use as a slug barrier?
I'm in zone 8 and they're decimating anything edible. They're about 4-5 inches long (12cm)
 
                              
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Not sure about plants ... however you could try two things.  Some folks I know up this way swear by putting straw around their plants.  Although I'm not convinced.  The other thing of course is to put some bowls of beer around your beds.  Give the poor little darlings a drink    Then remember to collect the slug bodies each morning and put out any additional beer as required.
 
John Polk
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Copper flashing will stop them.  If the copper has good ground contact, the slime the slugs exude creates the electrolyte needed to create a battery.  Sort of a self powered electric fence for slugs/snails.

Straw mulch merely provides them a hiding place...they don't like being in the sun.
If you lay a 1"x6" board near your garden, they will live under it.  Every morning on your way to collect chicken eggs, lift up the board and gather the slugs.  Your chickens will thank you with high protein eggs.
 
Dale Hodgins
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      I used dry granulated seaweed in a 2 foot wide band surrounding the garden to prevent slugs from migrating from the surrounding forest. During dry weather this seaweed becomes very crispy and the damp body of a slug sticks to it. My seaweed also had a fair bit of oyster shell stuck to it and this also sucks the moisture from slugs. This mixture had the added benefit of being prickly and noisy when walked on. Rabbits don't want to make any noise and it helped with them.

     There's a seaweed on the West Coast called bladderwort which breaks into small flakes when dried. I dried mine on the asphalt driveway and ran it over with a garden roller to get a nice spreadable material.
 
Dale Hodgins
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  Flat boards laid between rows in the garden become a daytime refuge for slugs and snails who must stay out of the sun. Turning the boards over during the day allows you to catch many at once.

    When we had chickens they would follow behind the board turner and gobble up various creatures who hid there.
 
Saskia Symens
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Thank you for all the suggestions, people! These all sound like worthwhile solutions on a reasonable scale.
The reason I'm still looking for a plant (or another solution) is that I have a fence of 400m that I would like to transform into a climbing fruit/veg forest. For the moment there's still grass on all sides (it will eventually get planted on my side of the fence) And the solutions proposed end up being costly for such great lengths....
 
Dave Miller
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Perhaps you could try the native trailing blackberry Rubus ursinus.  The slugs probably wouldn't like crawling over the thorns.  But I doubt that any plant would keep them out completely.

I would focus more on slug predators - garter snakes, ducks, etc.  And of course you can be a very effective predator, as others have suggested.

I have tried various things, what seems to work the best for me it to go out when the slugs are out with an old pair of scissors and cut them in half... kind of gross but after the first 200 it doesn't both you at all
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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eewww
 
                            
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just take jar, pick 15-20 of them, add water to the top, close, wait 3 days add some more water to this and spray your vegetables and theyre gone
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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That is gross too but I am already mustering up the courage to try Dave's method with the scissors so I might as well have a jar handy while I'm at it.
 
John Polk
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Actually, there are a few plants that repel them.  Along a long fence planted with other crops, I don't know how effective it would be to have scattered repellents.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) or, common fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) are repellents.  Perhaps, once they are growing in abundance, you could sprinkle leaves along the fence line so the neighbor can keep his half of the slug harvest.  Wormwood tea would work, but would probably need to be reapplied after each rain.

A barrier of crushed limestone, or sand around the plants will also offer deterrence to them crossing.
 
Saskia Symens
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I definitely don't have the guts to make a slug concoction or to snip them in two!
I will try rosemary, wormwood and fennel. Looked up aniseed, being of the same family as fennel: it's also a repellent. Thanks John!
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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I haven't had any problems with slugs around my rosemary - but fennel is another matter.

A pepper plant that is growing practically in the middle of a fennel plant is eaten up with slugs.  Interesting note though - that pepper plant is the deepest shade of green - I don't put any fertilizer on my plants so I don't know why it is so deep a shade of green.
 
Saskia Symens
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Jeanine Gurley wrote:
A pepper plant that is growing practically in the middle of a fennel plant is eaten up with slugs.  Interesting note though - that pepper plant is the deepest shade of green - I don't put any fertilizer on my plants so I don't know why it is so deep a shade of green.


You might have discovered a new plant guild
 
John Polk
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If you grow too much anise, you might have a problem.  In permaculture, we are constantly looking for the solution to the problem.  Your answer might be to find a recipe for Ouzo.
 
George Lee
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Saskia Symens
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LivingWind wrote:
Attract snakes =)

Ah please! Plenty of vipers here already, they're not even making a dent in the slug population!
Would lizards do the trick too? I would need a couple of hundred though, very hungry ones and very big ones... Smallish lizards for sure can't eat slugs the same size as themselves? And I would have to get rid of the cats first, because they eat them  . Absence of cats will then cause again an overpopulation of mice...
Mouse paté anyone? 
Mouse coats? (wink to John)
 
shawndeya Costello
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My ducks do a great job getting slugs and other bugs and they are entertaining as well.
 
Saskia Symens
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shawndeya Costello wrote:
My ducks do a great job getting slugs and other bugs and they are entertaining as well.


Yeah, that might be the way to go... I'd have to retrain my dogs, or give them away. They're having difficulties leaving the cats alone, they're going to love playing with the ducks 

I heard that barbary duck are easier on young plants than other breeds. Does anyone have any experience with ducks eating baby plants or leaving them alone?
 
                        
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here's a  small money making deal for someone..rent out their ducks for slug control like they do sheep for grass control.  I'd certainly pay someone to have their ducks in my yard now if that would take care of the slugs!!  It's so discouraging..yards all around me and mine..the only one without any chemical input.. seems to be the only one suffering from  slugs and moles. The moles I can live with for a while but the slugs just wiped out my garden..they are even taking down the rhubarb.

Will copper wire do the job and does it have to be "fresh" so to speak, as in ungreened/oxidized?  I doubt I am going to be able to find ducks in the next couple of weeks so would like to try to save at least a few plants  ..my RHUBARB  that I started from seed and has lovely dark red stalks ...

Saw a thing  that said oatmeal will also dessicate them but it won't stop raining and I doubt wet oatmeal will help much.
 
Thelma McGowan
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Location: western Washington, Snohomish county--zone 8b
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I have been using ivory soap and hot pepper tea mixed in a spray bottle and it seems to really bother the slugs. some of the baby ones get into the lettuce but I have had a good year this time around using this mix. very minor damage from the slugs and for the most part ....since i have been chopping and dropping my weeds in the walk ways the slugs seem to just stay under that layer in the pathways. I have a tone of slugs but very little damage....it is really wierd. I live in slug central, in the slug valley , of the sluggiest state in the union.

I have sprayed the kale cabbage, lettuce, chard and beets.

it also keeps the leaf minor away too...this is the best bug deterient I have tried.
 
Saskia Symens
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auntythelma wrote:
...this is the best bug deterient I have tried.

Sounds good! How often do you spray?
And how exactly do you make hot pepper tea?
Thx!
 
Thelma McGowan
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i found versions of the pepper tea recipe on a couple different wed sites.......
I spray my plants about once a week unless it rains and then i respray after the rain is gone.

I disolve 1 half bar of ivory soap (chopped up to fit in jug) in and milk jug with water....let it sit until disolved...overnight? Ivory soap is good because it is cheap and it has the least amount of ingredients but home made soap would probably work good too.

I use chopped up dried peppers or pepper flakes. i put about a 1/3 to 1/2 cup in a quart jar and pour boiling water to fill jar. let the tea sit for about an hour and strain.

I mix in a spray bottle about half and half......and spray all over plants and veggies....it does not seem to hurt any of the foliage and I just drench all the plant and soil emediately around the plant.

it works on aphids, slugs and leafminers and catterpillers too.

if you spray it right on a slug it tweaks out.......turns all white and can't get away fast enough :0)
 
                        
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I'm off to buy some Ivory soap!! (since I can't find any ducks in the area I can borrow or rent :lol  This sounds simple and  very do-able.  Thanks!
 
Saskia Symens
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auntythelma wrote:
it works on aphids, slugs and leafminers and catterpillers too.
if you spray it right on a slug it tweaks out.......turns all white and can't get away fast enough :0)


LOL! Sounds like a winner!!!
Thanks for the details, I'll be sure to give this a try!
 
John Polk
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Copper wire would probably work.  If it is 'green'. just dampen a rag, or paper towel with vinegar, and wipe it down...that should get rid of most of the green oxidation.  The copper, in contact with the soil creates a mini battery,  The snail/slug's slime acts as the electrolyte.  Zaps them pretty good...not enough to harm them, but enough to make them look elsewhere for lunch.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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