Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Organic methods to Control Your Slug Population on Your Hosta Plants

In my previous blog, I mentioned the method I prefer to keep the deer out of my Hosta Gardens. Today, I would like to give you a few organic methods that I have used to control the slug & snail population and found success.
I have found the best way to stop slugs and snails from eating your Hosta plants is to use organic barriers. Slugs & snails are soft-bodied and do not like to get scratched up. Try this organic method; surround susceptible plants with rinsed, crushed eggshells - slugs will not crawl over them, and they are good for the soil. Another organic option is to spread soot or ashes around your hosta plants. I have also sprinkled a bag of lime around my hosta plants to act as a slug & snail deterrent. The downside to these easy to implement organic methods is that you need to replenish after heavy rains.

I'm sure a lot of you have heard about Beer baits. This method isn't as effective as many are led to believe, but I have tried it and it does work. In this method saucers or containers of beer are buried at ground level. Slugs are attracted to the yeast smell and drown, with a smile on their faces. I use old margarine containers as my saucer of choice. However, the slug population is usually so large that ten or more saucers need to be buried, emptied daily and refilled. During the hot summer months, I'm a little selfish when it comes to sharing my beer with pests.

Remember to use organic methods to keep the slugs & snails out of your hosta garden. By using organic methods to protect your garden, you are also increasing and encouraging toads, garter snakes, hedgehogs, and birds, all whom feast on slugs & snails to help in your efforts. Encourage their presence in your hosta garden by not using chemicals that keep them away.

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