Now that the green house was up, the seeds put in and things were starting to grow, we thought all we needed to do was to water, prune and fertilize the plants and we’d have lots of delicious vegetables to eat, and lovely flowers to brighten our home in a couple months. WRONG!
Our Poor green house was attacked at night by hungry slugs 🐌!
I was thrilled that the Lily was finally going to flower! However the next morning I discovered it had been eaten! I had hoped that it would survive this attack, but the next morning I found it like this.
Crawling down from the pot was a slug 🐌 I picked it up with a nail and dropped it into the cup of epsom salt. I sprinkled salt around the green house but discovered that it melted during the night because it’s damp up here in Volcnao.
I didn’t give up. I headed to the internet to see what others had tried in their battle aginast the slug.
There is one big reason that I don’t want slugs all over our plants. That is because they may carry the “Rat Lungworm” disease. This disease is carried by rats, the worms eat the feces of an affected rodent becoming secondary hosts, who spread it to humans when they eat produce that hasn’t been throughly washed, or is under cooked. This disease affects the brain and spinal cord. To learn more about this disease you can go to: health.hawaii.gov/docs/disease_listing/rat-lungworm-Angiostrongyliasis/
Now, I have been trying out the different methods that others on the internet suggest. Here are the methods I have used and the results.
We don’t drink coffee so my husband went to Starbucks to get a few bags (free) and spread it around the outside and inside of the green house. It worked okay until it rained and the coffee grounds washed away. I got more ground and reapplied, but this time the coffee grounds became moldy (like I mentioned before, it’s damp up here). It was an inconvenience to put new coffee grounds down every other week (just about). On a positive note, the grounds made into a watery mixture is good for the roses.
I’m revisiting this method right now because the first time I did it, I decided that I would place it in the blender to grind it up. It came out powdery, so I think it was too fine to prevent the slugs from crawling over them.
(The little white specks are the egg shells, this tiny Kalo/Taro plant is only about 2 inches tall)
This time I just crushed the egg shells with the my hands (using gloves) If it hurts my palms to crush the egg shells due to the sharp edges it should be painful for the slugs to crawl over and deter them from going closer to my plants. I spread some around the planter box outside of the green house. I’ll update in the future.
I placed pennies around the hydroponic beds and the bottoms of the 5 gallon buckets. They worked in some places, but not in other places. I checked another site and it said that the pennies need to be from 1985 or earlier, because of the amount of copper in them. Slugs don’t like copper. Well, most of the pennies were after 1985 to my disappointment. The ones that were from 1985 or earlier I hot glued to the out side of the planter box that the lilies are in and I have seen no signs of slugs or their tracks on the box or plants. Now when I get a penny I check the date, and if it’s 1985 or earlier I added to the line around the plants.
This was the funniest and amazing thing I tried. We don’t drink, for this reason we weren’t able to try it out until after my brother in law and his family came for a visit and left his unopened beer behind. (can’t take the left over beer on the plane). I put jar lids filled with beer (5 of them) around various locations in the green house. It was amazing to see within 20 minuets there were slugs heading for the beer (they’ve got a good sense of smell). They suctioned themselves to the side of the lids and drank themselves to death! Literally they rolled over and died from consuming the beer. This worked until the beer ran out. My brother in law needs to come again so I can do the beer lids again.
I read that Lavender works if you plant it among your other plants because the slugs don’t like the smell.
As you can see by the picture it doesn’t work. Slug on the right of the picture and lavender on the left. On a positive note, the green house smells lovely.
With everything I was trying to keep the slugs off the plants I still couldn’t figure out how they were getting to the top of the tomato planets that were surrounded by pennies ( the tomato plants were6-7 feet tall). One morning I walked into the green house and nearly walked into a slug hanging from a thin thread similar to a spiders (eeeww). I watched as it slowly lowered itself down for about 5 minutes before I plopped it into the cup with salt. Mystery solved.
(It looks like it’s on the screen but it’s not.)
The next thing I would like to try is the copper tape. I’m a little hesitant because we have frequent lightning storms and I don’t want lightning to strike the green house. I’ll update when I do.
That’s it for this episode of “As the Soil Turns.” Until next time, “Go play in t he dirt.”