Mission: search and destroy

Well, I recently figured out (thanks to The Organic Gardener's Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control) it's the slugs that are causing the holes in my beautiful kale, cabbage and lettuce leaves. So disheartening to see such gorgeous greens being destructed by these tiny, slimy beings. Unfortunately, something has to be done. My 6 year old and I searched the garden high and low for these--hate to say it--pests. We collected about 30-40 in a matter of minutes. We tossed them to the opposite side of the driveway for now (I say this because I'm sure we'll being seeing some of those same slugs again). The Handbook said to use beer in the garden, so my hubby got us three shot glasses half full of beer, which I put in the garden, flush with the soil. About an hour after doing that, we went back out and checked progress. Sure enough, there were 6 slugs by one shot glass (Special Forces shot glasses, to be exact--take that, slugs!). One had fallen in and obviously had drowned. The other 5 were debating their fates. I hate to admit I gave them all a push. I don't like killing living things, but these guys are destroying my (for once) successful little garden. I also researched some more on natural solutions to slug control and found that orange slices act like beer, drawing the slugs to them so that the gardener can dispose of them. So I lined the perimeter of the garden with orange slices. Sure enough, almost immediately more slugs started appearing, either heading toward or were on the orange slices. My daughter insisted that I give the slugs to her and not drown them in the beer. So I did, and she would run them to the opposite side of the yard. Bless her heart; she is so kind!
I need a solution! How can I get rid of these boogers without harming them? But for now I don't have much of a choice... my garden is important! The nutrition for and health of my little family is more important than these slugs, but I would like to find a better solution; a happy middle, if there is such a thing. In the morning, we'll go check things out again. At least there will be a reduction in the amount of destruction to my veggies for now.

Other methods I've read about are copper flashings or coils, crushed egg shells, wood ash and diatomaceous earth, all of which I have read of both successful and unsuccessful stories.

This weekend is the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup. It's so close to me and I'm really hoping to go. I could learn so much from the workshops and demonstrations. I'm sure the wise, experienced gardeners gathered there this weekend could give me some tips and tricks, plus it would just be fun to go and I'm sure worth the $15-20 ticket cost.
So what are your tips for keeping organic garden destroyers at bay? Preferably tips that don't involve chemicals.

1 comment:

  1. Salt is a very 'natural' way to get rid of slugs - at least in the NW! ;)