How To Deal With Slugs
How To Deal With Slugs

Video: How To Deal With Slugs

Video: How To Deal With Slugs
Video: Simple Guide to Slug Control | How to Effectively Deal with Slugs in the Vegetable Garden 2023, December
watering the garden
watering the garden

Slugs cause great damage to agricultural crops. They are especially active in years with rainy summers and autumn. This summer's weather contributes to the emergence of a large number of this pest. If numerous other pests parasitize on one plant or plants of the same family, then slugs damage about 150 plant species - cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, potatoes, lettuce, radishes and other vegetables.

They can completely destroy young plants. Slugs gnaw holes on the leaves, and grooves on root crops. They eat strawberries, especially remontant ones, during the second fruiting, as other vegetables have already begun to ripen and were "too tough" for slugs. In addition, they not only eat and spoil vegetables and strawberries, but also tolerate spores of gray mold, downy mildew and other diseases.

Slugs feed at night, in damp cloudy weather, and during the rain during the day. In dry weather, they hide in dark places, under stones, under lumps of soil.

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Slugs' eggs are laid in the soil to a depth of 5-8 cm or under heaps of weeds, stones or other objects. Usually eggs overwinter, in May-early June young slugs hatch, which reach maturity in 2-3 months. These young slugs cause great harm to vegetable seedlings, planting cabbage seedlings, therefore, one should not be late with sowing seeds and planting seedlings, it is advisable to carry out these works as early as possible agrotechnical terms, so that the plants have time to go through the most vulnerable stages of their development before the mass appearance of young slugs.

Fighting slugs is difficult: many of the methods described in agricultural literature and advice in periodicals are difficult and ineffective. To begin the fight against this pest, it is necessary to start with the same thing from which the fight against other pests begins - to destroy weeds in a timely manner, especially near greenhouses. The grass on the borders must be mowed, damp areas must be drained.

Planting should not be thickened. It is noticed that where the plantings are not thickened, the soil is loosened and does not contain large lumps, slugs are less common. Weeds must be destroyed without leaving them in the garden bed and in the aisles, if they are not used as traps. In these heaps, slugs escape from dehydration and from their enemies, and in freezing temperatures they hide from the cold.

The enemies of slugs are hedgehogs and two species of toads that live with us - gray and green. They go hunting in the evening twilight and "hunt" all night until dawn. Unfortunately, many gardeners do not know very well which insects and amphibians are friends and who are enemies. Once on the train, I heard a woman tell her neighbor: "Early in the morning I went to a bed of strawberries. I saw a huge toad sitting, and a large berry eaten next to it." The toads that live with us are 6 to 10 cm in size and feed only on moving invertebrates. They do not see fixed objects. So the woman in vain "slandered" her assistant - the toad, who probably ate a slug that ate a berry. Toads and frogs do not feed on any plants.

I had to read that some gardeners tried to settle toads and frogs in their garden, and they saved their property from pests. I hardly believe in this, there is other evidence from gardeners that such attempts ended in failure. It is known that toads and frogs have been bred in England and Holland for a long time.

Probably, you do not need to forcefully try to settle them on your site, it is better to create such conditions for them that they themselves settle on your site. To attract them, various shelters are arranged, for example, from halves of broken flower pots, in which they hide during the day from the scorching rays of the sun. Sedentary toads live more sedentary, and their hunting area is smaller than that of frogs. The widespread opinion that warts may appear on the skin, allegedly from toads and frogs, is sheer fiction.

The most effective way to deal with slugs is to collect them manually, but it also requires a lot of labor. With the onset of darkness, the gardener, having stocked up with a flashlight, goes around his beds and collects the mollusks that have left for feeding. Of course, this is a very painstaking work, and it is much more effective to set traps where slugs gather. Bunches of grass, wet rags, planks, pieces of plywood or cardboard, leaves of cabbage, burdock or pumpkin are placed on wet soil.

Traps are placed in different parts of the garden at a distance of 3-5 m from each other. The next day, traps are bypassed, and the slugs hidden under them are destroyed - they are crushed, thrown into a container with a strong solution of salt, copper sulphate, washing powder, or a little kerosene is added to the water.

The advice to sprinkle the discovered slugs with salt, nitrogen, potash and phosphorus fertilizers, I consider lime not as a means of fighting a pest, but as a way of destroying it. Then isn't it easier to just crush the discovered slug, throw it into the solution, which I wrote about above, than sprinkle it with lime and other substances and wait for it to excrete mucus and sprinkle it again?

There is little benefit from sprinkling around the perimeter of the garden with lime, fertilizer, ash, tobacco. My neighbor sprinkled with pepper and - no use. In rainy weather, these materials lose their strength or are completely washed off, and must be sprinkled again. When sprinkling paths in a greenhouse with iron sulfate, lime, fertilizer, tobacco, there is a high probability that all of the listed materials will lose their strength from increased moisture condensation.

Nowadays, a chemical called metal hydride is used to fight slugs. Dry granules of this drug are laid out on the garden bed. Granules have the property of attracting slugs, they find the granules and eat them. The metal hydride acts as an intestinal poison. But the drug must be used no later than 20 days before harvest. If a lot of slugs are found on a thickened bed, spraying with a solution of metal hydride can be carried out. Once on the slug, the solution penetrates the skin through the skin and acts as a contact poison. When in contact with a poisonous substance, the slug's skin reacts with a rapid release of mucus, with which it washes off the poison. Therefore, after a while, spraying must be repeated.

It has long been known that slugs do not tolerate the smell of parsley, and to protect them from them, the beds around the perimeter are planted with parsley. In the book "Strawberries and Strawberries", M. 2001, the authors G. F. Govorov and D. N. Govorov, give this advice: "In August, they plant strawberries (2 lines). In the spring, plant parsley - 3 lines (along the edges and in the center). Parsley protects strawberries from slugs." I think that it is necessary to plant a garden bed along the edge, and plant a third row of strawberries in the center.

There is an old way of protecting the beds from slugs - it is used in England: the beds are covered with cut nettle stalks. In addition, they believe that nettle has a beneficial effect on the growth of vegetable crops. I don’t know if they borrowed the English experience in Ukraine or noticed that nettles are not to their liking for slugs, but I read about this in the Ukrainian press as well. In addition, there I read the advice to plant beds with garlic and balsam from slugs (Vanka is wet).

Until this summer, I had never seen slugs in a garden of garlic and onions, but the garlic and balsam plants are tall and it is unlikely that they are convenient for planting beds, maybe several beds? I used garlic differently - I ground 200 g of garlic in a meat grinder and insisted in 60 liters of water, mixed, filtered and watered the beds in the greenhouse, where the slugs ate several shoots of cucumbers. They never showed up there. I am convinced that one cannot destroy the slugs in any way, it is necessary to apply a set of measures and to fight this enemy constantly.

And now about this summer. While I was preparing this article, it turned out that the number of slugs in our gardens is so large that many of the control measures were ineffective. I had never noticed slugs on onions before, and it was advised to plant beds with garlic from this pest. Today, in the garden with onions, the feathers have been completely eaten, and they have also been seen on garlic. We have to admit that many of the proposed measures can play a supporting role. The main ones remain: weed control, sparse planting, manual collection and destruction of pests.