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LET’S TALK GARDENING – Slug Away!

By Doug Hensel
Doug's Blog

HOSTAS AND SLUGS / A GARDENERS’ NIGHTMARE

Gardeners love their hosta plants but hate all the predators that love to feast on these beauties. With this specific blog, I am referring to slugs and not deer.

Slugs love to live under hosta plants mainly because hostas grow in our shady gardens, which tend to stay moist and cool, and their leaves hug close to the ground which provides excellent habitat and a perfect hiding place for slugs.

Slug damage on hostas typically appears as small holes in the leaves. Unlike deer damage, slugs rarely will eat entire plants.

Slug damage to hostas is much easier to control than deer damage. If you suspect you have slugs, there is one easy step to take to determine this for sure. Take a shallow saucer and place it next to a hosta. Make sure that the lip of the saucer is at soil level, no higher. Next, fill the saucer with some beer. Slugs will crawl into the saucer and die. You can keep emptying and filling the saucer until you see that you have the slug population in check.

Keep in mind that a female slug can lay hundreds of eggs each season. So, if not controlled slugs can do a great deal of damage to hostas.

One control measure to consider is to sprinkle coffee grounds around the hostas. Coffee grounds will kill a slug when digested and, at the same time, add organic matter to the soil.

Another good control product is DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. Diatomaceous Earth is made of Silica. Slugs will ingest the silica causing them to dry up from the inside. This product is non-toxic to humans and to pets.

In a nutshell – If you detect slug damage on your hosta plants then save some beer for them. Don’t toss your coffee grounds in the trash but sprinkle them around your plants. And, lastly consider using Diatomaceous Earth for more control.

HAPPY JULY GARDENING!!!!

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3 thoughts on “LET’S TALK GARDENING – Slug Away!

  1. Eileen,
    Good Morning.
    Good thought. Good question. And, I don’t have a answer for your question. Maybe sprinkling Cayenne pepper around and under the plants could be a deterrent. I am not sure if this will work. Bottom line, slug damage on plants do not kill the plant. It just makes them look bad. If you can live with this look then I suggest doing nothing. Dou

  2. Barbara,
    Good Morning. Slug pellets should work. Give it a try. That is what these pellets are suppose to do. Doug

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