Natural Slug Control: Budget Gardening Tip

Garden slugs feed on both living plants as well as on decaying plant matter. On plants’ leaves and flowers, they chew irregular holes, and can clip succulent plant parts. Because they prefer succulent foliage or flowers, they can be damaging to seedlings and herbaceous plants, as well as ripening fruits such as strawberries, artichokes, and tomatoes, all of which have fruits that are close to the ground.

There are a few simple tricks you can use to get rid of these slimy creatures.

Beer Traps
To make a beer trap, simply take a shallow container, such as a margarine tub or small takeout container from a side dish, and fill it about halfway up with beer. Bury the container up to its lip in your garden – the beer will attract snails and slugs, and they will drown in the liquid.

Spray Solution

A spray bottle filled with a solution of half ammonia/half water will prevail in a “search and destroy” mission of eliminating slugs. However, you can only get the ones that you see – and many times slugs are hiding on the undersides of leaves or in the mulch or dirt.

Coffee Cover
Another approach is to use used coffee grounds. Cover the dirt in your garden with a layer of used coffee grounds to deter slugs in your garden. If you’re not a coffee drinker, many coffee shops offer their spent coffee grounds to gardeners to use in their gardens. In fact, Starbucks has a “Grounds for Your Garden” campaign where most stores actually have a bucket (usually near the door) with their spent coffee grounds neatly packaged and ready to go. Find a local Starbucks location on their Web site.

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