‘Great time’ to start protecting the garden from slugs – including using garlic and beer


Shannen Godwin, a gardening expert at one of the leading plant and bulb companies in the UK, J Parker’s, explained: “Slugs are actually active all year round. However, gardeners tend to notice slug activity during springtime. Slugs prefer the warm and damp weather that spring brings and thrive on all the seedlings, bulbs and new growth on plants, which makes their damage more noticeable in spring.”

In the majority of cases, gardeners will become annoyed with slugs due to them damaging plants and crops.

They are attached to young plants and seedlings such as lettuce, sweet peas and dahlias.

The expert also said slugs can cause further problems such as causing harm to pets if their slime trail is ingested.

Slugs can also carry rat lungworm, which can pass onto pets and humans, which is why it is advised to wash any crops before consuming.

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The expert said: “If you can, adding habitats for these slug predators to thrive can help you to naturally control slug infestations. This may mean adding a pond to your garden, building a log pile for hedgehogs, increasing a compost heap or adding hedges, shrubs and trees to your garden.

“While you’re waiting for spring gardening activities, now is the perfect time to plan how to add habitats that will attract wildlife to your space.”

Gardeners can also start mulching their garden now as it is a “fantastic” way to protect plants from slugs.

This is because most slugs will not be able to cross the border, and the mulch will protect the garden.

“If you have a patio or gravel area in the garden, this can be a great place to establish your plants in pots until they’re hardy enough for other areas of your garden.”

Traps can also be used including beer traps, eggshells, garlic, salt and seaweed.

Beer traps are often used by gardeners who have a recurring problem with slugs and snails.

They are attracted to the yeasty odours found in beer and will drown in it.

Planting slug resistant plants is also a great way to help get rid of the garden pests.

The expert shared some plants which slugs typically stay away from including roses, ferns, hydrangeas and grasses.

Shannen concluded: “With slugs offering a benefit to the wider ecosystem and the fact that slug pellets can endanger other helpful garden critters, winter is a great time to plan how you’ll manage slugs come spring.

“Whether it’s creating a slug-free zone and accepting slugs in other areas of the garden or focusing on planting slug-resistant plants to deter the pests, there are lots of things to consider now, before slugs take hold in spring.”


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