This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

slug? what slug?

slug on lettuce

This slug is so bold he was on my lettuce in midday! (They're supposed to be nocturnal.) Well, he may not have realized it was midday with all the clouds and gloom we've had for the past month. Or, he realized I have much more lettuce than I can possibly eat.

I haven't done anything yet to eliminate the slugs, though I've seen their damage for several weeks now. I moved the melons and bok choy they were eating and that stopped that problem. They're in certain spots in my garden. Now they're on the outer leaves of my lettuce and the lower bean leaves. I'd rather not put down the slug bait (its very toxic to dogs) and they really aren't doing much damage.

(BTW - I picked this guy up and threw him way out into the weeds.)


Blogger *Michelle* said...

Hi Kathy. I live in Western Washington-- slug heaven! This year I've started using Sluggo, which is completely non-toxic. It works great & I cannot recommend it more highly. It's pellets of iron phosphate with slug lure in it-- once the slugs eat it, they stop eating & die soon after. It's a so wonderful to have lettuce with no holes!

June 24, 2009 11:36 PM

Anonymous Daphne said...

The slugs this year have been really amazing. They love my brassicas. I have to constantly pick them off or I'd get nothing.

June 25, 2009 7:28 AM

Blogger makhappy522 said...

I am out of sluggo!! Too wet for diatomaceous earth! The stores are out of sluggo since it's been so rainy this past MONTH! Everybody is buying it!! I think the slug's relatives were over at my garden for a feast!! I am getting quite evil and salting the ones I see in my grass!! Ha ha ha!

June 25, 2009 7:47 AM

Blogger TeresaNoelleRoberts said...

The slugs are enthralled with my tatsoi. Luckily I really overplanted tatsoi (I didn't know it was cut-and-come again!), so as long as they keep their depredations mostly to that and the lower bean leaves, I don't much care.

I fling them onto the walk and stomp 'em when I catch them in the act, though, to set an example for their millions of cousins.

June 25, 2009 8:18 AM

Blogger Mandy and Kevin said...

We have had a major slug problem this year too! They are not being picky - eating everything from beans to lettuce to squash!

Speaking of lettuce, are there any varieties you would recommend to plant this late in June that are heat tolerant? My mesclun bolted and I want to replace it with something!

Love your blog! I've been a reader since last year. Its been very helpful to a new gardener!

June 25, 2009 9:04 AM

Blogger It's me ...Mavis said...

I too live in Western Washington and find at least 10-20 slugs a day in my garden. I don't use any chemicals but I do have a 3 gallon bucket that I add about 1/2 of salt to and a little bit of water to cover the bottom of the bucket at the start of summer. Every time I find a slug I drop it in. If I spot slug eggs in the garden beds I add them to the bucket as well. The eggs are easy to spot...they look like cream colored pearls. It's not a quick fix but it is chemical free. :)

June 25, 2009 10:24 AM

Blogger kathy said...

Plant Batavian types, summer crisp lettuce, for heat resistant summer lettuce.

I have to remember to plant this soon.

June 25, 2009 12:21 PM

Blogger Cynthia said...

If you're worried about Skippy eating the slug bait how about putting it in a jar and bury it in the ground so he won't be able to reach it? The slugs will still be lured by the smell and drop in the jar. :)

I do it the old fashion way though and go on nightly snail/slug hunts. We went through a month-long dry spell so I haven't been doing it lately so I need get back into my nightly routine now that the rain's back.

June 25, 2009 1:30 PM

Anonymous Adriana said...

Once I spit out a slug while eating a salad... Of course lettuce was from my garden =| However, I'm fearless now!

I too just pick... and pick...

June 25, 2009 2:56 PM

Blogger MUDNYC said...

I've been going on daily slug hunts -- it's been raining so much we don't have to wait until the evening. I find almost 30 every time! I drop them into a cup filled with water and a little bit of dish detergent. I also set out beer traps and those seem to be working. I was salting them, but then I felt like I was putting way too much salt in the garden.

June 25, 2009 9:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put a tray of beer in the garden, The slugs will crawl in, get drunk and die.

June 26, 2009 3:00 PM

Blogger 20SomethingMother said...

I was told about the beer trick this morning. I put out a few shallow plates of it so hopefully that will help. They are eating everything up here in Maine.

June 27, 2009 4:51 PM

Blogger Li'l Ned said...

We're not supposed to have slugs here in the desert, but they don't know that. We have both little wee gray ones and giganto 'pinto' slugs displaced from the west side of the mountains (they come in on nursery plants). For years I did the nightly slug hunt, and got rid of the giants. But the little ones still haunt me. I use 'escar-go' (nontoxic from Plants Alive) around my tender seedlings. And last year I got tired of the hunt and now just carry scissors with me in the wet parts of the garden. Any slugs I find get snipped in two on the spot. Take that!

June 29, 2009 12:26 PM

Anonymous The Kitchenette said...

A friend's garden that I visited last week had a real problem with bugs, and she had tried the beer trick. She is in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, and it seems to be really working well for her.

July 01, 2009 11:16 AM

Blogger Wayne Stratz said...

I don't waste beer ... a sprinkling sand about the garden irritates them quite a bit.

July 01, 2009 6:47 PM

Blogger said...

Check out the Slug Shield.

December 29, 2010 12:35 PM


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