It’s time to start planting out our annuals. First start with the ultimate slug control.
Not much is more frustrating than to plant out our annuals only to come back the next morning to see them annihilated by slugs.
With the damp cool weather we’ve been having here on the coast, slugs are in full force.
Natural pest control is my method of choice rather than chemical treatment to control slugs.
Three or four weeks before the time that I plan to plant, I start to set out small containers with a little bit of beer in the bottom.
I use tuna fish cans or the small yogurt containers. Small sour cream or cottage cheese containers work just the same.
These small containers can be buried to ground level or simply just set atop the soil.
Setting next to plants with low foliage where slugs will rest during the day is the best location.
The slugs tend to hang out under the foliage to keep moist and cool. When evening comes, out they come.
The key to making this slug control the ultimate is to remember to replenish the containers.
For the first few days to a week, replenishing daily may be required.
You will know when you have trapped the most of them.
Once the annuals are in, it is important to continue to set the traps, thus diverting the slugs from the new plantings.
There are those who bok at using a good can of beer to trap slugs. Well it can be expensive if nothing else. It has been reported that near beer works as well. Broken up egg shells around new plantings help thwart slugs as well as wood ash, salt etc.
So fair warning. Before you go to plant your annuals and especially if in a bed that contains perennials with low and heavy foliage, such as geraniums, potentilla and some grasses, be sure to set your slug baited traps weeks before. Even two weeks will help significantly. Assure the annuals are healthy & well developed before putting in.
I’ve tried other concoctions such as orange peels turned upside down, even boards, containers of sugar water and granular slug and snail bait.
Doesn’t really matter what you use as long as the results are the same. I just happen to prefer to use beer because in my years of experience, beer works best for ultimate slug control.