Monday, September 3, 2007

Non Toxic Slug Control Hack

Garden Slug, How To Get Rid Of Slugs, Non Toxic Slug ControlGarden slugs are a pest that just about every gardener has to deal with. Not only do they leave a gross slime where they walk but they cause plant damage and frustration. For years garden hackers have been discovering non toxic methods of slug control. The following are non toxic methods of slug control and that can be found in your kitchen. Natural -pest control solutions work best in an eco garden or a garden where kids and pets spend a lot of time.

Coffee grounds and egg shells:

Create a barrier for slugs with coffee grounds by pouring them in a circle around plants you are trying to protect. If you aren't a coffee drinker places like Starbucks package and give away coffee grounds to be used in the garden. Similarly save your eggs shells and place the crushed pieces in the same manner as the coffer grounds around the plants you are trying to protect

How this works:

When slugs crawl over the coffee grounds and egg shells their soft undersides are torn and they eventually die before they can cause damage to the plants in your garden. A couple of websites I read in preparation for this post state that it is thought that caffeine is a neuro-toxin to slugs. It is believed that the slugs absorb this as they crawl over the coffee grounds.

Cornmeal and Bran:

Take an empty jar (like a mayonnaise jar) and pour in a few tablespoons of cornmeal inside. Set the jar with the cornmeal on its side near the plants that are being attacked by slugs. The jar keeps the cornmeal dry during rain fall. Bran can also be used but it is pour on the ground near the plants you are trying to protect similar to the eggshells and coffee grounds. The Bran ring will have to be reapplied after rain.

How this works:

Cornmeal is suppose to be a tasty treat to slugs which they will happily eat and eat. Once consumed the slugs swell up and die. Bran is said to absorb the slime that slugs create and since there is no slime the locomotion of slugs is halted.


Pour salt around plants you want to protect or in areas where there is high slug traffic.

How this works:

The salt technique works in the same fashion as Bran in that it is suppose to dry out slugs and cause eventual death. The problem with this hack is that adding salt can damage your soil and plants so this should be done sparingly if at all.

The "Beer Plate":

This is probably the older garden hack related to slugs control. Bury an empty aluminum pie plate just below the soil surface and fill 75% full with cheap beer.

How this works:

Slugs are said to be attracted to the yeast and barely in the beer and will happily crawl into the plate to drink and eventually drown. Because beer is a liquid you may have to check on the plate daily and refill as necessary.

How To Save Sunflower Seeds Hack

How To Save Sunflower Seeds, Saving Sunflower SeedsOn an entry title When I collect Purple Coneflower Seeds I blogged about the problems faced when trying to collect seeds from plants when birds are present. In the comments section another garden blogger and I discussed using cheesecloth to cover some seed heads to protect them from hungry birds.

When trying to save sunflower seeds from hungry birds it is a good idea to allow them to eat some and use different measures to protect a few heads so you have seeds to trade or sow in the spring. Wrapping the sunflower head after the seeds have set with cheesecloth is a good idea but you can also use nylon stockings that are pretty cheap or even free if you have women in your home. The material stretches and with one piece you can cover numerous seed heads in your garden and keep the birds from eating your seeds. I like to save the twist ties that come with garbage bags or loaves of bread from the grocery store to use around the garden. In this instance I used my supply of twist ties to close any openings in the nylon stockings and assure a tight fit.

Another garden hack that gardeners have been using for a long time is attaching strips of mylar balloons and old CDs to plants and trees. The theory behind using these in the garden is that birds and other garden critters are scared off my the reflective surfaces and movement. Some gardeners swear by this while others report that they have no effect or after a while the birds become accustomed to the movement and reflective qualities of the CDs and mylar strips. When trying to save sunflower seeds from birds or other garden critters your success rate may depend on how well you can combine humane and natural methods like these.

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