Got a slug problem? Haven’t we all. Hostas, Geums, Oriental
Poppies, Lupins, Nasturtiums, you name it, they eat it. Big black
ones, little grey ones, they do the same damage, nibble, nibble,
nibble, and the plant is destroyed. Better nip down to the Garden
Centre to buy a chemical to kill them with, slug pellets, something
like that, to further enrich the chemical arsenal that’s already
stashed in the garden shed. Just hope the teenagers of the house
don’t take up smoking in there, eh, in the garden shed? Chemical
concoctions, cigarettes, matches, could be a mighty explosion in
Of course I
never use chemicals myself. Far too expensive. And do they always
If you have
a slug problem then get a hedgehog. That’s the answer. Hedgehogs
eat slugs - the slugs that would otherwise eat your plants. Problem
solved. But where do you get hold of a hedgehog? Not from the Garden
Centre, that’s for sure.
want a hedgehog, please,” you say, “a slug-eating hedgehog.”
“We don’t do slug-eating hedgehogs,
just slug pellets.”
“Oh,” I say, “and what
happens if a passing hedgehog eats the slug pellets?”
“It dies of course.”
lies the problem. Catch 22. Use slug pellets and you have to keep
using them. And a very costly business it is too, for you simply
kill off the natural predators that would otherwise keep the slug
population down to an acceptable level. Dead hedgehogs in the garden
are useless, whereas live ones are like gold dust.
Now you can’t
buy hedgehogs in the Garden Centre of course, but what you can buy
is hedging plants – hedging plants that will grow into fine
hedges and provide just the right sort of environment for passing
Now if all
this sounds too complicated, too time consuming, then a patch of
scrub land in the garden, a small over-grown area with weeds and
a bit of long grass (a miniature ‘wildlife’ garden really)
will attract them as well.
waiting for passing hedgehogs to turn up and populate your garden,
of course, you’ll have to tolerate a bit of slug damage now
and again, that’s inevitable. But if you have a particular
plant in the garden that’s a cherished one, then sprinkle
a handful of salt or some grit around it as a slug barrier. Slugs
don’t like this. Slugs like to glide over smooth surfaces,
not sharp or salty ones.
But the best
method of all, the guaranteed ‘one hundred per cent’
method of eradicating slugs, is to buy a torch, go slug hunting
at night and then pick them off by hand. Simple as that. A fun activity,
and an activity that will surely enrich your personal life.
What is it
tonight, then? The pub, the cinema, early to bed for a bit of ‘this
and that’, or a spot of slug hunting by torchlight? It’s
got to be slug hunting, hasn’t it? Slug hunting by torchlight.
Now if all
this sounds too complicated, too wishy-washy, a load of horticultural
mumbo-jumbo - pure hogwash - then there’s nothing to prevent
you from buying an assortment of chemical applications from the
Garden Centre to kill them with. But be careful, because one man’s
chemical solution to the problem is another man’s time bomb.
So there we are.