Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Slugging It Out

...with slugs.
My beautiful rows of lettuce seedlings have been decimated. Well, not really--still plenty of lettuce going on. But my perfect rows--it was like ombre lettuce--have been marred! A cold and bad weather kept me from getting to the problem sooner, but now I am on slug patrol nightly, hand picking them and setting out beer baited trays, which really work! Thanks for leaving the PBR in the fridge, Gilly.

I have not had this problem before, and I have two theories:

1) My new raised bed is a couple of inches shorter, a more appealing climb for the slugs.
2) The straw mulch has created the perfect habitat for slug city.
Either way, ewwwwwwwww.

But I digress. All is not lost. If I can't get it under control with hand picking and baits, I will try diatomaceous earth. I will also be clearing out as much of the straw as I can and adding some copper tape around the bed. If garden supply companies would sell copper tape that is actually wide enough, this would be a better option, but the stuff is expensive.
Maybe the seedlings that were eaten will bounce back if the roots were established enough, but luckily I did not plant them all and have replacements waiting.

 The other slug food of choice in the garden is black eyed pea leaves, but those will be ripped up soon anyway. They are also the culprit behind my chewed up collard and pea seedlings. They have not bothered the radishes,  but they slither right through to the other seedlings in here.
 I have a new appreciation for large scale organic farmers every day.


  1. Well our slugs are having a go at my radishes - and something I've never seen before this weekend is a slug on a curly kale leaf. Record rain = record slugs.

  2. Yes I should have also mentioned the rain. Last night, I was flicking them off my radishes leaves actually, but they don't seem to devour them like the lettuce and kale. They are really grossing me out, especially the huge ones! The beer traps are working really well though. Good luck!