Care Wise West Sussex County Council
Slugging It Out

Slugging It Out!

Whether your garden is large or small, or you have a few planters on a balcony it is likely that slugs will be giving you the gardening gripes! Did you know? There are around 30 varieties of slug in the UK, and although they feed throughout the year they are particularly active after dark when the soil is wet or moist – January is sadly for gardeners the time that the slimy critters are out in force!

Most slugs do limited damage to living plants, slugs generally prefer to munch on dead and dying material, but they are known to feast on our garden treats. Potatoes and carrots are among the favourites of slugs, so, what can you do to stop the spread of slugs and prevent them getting out of control?

Go out on a slug hunt! After dark is the time to hunt-out the squidgy menaces, the hunt is most productive when the soil is wet, from rain water or if you have done some watering.

Choose your veg wisely, potatoes suffer terribly from slug attacks, especially the main crop varieties. Give a thought to a variety more averse to slugs such as a Charlotte, Kestrel, Sante or Wilja.

Keep it natural! A great deterrent to the gooey gremlins is encouraging natural predators to slugs such as frogs, hedgehogs, slow worms or toads. If you keep hens they too can be a great guard!

Try an alternative defence, to ward off slugs dining on your greens why not include barriers such as crushed shells or pine needles, these uncomfortable surfaces should keep the creatures at bay.

Hit the booze! One sure way to reduce the slug population in your garden is to make or buy ready-made beer traps. The traps should be placed in the soil and filled with beer which lures and captures the slugs.

 
 

January’s

Gardening

Top Tips:

 

This is the time to prune your Wisteria plant summer side-shoots to two or three buds

Now is also the time to get out and get harvesting parsnips and leeks

Begin pruning your apple trees and pear trees if you have not done so already

Get planting Amaryllis bulbs in pots for stunning indoor flowers in early spring

Another top tip, avoid walking on your lawn when it is covered in heavy frost or snow, as this damages the grass beneath

 

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