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Organically dealing with garden pests

Tuesday, 05 Apr 11 Sunny 16°C / 61°F

At first glance my garden is looking very healthy with Springs new growth showing. But look a little closer and you see areas nibbled by slugs, greenfly congregating on the tulips and new seed beds dug over by the neighbour’s cat.

I feel my patience pushed with the greenfly – I know that if I leave them be for long enough a ladybug will come along and eat them all, so I shouldn’t be too concerned. But I want them off now, so I’m tempted to wash them off with dish washing water even though I know they will be back again quickly with that method.

I generally like cats, but our neighbour’s cat was the reason I had no courgettes last year, it was so determined to use my pots as a toilet. I don’t want to be so set back again this year, so I’ve tried covering the area with netting. Even this doesn’t seem to deter it… somehow she’s just digging and toileting through the netting! Does anyone have ideas of other tricks I could use?

Slugs come in masses to our garden, and this does attract a frog to visit. Since I met the frog last year I have decided to avoid using slug pellets as these can seriously damage the frog too. But until he shows up (and he better be hungry!) I still have to protect my seedlings from the slugs. They have already munched through mint and squash shoots within a day. Right now I’m trying a new trick of surrounding the seedling area with sawdust, as the slugs apparently cannot crawl over this so easily. It seems to be working for the lettuce, but it didn’t stop the pumpkin sprouts from being nibbled all the way down. Any ideas of alternatives??

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Home Vegetable garden

? This question is currently listed as unanswered. If you think you may be able to help with this question, leave bimmy a possible answer below.

Comments

  • Oddment

    Oddment wrote:

    You could try surrounding your plants with lava rocks for the slugs. As for the cat, my only idea is to just work with it and distract it by putting catnip somewhere away from the plants you want to protect. Hopefully Kitty will focus on that planting and leave the rest alone.

    Posted on 07 Apr 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • Cherokee_Motley

    Cherokee_Motley wrote:

    I have a take on the classic “beer in a saucer” approach which works great for me. Rather then waste good beer on slugs, I pour 7 grams of instant yeast in 2 cups of warm water with a tsp of sugar. Within 5 minutes, the yeast are alive and smelling great. (If you love the smell of yeast) Then I poured 2" of this solution into small yogurt cups, which were place in pre-dugged holes so the tops would be flush with the soil around my garden.
    The next morning, each of the cups would be filled with dead slugs, kinda gruesome. It is my understanding, the slugs drown in the water. I would just dump the water into a pail and then the pail, I would dump on my compost pile. Cups are filled up again each night after sunset. Sometimes, I would just let the cups sit and fill with slugs for a few days.
    At first the slugs will be very big 2", but within a fortnight, only little ones will be left.

    Give this a shot, I think you will be very happy. Cheers…

    Posted on 08 Apr 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • anelson

    anelson wrote:

    you could try potting up your seedlings and keeping them out of the garden until they are robust enough to withstand a little slug/cat damage. I use rocks and pebbles as a mulch in areas the cats like to use, or lay a bunch of sticks over the soil.
    I try and pay attention to which plants are slug favorites and not plant these in the garden when they are too small.

    Posted on 13 Apr 11 (over 3 years ago)

  • bimmy

    bimmy wrote:

    Thanks for all of your suggestions, I want to give the slug trap a go. I went back to using slug poison for the time being because I was desperate at losing so many plants. I have tried cat repellent but that is not working; these cats are very desperate, I think they don’t have anywhere else to go in this urban environment? Instead I’ve tried planting things very closely together so they can’t see anywhere to dig, and this seems to be working. I’m just avoiding planting anything little outside now!

    Posted on 15 May 11 (over 3 years ago)

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