There’re 46 known species of slug and semi-slug across Britain and Ireland. They inhabit a diverse range of habitats and provide nutrition for many other species higher up the food chain.
Instead of using chemicals in your garden try to concentrate on your ‘garden hygiene’.
So, my top tip to control slugs (and especially the small partially subterranean types that do a lot of damage to plants) is to control dandelions (Taraxacum officinale).
Not only do dandelions smother your lawn grass but they are great at harbouring our slimy neighbours.
Use a grubber to go round your lawn and veg beds and have dandelions out at the root. Take away the habitat….and there’s nowhere for the slug to go!
You don’t have to waste the dandelions either. The flowers and leaves are edible! Did you know that due to the way that our Linnean plant classification system works, any plant with officinale as the species means it’s edible? Try sprinkling some of the petals and young tender leaves into your salads. They’re crammed with Vitamin A and B12 and are a source of antioxidants.
Just make sure you leave the slugs behind!
Slugs really are at the top of their game when it comes to targeting (clearing up) plants that are stressed, substandard, grown overly lush or damaged so clean up any dead or failing leaves in you beds that may attract them. It’s a good idea to give especially vulnerable plants a top dressing of Biochar to prevent surface moisture and encourage healthy plant growth.
Using Biochar in your garden won’t prevent slugs full stop, but use it as a valuable tool in your gardening armoury to make sure your plants are on top form and are not stressed by lack of moisture or nutrition.
Our top 5 tips for preventing slug damage;
1. Keep your vegetables neat and tidy to stop them looking like a buffet for molluscs.
2.Top dress plants with Biochar to promote health.
3.Remove ground hugging plants such as Dandelions to reduce places for them to hide.
4.Take care hardening off plants that you’ve grown in the greenhouse or polytunnel before planting out.
5.Grab a torch and take a wander around your garden at night. Pick up any offending slugs and snails and dispose of (feed them to your chickens, throw them over your neighbours fence, choose appropriately)