Gissela
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Slugs Eating my Tomatoes @#$%^

I had a few tomato plants last year and my tomatoes where beautiful and tasty until late Summer when slugs ate 80% of the tomatoes. I don't want that to happen again. What do I do. Last year someone told me to use salt around the raise bed, but since it is very rainy here (Seattle) it is not very practical and I am not sure it worked. I ended up using some kind of pesticide that I bought at Lowes and it didn't get rid of the slugs either. I am a beginner. What do I do!!!
Gissela

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hendi_alex
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I've never had to try it, but I would try putting diatomaceous earth on the surface of the bed. The tiny silicon shells in the diatomaceous earth supposedly slice snails and will either kill them or keep them away from the area. Goggle the product and you will find many vendors that supply the product.

Here is a link to a site that offers suggestions for control.

[url]https://www.eartheasy.com/grow_nat_slug_cntrl.htm[/url]
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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Lupinus
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copper will keep them away. Also you could try making a border of something they don't like, such as gravel.

Another trick is to take a old pie pan and put some beer in it. The beer attracts the snails, they fall in, and drown.
By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.
Robert A. Heinlein

cynthia_h
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Here's a thread from last week and the weekend about slugs/snails and their "removal" (i.e., destruction):

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11993

Hope these ideas help!

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

TZ -OH6
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Snail bait such as Ortho's Bug-Geta Plus are very very effective. I've seen multiple slugs crawl out of the bushes across several feet of concrete patio in a strait line for a small pile of a few pellets, so you do not need a heavy application of the stuff. If you are worried about pets and kids you can hide the pellets under something. There just needs to be some air flow so that the slugs will be able to smell if from a few feet away. Slugs and snails are pretty resticted in their environmental options (where they can hide during the day) so once you clear out an area with one appliction of bait you can rest easy for quite a while until populations build back up.

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soil
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you put salt on your soil!!!! lets hope that didn't hurt your soil too bad and the rain flushed it away. use something rough and sharp around the plants, keep the bottom 6 inches of the plant leaf free and like said you can use copper, just if you wrap the stem don't do it too tight. if they cant get up the plant they cant eat it, after all slugs don't fly or jump.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

eshenry
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Slug bait will kill birds, even if you hide the pellets........I could relate a very sad traumatic story, but I will spare you.
Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique.

Cirtes
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Here is my arsenal in order of application:

1. Stick with nail in it, then pick them evening and morning

2. Coffee grounds around the base of each plant

3. One pint jars buried between plants 1/2 filled with beer

4. Iron Phosphate pellets

I usually do a big weekend attack with 1 to 3. This usually gets good results to the point of bringing the problem under control.

The coffee effectively herds the slugs away from the plants and into the beer jars which they simply cannot resist.

If the problem cannot be resolved with the Organic means, the Iron Phosphate pellets are very effective and low risk for the environment if used responsibly. Any pellets not eaten by the slugs will eventually just fertilize the ground with an essential nutrient. The key again is responsible use and application of the smallest amount needed to achieve the desired result.

Good Luck.

Gissela
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Thank you so much everybody!!!

I really appreciate all the advise. I feel very confident now. Just need the weather to warm up to plant those delicious tomatoes. I'll be jumping to the Herbs Forum to get ready for those too. I feel bad that due to my ignorance about gardening I am not able to help anyone with any kind of advise, but that will be different after this Summer... I hope. Thanks again for all the info and tips.
Gissela

cynthia_h
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Gissela, please don't worry about offering others advice. Not yet.

Gardening is a skill which takes time to develop. After a lifetime of gardening, at 66 but still active outdoors, Thomas Jefferson said, "No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden. Such a variety of subjects, some one always coming to perfection, the failure of one thing repaired by the success of another, and instead of one harvest a continued one through the year [and] though an old man, I am but a young gardener."

There is always more to learn, no matter how much we read and/or do. I feel sure that you will share knowledge just as soon as you can.

Happy gardening--and good luck getting rid of those little stomachs on feet...

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

[edited to provide full, accurate quote from Jefferson, in an 1811 letter to Peale]
Last edited by cynthia_h on Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Timlin
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Location: Zone 3 Canada

Through the winter I save egg shells......I dry them, crush them into largish pieces and sprinkle those around the base of my plants. Snails/slugs don't like to crawl over them because they are sharp. The egg shells give feed to the soil eventually too.

I also use the beer and the board....... never tried the coffee grounds. I think I'll keep that in mind now too.

Christine1950
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Location: Blue Mountain, NY

Ditto to the eggshells :wink: And the beer does work but I'd rather drink it :lol:
Christine

Gissela
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Brilliant!!!

It is the perfect solution for me. I can't stand to look at the slugs, they are just gross, so I couldn't imagine myself killing them with a stick. I don't want to use chemicals since I just had a baby who might be exploring the back yard in a year o so. The eggs shells are perfect. I love eggs too. Good excuse to have Spaguetti alla Carbonara. Thank you so much.
Gissela

RosieRenee
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Location: Western Washington

I also live in the Seattle area and just today (before the snow!) planted some cold weather veggies. To protect them from slugs, I also use beer in old plastic food containers. To keep the beer from becoming watered down and thus ineffective, I took a large plastic soft drink bottle and cut off both ends, then cut a 1-inch slice out of the side so I had a crescent shape, then I put the crescent over the tubs of beer like a little hut. The slugs still have an inch or so to crawl in, but the beer won't get watered down with our rain (or snow!). Might as well make their last happy hour concentrated!
Rosie Renee

Gissela
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Perfect solution for rainy Seattle

Great, now I have egg shells and beer to kill those pesky slugs. Thank you very much. Which cold weather veggies are you growing? I'd like to know which veggies grow here in Seattle.

Thanks again for the great idea to cover the beer from the rain.
Gissela

RosieRenee
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Location: Western Washington

I planted peas, lettuce and spinach, which were started earlier from seed. I also planted carrot seed. Next week, I plan to plant onion starts and beet seeds. I don't ever have luck with cabbage or broccoli, but you can start them now, also.

My rule of thumb for everything else is Mother's Day, although you can start them earlier if you have a little greenhouse, or keep them indoors.
Rosie Renee

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