slugs

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    charles
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    On heavy soils, near walls and bushes, in shady areas…. there are slugs (and snails) lurking. In wet weather, especially during summer, they are more active and, to avoid using poison pellets, I recommend being prepared as follows:
    1 Keep soil around tender plants such as salads and carrot seedlings clear of weeds at all times, plus remove any yellowing leaves before they fall on the ground
    2 Grow vegetables that are in season and able to grow away from slug damage, for example do not sow lettuce outdoors in February or runner beans in April (both too early)
    3 During wet spells in summer it is worth going out occasionally after dark or at dawn with a sharp knife to reduce slug numbers
    4 Traps filled with beer, upturned and hollowed citrus skins and old cabbage leaves etc etc make excellent refuges for slugs which can be collected regularly (I either cut them or feed them to hens)
    5 Many salads can be spaced a little wider (on average 22x22cm or 9×9″) and then picked frequently to keep plants quite small and with bare soil around them, helping to offer less hiding place for slugs
    6 Keeping soil in good heart, no dig and with a mulch of compost on top, enables plants to grow more healthily and keep ahead of occasional nibbling
    7 My dig/no dig experiment suggests that a surface of slightly rough compost is less attractive to slugs than the smooth clay which results from digging
    8 Have open- rather than wood-sided beds, especially softwood which offers hiding places to slugs as it decays.
    In summary, reduce slug habitat, grow strong plants.

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