Rules
Terms of Use

Page 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#1087593 - Wed Mar 18 2015 08:38 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
Tis the season... at least in the northern hemisphere to get cracking on some basic tasks before planting out/sowing seeds. And in particular... anyone got a good way to beat slugs? Yes, I know that if you had the best way you'd be making a fortune and would have better things to do than read this question but has anyone got a reasonably reliable way? Or should I go to the supermarket and buy a bottle of beer? In which case, what sort of beer do slugs like?

I bought some 'pellets' last year that you scatter round the plants and when it rains, the pellets form a 'woolly' blanket which slugs don't like to cross. It worked pretty well but you need quite a lot and the pellets aren't cheap. I also won't buy the standard blue pellets as they kill cats and it's not a good way to die, even if my neighbours' pesky felines do insist on using my garden. Anyway, any tips on murdering slugs (and snails)? For some reason I don't care how they die as long as they do!
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1087619 - Wed Mar 18 2015 10:56 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
Santana2002 Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8867
Loc: France
I collect egg shells over the winter, let them dry out then crush them up. You can scatter them around your plants. It doesn't kill the slugs and snails off, but it does reduce their impact on my vegetable patch and flower borders.

I believe you can also scatter ash, with the same objective.
_________________________
It's hard to be perfect when you're human

Top
#1087621 - Wed Mar 18 2015 11:10 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6516
Loc: Florida USA
Sand as a mulch spread a good distance around your little darlings has been known to deter the passage of slugs to your plants but if your intent is to kill them...
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

Top
#1087625 - Wed Mar 18 2015 12:13 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
Thanks for the ideas. Sadly it's a bit late to start saving my eggshells now - I wouldn't get enough unless I start making omelettes for England, and I do wonder what that would do to my insides!

Sand is no deterrent to next door's cats - they've just moved in and are busily claiming the neighbourhood. I used to have a pair of cats and they regarded sand as the next best thing to cat litter. But mehaul's suggestion combined with the size of crushed eggshells = horticultural grit might work... Anyone tried that?
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1087629 - Wed Mar 18 2015 01:16 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
DivineMsDRL Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Mon Jul 07 2008
Posts: 180
Loc: Okotoks Alberta Canada       
Try diatomaceous earth. It has an abrasive quality similar to pumice. I recommend it all the time when I am working in the garden centre. It scours the bottom of the slugs and snails and they die. If you cannot get it at a garden centre, try a feed centre. Farmers feed their cows, sheep, etc with it and it scours the parasites out of their digestive systems.

www.mommypotamus.com/uses-diatomaceous-earth
_________________________
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They all know me here.

Top
#1087637 - Wed Mar 18 2015 04:22 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
MiraJane Offline
Prolific

Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1673
Loc: New York USA
I collect the snails and slugs and on a moonless night, I toss them over the fence into the yard of my nasty, evil neighbors.

Top
#1087643 - Wed Mar 18 2015 04:57 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
DivineMsDRL, the blurb on one of the Diatomaceous earth pages I found refers to the harm it can do to bees - I'm not sure I'm organised enough to cover everything, then spray everything, and make sure it doesn't harm the bees - our bees in Britain are having a hard time anyway without any help from me. But it looks like useful stuff for indoor pests so I've bookmarked the page in case the ants or earwigs decide to come in. Thanks. smile

LOL, MiraJane - I would do that except my neighbours are quite nice. Plus research shows that you have to be able to throw snails for at least 20 metres otherwise they just come home!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/108...our-plants.html
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1087645 - Wed Mar 18 2015 06:08 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
DivineMsDRL Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Mon Jul 07 2008
Posts: 180
Loc: Okotoks Alberta Canada       
It is put on the ground so the snails and slugs can crawl across it. You do not have to cover and spray things. I still recommend it, as bees will not be ingesting it.
_________________________
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They all know me here.

Top
#1087648 - Wed Mar 18 2015 06:28 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
Ah... well, the blurb I read said you applied it around the plant, then should cover the plant, to protect the bees, while it did its work on the pests - and then you should spray the plant with water to remove any dust as bees have no protection against the diatomaceous soil. And our bees have been having such a hard time - I'm doing my best to encourage them here but I'm not the most energetic gardener so if I have to read the instructions on something twice I'd be better off keeping the slugs to save a bee, lol.
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1087651 - Wed Mar 18 2015 08:02 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6516
Loc: Florida USA
Diatomaceous earth would be a good ground treatment (and therefore not harm the bee population). It is the skeletal remains of plankton. The source I've always heard recommended it the material from swimming pool filters. It has sharp cutting edges to it like sand would have. But I never had damage after using sand even when I'd found drowned slugs in saucers of beer (The pity is you need to waste the beer to replenish the evaporated stuff. Shame that part, the evaporating. Maybe wasting ale would be better, that stuff is worth throwing away.)
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

Top
#1087658 - Wed Mar 18 2015 09:45 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
DivineMsDRL Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Mon Jul 07 2008
Posts: 180
Loc: Okotoks Alberta Canada       
Our bees are having a tough time as well. Slugs are not a big problem here. When I find one, I simply pick it up and put it on the concrete walk and sprinkle it with salt.
_________________________
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They all know me here.

Top
#1088026 - Sun Mar 22 2015 02:30 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
auntie1 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Mon Dec 12 2005
Posts: 412
Loc: South Kingsville VIC Australia
My few backyard "chooks" are pretty good at keeping down slugs, snails and other edible pests, while their scratching disturbs the hiding places. Certain sections of the vegie garden are off limits at times, but the girls get their wicked way between crops.
Used coffee grounds make a good mechanical barrier when used to surround target plants, much as eggshells do.
You may find that your local coffee shop is delighted to give you their waste, which is also a good ingredient when layered in a compost bin.

Top
#1089228 - Mon Mar 30 2015 10:13 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
Cats. You don't mind if I scream do you? Caaaaaaaaaaaaaats!

Don't get me wrong, I love cats. Just not in my garden! I used to have two of my own who naturally kept other cats at bay (well, one did - I think the other one just egged him on from my her chair). But since they went to the great cat play garden in the sky, other cats have viewed my garden as fair game. So, the other day, I started to sew this year's annuals and to stop the cats digging up the seeds/seedlings, doing what they do, and leaving their mess behind, I put netting over it and staked it down.

I've just been out there and the horrid furballs have dug up some of the stakes and done their business under the netting! Aaaaaargh!
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1089651 - Thu Apr 02 2015 02:26 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37961
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
I feel for you.

When I was first married the local cat/s used to do that in our garden, not lift netting, but use it as a convenience. I tried all the recommended things like pepper and various sprays from the garden centre but nothing seemed to work.

Then the second house we lived in, and with small children, we had a sandpit for the children which was a nightmare to protect since it wasn't in the days of having plastic sandpits with covers.
_________________________
Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

Top
#1091625 - Tue Apr 14 2015 11:04 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
Over on the photography thread, earlier this week, we started having the following conversation which I thought we should continue here:

Originally Posted By: Christinap
Originally Posted By: flopsymopsy

Sadly, left alone, bindweed can strangle the world!


Bindweed is the bane of my life! Sadly my one and only next door neighbour does nothing to her garden, it is a complete tp and bindweed and brambles come over from her side. The brambles I just cut back to just her side of the fence, but oh the bindweed! I dig it, put that selective weed killer on the leaves, wage war on it all summer long but getting rid of it while it is rooting and spreading her side is impossible.

Tell you how bad her side is. We had someone doing some work on our flat roof at the back and he asked me if we had gypsies living next door because of the rusting cars, old caravan and general junk lying around in there.


I noticed only yesterday that bindweed was beginning to shoot again, in the two small flowerbeds at the back of the house. It's probably shooting elsewhere, I just haven't spotted it yet!

Anyway, I read some tips on a couple of other sites and thought I would pass them on.

One horticultural site recommends putting a bamboo cane where the bindweed shoots are so that the shoots will wind up the canes rather than the plants and it's then easier to spray them away from the foliage of plants you want to keep. I thought that was a neat idea so I've spent the afternoon sticking canes into the beds.

Another site said to mulch. Thick, dark, tree bark mulch. Some will still grow but less than before and spray anything that appears above the surface. The mulch does need to be thick though - at least 3-6 inches - and it will need topping up. Having said that, as someone whose garden is covered in mulch, I should add that if bindweed can't grow up the middle, it will grow round the edges... darn plant will try to surround you!

Never let bindweed flower and anything you pull up should be burned (or presented to the council in the brown wheelie bin, lol).

Everyone agrees that bindweed needs to be sprayed. There is a popular weedkiller that promotes itself as a bindweed killer - I don't use that myself. For one thing I found it useless and for another it's made by the same US company that is busily also making the herbicide that has killed so many bees and which is fighting to lift the EU ban on that chemical. So not buying their "kills all known weeds including bindweed just roll this on to the leaves" stuff is my protest against their corporate greed. Instead, I'm using a spray with glyphosate and when I can't use the spray I paint it on with my trusty little paint brush. Van Gogh would be proud. wink

Any more tips?
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1100569 - Sun Jun 28 2015 06:31 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
I know you've all been waiting with baited breath for the results of my hula hoop trials to see whether they keep slugs and snails off my veggies. Well, after a couple of months I can report a 50% success rate. I haven't found any slugs on anything planted in grobags within a hula hoop circle - but something has been eating my runner beans and today, after a shower of rain, I found the culprit(s), two very fat snails. So clearly they don't mind gravel that much.

I should say they are now late snails, dead as a Norwegian parrot. Let's hope the beans recover.
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1100696 - Mon Jun 29 2015 11:50 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6516
Loc: Florida USA
Glyphosate is being retired as an available chemical. I fear it is going away not so much because of its own failings but because there have been too many Glyphosate unaffected genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have been introduced as a result of its success. Its most popular product version, RoundUp, will be gone soon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate


Have you tried posting "No Snails Allowed - under penalty of law" signs? And then commence a core education program to teach the snails to read?
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

Top
#1100700 - Mon Jun 29 2015 12:31 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
I don't buy RoundUp, it is made by the same company that makes the chemical which is killing our bees. Just saying.

I'm afraid 'my' snails can't read.

They lack basic skills and just eat
So I put some salt down for a treat
Now they rest one side of the path
In a bit of a local bloodbath
Even the thrushes find that hard to eat.
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1100702 - Mon Jun 29 2015 02:06 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
MiraJane Offline
Prolific

Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1673
Loc: New York USA
Really into those limericks, flopsy smile

Top
#1100704 - Mon Jun 29 2015 02:34 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6516
Loc: Florida USA
How about a sign that says you cater to a higher clientele, "Escargot Only, Please".


edit: You have to reduce their population. Try catching them while they're mating and put condoms on them. Or, try the "everyone's attractive at closing time" tactic and invite them to a beer party (kegger). I used to have snails in this humid Florida environment but then some geckos moved in and the snails disappeared. Do you like lizards?


Edited by mehaul (Mon Jun 29 2015 02:41 PM)
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

Top
#1100706 - Mon Jun 29 2015 03:09 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
Santana2002 Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8867
Loc: France
Pickled snails ... what a treat!

Am desperately trying to keep ahead of the possie of them hereabouts too, despite the hot, dry weather they are a tenacious lot!

Any of the ones unlucky enough to find themselves in my path get dumped into a bucket of soapy water that sits next to my compost heap. They are unable to slither out of it and drown a nasty, soapy death, poor divils.

I am also wondering if anyone here can help me figure out how to make my Japanese maple go back to producing red leaves as the new growth at the moment is green? I've had the tree growing in a pot for several years and this is the first time this has happened to it.


Edited by Santana2002 (Mon Jun 29 2015 03:10 PM)
_________________________
It's hard to be perfect when you're human

Top
#1100711 - Mon Jun 29 2015 03:33 PM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
flopsymopsy Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 5412
Loc: Northampton England UK
These snails were quite large and I'm not sure that small English lizards would be able to wrestle one to the ground.

I googled on "Japanese maples turn green" and there's clearly a lot of it about but without knowing what sort of maple I can't help. I did read a few suggestions that red maples need more light... so is yours in too much shade? Other than that, I know nothing. wink
_________________________
The Hubble Telescope has just picked up a sound from a fraction of a second before the Big Bang. The sound was "Uh oh".

Top
#1100748 - Tue Jun 30 2015 04:47 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
Santana2002 Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8867
Loc: France
I don't think lack of light is the problem, this maple is facing south and gets the sun from dawn until dusk. I was thinking of nutrient deficiency, though it was repotted last year so normally that shouldn't really be a problem.

I did read somewhere that it could be because the red maples are often grafted onto green maple rootstock as the green is hardier than the red. Could be an avenue to pursue ...
_________________________
It's hard to be perfect when you're human

Top
#1100753 - Tue Jun 30 2015 05:19 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
MiraJane Offline
Prolific

Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1673
Loc: New York USA
Originally Posted By: mehaul
How about a sign that says you cater to a higher clientele, "Escargot Only, Please".


edit: You have to reduce their population. Try catching them while they're mating and put condoms on them. Or, try the "everyone's attractive at closing time" tactic and invite them to a beer party (kegger). I used to have snails in this humid Florida environment but then some geckos moved in and the snails disappeared. Do you like lizards?



I don't know much about snails mating but don't walk under trees during slug mating time. That's a bigger EW!! than stepping on one barefoot in the dark, which I did last night. Yes, my neighbors got my a squished slug over the fence.

Top
#1100759 - Tue Jun 30 2015 09:48 AM Re: Gardening Queries, Tips and Tricks
mehaul Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 6516
Loc: Florida USA
Santana2002,
I think you hit on the cause in your last post - it was repotted last year.

I initially thought that the ph had changed (Hydrangeas aren't the only plant whose color varies with base/acid levels) somehow. At first I'd have questioned the water you use (tap or rain and I figured tap with all its additive chemicals) could have effected your ph. But now that you mention you repotted, I now suspect the soil you used is a different ph than the original soil's ph and exposure to it has shocked the plant to (temporarily) halt the production of specific chlorophyll compounds so you get green rather than red in the chlorophyll containing part of the plant, the leaves.

Measure the ph of the soil now. If I recall correctly from my growing of Acer palmatum rubrum I had it under some Red Oaks and Red Maples, both appreciate boggy acidic soils. If need be, try mixing some African Violet soil to the pot and scratch in. If you're more desperate, completely replace the soil with an acid soil.

I would also think of relocating the specimen. Acer palmatums will grow in full sun if their roots can spread deep and wide into the surrounding soil. A potted standard should only get a couple of hours of direct sun a day. A potted plant in direct sun is too easily stressed by being dried out and the required compensation of frequent watering damages the soil chemistry.

My mother used to 'fertilize' her acid loving Gardenia by pouring the liquid remaining from pickle jars (dilute vinegar) on its soil to shift its ph toward the acid side of neutral.
_________________________
If you aren't seeing Heaven while you dream, you're doing something wrong.
Dreams allow escape from the passage of Time.

The ultimate activity is the Dream.

Top
Page 4 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  ren33, SilverMoonsong