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Just How much does a slug eat?

25 April 2012

They invariably feature in any gardeners Top Ten of most hated pests, usually taking the number one spot for anyone who grows vegetables, and it is no wonder, slugs seem to have insatiable appetites....for garden plants! At this time of year they have the potential to devastate emerging seedlings and newly planted veg and flowers
Just to get you thinking:

*The British climate is perfect for slugs, and in an average 1m3 of soil there will be 200 slugs! 

*Young slugs, and indeed most slugs, spend the majority of their time below soil level (make slug pellet use illogical as well as (for me) unacceptable.

*When below the soil surface a slug will eat organic matter (fine by me) but also the shoots emerging from seeds as they germinate (goodbye Veg!)

*The peak egg laying period is March to April, and then again September to October.....and an average slug can lay up to 300 eggs in its lifetime....get your calculators out!

*AND an average slug eats TWICE its body weight every day....so that's an average of a massive 28oz of plant material every growing season. Just think about that in terms of your prized vegetables and flowers!!!!

So as the season for slugs gets underway in earnest, what can you do?
Drenching the soil with Nemaslug, the nematode biological control is my favourite solution. It is harmless to wildlife and pets (and humans), works underground where the slugs are most likely to be found.  It needs to be applied to a moist soil and the soil should be kept moist, ideally with a temperature of at least  5C/40F, but an occasional frost won't harm. It lasts for about 6 weeks, perfect to protect germinating seeds, seedlings and young plants...and developing potato tubers too.
You can buy Nemaslug from www.pippagreenwood.com in the New Products Area, Protect Your Crops section. Biological controls need to be kept cool, in  a fridge, until you use them, and need to be used by the date specified on the pack, but they work brilliantly and don't pose the threat to wildlife that some other methods do.
Get your slugs sorted now, before they lay too many more eggs....just think of the 28oz of potential veg-eating every day!!
The sachets of Nemaslug are available in a range of sizes, to suit the size of your plot, and come with full instructions .Sort out your slugs
and enjoy eating your crops and admiring your flowers yourself!!

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