10 Ways To Protect your Garden Naturally

3 March 2015

Gardeners have been waging a war on slugs for as long as we can remember and as these garden pests seem to have a way of sliming their way around your plants causing mass destruction, we’ve put together a plan of attack to help you keep the enemy at bay.

1. You can use cat or dog food as bait to lure slugs away from vulnerable plants or towards traps, as they enjoy feasting on this nearly as much as the foliage and flowers in your garden.

2. Self-adhesive copper tape can be used around pots, containers, beds and borders to deter slugs from harming your plants – if the slugs attempt to cross enemy lines, they will receive a small electric shock when they come into contact with the tape.

3. Your soil already contains a natural weapon against slugs, known as nematodes. These are a micro-organism and common slug parasite – they infect the slug and eventually lead to death. You can increase the nematodes in your soil with a biological control called ‘Nemaslug’, and this will not cause any harm to the other insects or wildlife that visit your garden.

4. You can create barriers to keep the armies of slugs away from your plants using moisture absorbent minerals or copper salts. Sprinkle these on the matting covering your beds or directly around your borders.

5. You can use natural traps around your garden to catch unsuspecting slugs. Cut a melon, orange or grapefruit in half, scoop it out and place it cut side down, or use a part filled plastic cup of beer pushed into the ground near vulnerable plants. Remember to check and empty your traps regularly.

6. Be on the lookout for slugs hiding around your garden on mild, damp evenings. Use a torch to help you spot them and then place in a container until you can release them into a field or hedgerow far away from your garden.

7. Add to your allies by encouraging birds, frogs, toads and hedgehogs into your garden with wildlife friendly hedging. Slugs feature in the diets of all these species so they’ll help to rid you of your slug problem by filling their bellies. Help birds with their mission by raking through your soil to expose slug eggs as well.

8. Slugs avoid all surfaces that are dry, dusty or jagged so create barricades around your plants using gravel, sand or very coarse sawdust.

9. Recent research has found that slugs are not the biggest fans of caffeine, so sprinkle some coffee around your borders and give those slugs a caffeine kick away from your plants.

10. Another option is to surround your vulnerable plants with other plants that have natural slug deterrent properties – Lavender is a good choice as slugs cannot handle the strong smelling foliage.

If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet us @best4hedging or message us on Facebook and we’ll be happy to help.