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Sodding SLIMERS (gardening help!)

 
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kitchenwench
Commis Chef


Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Sodding SLIMERS (gardening help!) Reply with quote

This spring was the first year that I've decided to try and grow some of my own veggies and so far my peas, beans, chilli, tomatoes, capsicums and herbs are doing wonderfully.

However - my swiss chard (known as silverbeet here in Australia) and my zucchini plants are being absolutely massacred by slugs & snails. I'm trying to keep my garden as organic as possible and not result to chemicals, but I've tried the shallow dishes of beer, the boiled garlic spray, boiled pyrethrum flowers, ground garlic & chilli spray, companion planting...and still my poor zucchini and silverbeets are becoming Slimer's breakfast (and lunch and dinner!)

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what else I can do to try and keep them off my plants? I really do want to avoid chemicals but I'm about to lose my marbles Sad Sad Sad
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pattit
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 6207
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had that problem with my lettuce, I read that you should put crushed egg shells and or used coffee grounds, worked like a charm. I read that some people asked a nearby coffee shop for their used grounds and they were nice enough to give them to them. Good luck.
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BiscottiQueen
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Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok this is what I do... I always use coffee grounds for control of pests, but sometimes its no good if the ground is moist or heavily acidic (coffee grounds add more acid to the soil and can effect the plants).

I also use a powder called Diatomaceous earth. (Aka. DE, TSS, diatomite, diahydro, kieselguhr, kieselgur) I use if for mite control in the chicken coop, and bug control in the garden. This is a naturally occurring chalk like powder made from rock/fossil residue. Its all natural and completely organic, its safe for your larger animals and causes mass damage to small insects including slugs. I even use it to rid my gardens of red ants... its takes repeated applications up to 5 times and one month to get rid of the ants... they just move somewhere else.

If you want to pull out the big guns, and still be organic.... this is about as strong as you can go. Just remember this doesn't work ON the plant... has to be on the ground. So it will not effect bees or pollinators. However, it does not work for beetles that are distructive.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

P.s. there are 2 grades of DE, for gardens and chickens or ducks... use the approved Food Grade!

This one is a good price:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001F12DPS
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kitchenwench
Commis Chef


Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks folks! I'll start saving my egg shells to put in the garden and I'm definitely off to the gardening goods store on the weekend to see whether I can find some of this Diatomaceous earth! Hopefully that'll do it - till then, I'll just keep up my late night spot checks to hand collect and squish them Smile
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ddpie
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Joined: 18 Jul 2007
Posts: 8618

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use broken up egg shells too for my hostas. But I only use them from boiled eggs. I sprinkle them around the base of the plant and then as they grow, out to where the leaves reach. Works like a charm.
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BiscottiQueen
Executive Chef


Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 461

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ddpie wrote:
I use broken up egg shells too for my hostas. But I only use them from boiled eggs. I sprinkle them around the base of the plant and then as they grow, out to where the leaves reach. Works like a charm.


Uncooked egg shells have more nutrients for your garden. You get 2 for 1 that way Smile
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carolyn
Pro Chef


Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 3777
Location: gladstone michigan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject: hi Reply with quote

you could try Dawn dish soap mixed in water and spray the plants. with that. i know it works for most bugs.
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kitchenwench
Commis Chef


Joined: 13 Jan 2008
Posts: 24
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ddpie - aww, I've been saving my egg shells from my cooking but they're all from raw eggs :/ May I ask why you only use the shells from boiled eggs? Does the boiling make a difference to the effectiveness?

BiscottiQueen - I hope so! I've been collecting my eggshells so that I can crush them all in one go before making the application to my garden...but I think I'll have to wait till next week as we've got thunderstorms forecast for the rest of this week Sad

Carolyn - Sorry hon, I think the lingo is different between the US and Australia, is dish soap just a regular bar of soap? We don't have the Dawn brand here, but is there anything specific about this brand which makes it work better?

I did a midnight check of my garden last night and hand-removed another three slugs (!!!) I can't wait to find a way to keep them off my silverbeet / chard completely!
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