Planting any type of garden takes a lot of elbow grease and a lot of your precious time. The last thing you want is slimy slugs and snails chowing down on your plants.
But it can happen.
Stay away from any store-bought "slug killer." There are plenty of easy, all-natural, and basically free ways to eliminate those sticky slugs from your garden.
Get your slugs sloshed
When I first learned of this method, I'll admit I did a good bit of childish chortling. But it really works. Slugs love beer!
The steps are pretty easy.
Some empty soda bottles (number depends on the size of your garden)
*I recommend using flat beer or buying something cheap. You won't see me putting my craft brew out in the garden.
Find a few spots where slugs seem to hang out the most. Dig a small hole, the diameter of the plastic bottle and about 3 inches deep.
Cut the soda bottles, leaving the bottom part about three inches tall.
Put the "kegs" you have just made into the holes you dug and fill with about 1 ½ inches of beer.
Just like any party crashers, the slugs will drift in and be doing keg stands sooner than you think, leaving them clueless to their imminent demise. Slugs can't swim.
Check your "kegs" every week and dispose of the dead slugs in the trash. And that means happy, hole-free plants.
It's a trap!
Another great way to scare those little sluggy suckers out of your garden is to simply use upside down grapefruit halves to trap them. You can also use orange, lemon or melon rinds.
When you're done eating your fruit, save the hollowed-out rind and place it in between rows or near plants upside down. Slugs love a place to hide – the darker and damper, the better.
Check the rinds every few days and when they have attracted a large number of these plant pirates, dispose of the slugs and the rinds by dunking them first in a bucket of soapy water, which kills the slugs.
Citrus isn't good for the compost, and neither are slugs, so the best place to get rid of the refuse is just to chuck it in the trash.
Definitely the cheapest and easiest way to deter these garden demons from destroying your digs is to simply sprinkle crushed eggshells throughout the garden.
This is doubly good for your plants. First, slugs hate anything abrasive. The sharp shell edges tear their soft underbellies as they slither over them. They likely will never make it to their destination.
Second, eggshells are full of calcium. It's also a great supplement for your garden that you can find right in the kitchen.
Pro-tip: Planting rosemary, anise or rue throughout your garden can help repel bugs, like slugs, as well. Companion planting is a good, natural way to help keep the buggies from lunching on your leaves.
Twinkle VanWinkle has more than 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and has appeared on Food Network's "The Best Of..." Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
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