Slugs and snails. They are the bane of my life right now. A week or more of wet, miserable weather has enabled them to slide wherever they like. They’ve emerged from hiding in the thick, dark, sheltering foliage of things like bergenia, shasta daisies and carex and are everywhere. You can’t walk up the path without crunching them (well that is a few fewer I suppose!).
I daren’t plant out my climbing and runner beans yet, even thought they really, really need to be out of their modules and in the ground. The supports are all in place, waiting. But the beans would all be gone the next day. It has happened more than once before. I grow extras to prepare for losing a few plants, but couldn’t cope with losing the whole lot.
I can’t put in the sunflowers yet. They are getting so tall in their pots that they are a continuous wind hazard, falling over so easily. I will need to stake them with canes when I plant them out, but canes are like magnets to slugs. Canes are such a doddle to scale, if you are a snail!
All my lovely blooms are being shredding and devoured. It is tragic. The meadow flowers that I sowed a few weeks ago are now gone. (I’d been so pleased with the hundreds of little seedlings that germinated within days of sowing!) I’ve lost my monarda and aster divisions, which were in pots by the greenhouse. The new hosta I bought three weeks ago has been eaten to soil level. Where are the thrushes? I haven’t seen any in the garden this year come to think about it.
Alas, there is not very much that I can do about the molluscs, because the garden is surrounded by agricultural ditches and hedgerows. They are inevitable. I’ve tried sand, egg shells, grit, wool pellets with no success. I run daily snail hunts in the greenhouse. To a certain extent I garden relying on the dry East Anglian summers.
Today I am going to order nematodes to tackle the problem in the raised vegetable beds. I know that the slugs will still emerge from the surrounding grass and wooden sides of the beds though, so I will have to treat more than the planting area. I’ll report back on the success or failure of this experiment, but has anyone else got experience of using them?
Meanwhile, I am desperately waiting for this afternoon, or maybe it will be tomorrow, when the sun is supposed to finally make it’s June appearance. Hopefully, all those damp surfaces will dry off quickly and the slugs will go back to having to make a big effort to move away from those dark damp hidey holes.