More birds equals fewer slugs

It is a simple equation. Slugs eat the crops in our organic garden, so we encourage their predators. Blackbirds and Robins in particular are welcome, but we put out plenty of scraps for all birds, since we like having the little songsters around us while we enjoy our garden.

It is a simple thing to do, but the rewards are great in terms of both enjoying having birds around and enjoying having fewer slugs munching on our lettuces.

Slugs are a problem for the organic gardener. They will eat your entire crop on a wet wednesday and never bat an eyelid…slugs don’t have eyelids.

Flicking the little buggers into next-door’s garden with the flick of a trowel is actually the most common form of slug removal in the UK. This method of control is actually so rife that it is estimated the average slug will be flung five times during its lifetime and could move up to 45 metres from origin by this human assisted method of propulsion.

All right, I made that up, but here are my top tips for getting rid of unwanted slugs.

  1. Encourage birds into your garden- bird food that attracts blackbirds and starlings is particularly good and once they are there, they will stay for the slugs.
  2. Practice Companion Planting.
  3. Put big juicy slugs on the bird table. – Ah, its the circle of life my friends. The blackbirds quickly learn this rule and will hang around waiting for you to bring them another juicy snack.
  4. Modify the environment. Get rig of places where slugs like to congregate.
  5. Take the nuclear option and add nematodes to the soil

Trapping slugs, hand picking them, and modifying their environment to reduce hiding places are all part of an organic approach to slug control. Slug pellets are not an answer.

Nematodes are harmless to other wildlife (humans included) but are a parasite to slugs. There are plenty in the soil but when you add more, the slugs fall in number.