Eating a freshly picked salad, followed by a bowl of home-grown strawberries in the sunshine is the perfect lunch for me in this lovely sunny weather. It is also the perfect lunch for slugs. I have been battling to make sure that they don’t help themselves to more than their fair share. There has been a brief truce during this hot, dry spell when I guess they have travelled (on foot of course) to damper destinations, but I am armed with a multitude of slug-busting strategies ready for the next stealthy invasion.
In my be-more-tolerant-to-molluscs moments (usually at the beginning of the growing season), I find that gently removing the slugs from the vicinity and hurling them into the field next door strikes a good balance between welfare and warfare. A slug’s homing instinct has a range of 20 meters, so be sure to calculate the slug’s flight path carefully. If you are attempting this operation without gloves or a catapult, then you may need to de-slime afterwards. Vinegar is an excellent de-slimer.
If you want an easy way to round up a large group of slugs, rather elegantly known as a cornucopia, then oranges could be your answer. Hollow out some orange halves and place them upside-down near vulnerable plants. The citrus-loving slugs will crawl under the oranges for a midnight feast, where they should remain in their departure lounge until their early morning flight into the field next door.
If you think that this all sounds rather unkind, then maybe stop reading. As the summer goes on, my slug tolerance levels go down and I turn to another strategy that involves a medieval style slaughter…drowning in a vat of ale. The Slug-Buster is a neat, discrete little execution device that sinks surreptitiously into the soil. Filled with beer, this tempting hideout becomes not so much a departure lounge as a pub with a permanent lock-in where the sloshed slugs slowly sink….say that after a few beers!