‘Very, very useful’: Gardening expert on slug killer – ‘they do work’

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Ellen Mary is an author and podcast host with a passion for “plant-based wellness” She discussed nematodes, one slug prevention method.

She said: “You mix them in with water. They eat the slugs and then they die underneath the soil.”

Although the gardener has never used them herself, she said: “You have to keep up adding them to your soil every five weeks. So, it can be quite expensive, but they do.

“If every five weeks is something you can do then they are very, very useful.”

Ellen follows a prevent-not-kill method when it comes to pests, including slugs.

So, how does she get rid of slugs? 

Ellen said: “The way I see it, it’s about management. Management is about prevention rather than eradication.”

She uses a rough mulch to deter slugs, as well as putting a copper wire on her pots.

What are nematodes?

Nematodes are microscopic worms known as eelworms. They are an organic way to tackle slugs in the garden.

The small creatures lay their eggs inside slugs, and when the eggs hatch they eat the worms.

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As an added bonus, they do not pose a risk to humans or animals, unlike some slug pellets.

Gardener Mark Lane previously discussed nematodes, which he called “absolutely brilliant”. 

The gardener uses nematodes in his own garden. He said: “The one I find that works best for us here is a thing called nematodes.”

Another way to get rid of slugs naturally is to attract wildlife to your garden.

Many gardeners are preferring natural methods of managing your garden’s slug population, as opposed to chemical methods like slug pellets.

Slug pellets contain poison for slugs, but they can also be toxic to other animals, including birds and even pets.

However, encouraging wildlife to your garden will mean more hands, or beaks or claws, on deck to help keep slug numbers low.

Birds, toads, and hedgehogs all eat slugs and making your garden a haven for them will mean they snack on the pesky gastropods.

How to attract birds to your garden

Provide food

Hang bird feeders in areas where you find lots of slugs and any insects causing you grief.

The feeders will attract birds who will then take care of your pests for you.

Add a birdbath

After a snack, birds like to wash down. Having a bath for them will keep them around longer.

Deter cats

Cats, predictably, do not a restful garden make – from a bird’s perspective.

Keep cats out of your garden and away from birds where possible.

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