Growing Food

When You Buy A Slug A Beer

I’ve had a challenging time with my fall garden so far this year. I was SO excited when I planted seeds, because I had read that there are less garden pests in the fall…

Beware fellow gardeners, fall gardening is not a guaranteed breeze.

The squirrels that live in my neighbor’s trees have been digging with reckless abandon as they frantically prepare for winter. When I first transplanted seedlings, I couldn’t keep them in place because the squirrels kept uprooting them with their digging!

Then, I replaced the seedlings I had grown from seed with more established seedlings from a local nursery, and slug population in my backyard began to feast! They ate a majority of the foliage and the plants were having a hard time. And THEN my dog dug up the garden! Now, you won’t have my dog digging in your garden, but if squirrels and slugs have got you down… I have some tips.

Full disclosure, I had to get another batch of established seedlings, but I vowed it was my last time replanting.

For the squirrels, I got one of these artificial owls with a head that moves on a spring. I was a little dubious that it would work… but I was desperate!

I was pleasantly surprised by the result! The digging has reduced by about 90%. I think it helps that I regularly relocate the owl… you know, to keep the squirrels on edge.

Now… for the slugs. After googling how to get rid of slugs, I consistently saw people recommending beer.

BEER!

Like the beer you drink. Apparently, those thirsty bar-hopping slugs like to indulge also.

Any beer will work (cheap stuff is great!), as long as it’s freshly opened. Once night falls, put a dish outside with a couple of inches of beer. The slugs smell it and head towards it. Once they start drinking, they crawl right into the beer and die.

Now be prepared. If you have a real slug infestation, it can be a pretty gruesome scene in the morning.(I’m so sorry for this image… but it’s really only the way to prepare you if you plan to do this yourself.)

After just 10 hours, I had at least 25 slugs to dispose of. I repeated the process for 3 more nights, with less and less slugs to toss each morning. And the REALLY good news? The damage to my plants has been minimal. I would highly recommend the beer trap if you have an issue with slugs or snails.

So if slugs and squirrels are devouring or digging up your gardens, give them the old owl-beer double whammy, and prepare to be amazed!

 

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