Simple 'Gardening' Problem

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IvanV
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by IvanV » Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:48 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:27 am
Martin Y wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm
The thing that finally stopped slugs and snails from visiting one veg growing tub was winding bare copper wire around the tub halfway up. (Mrs Y has forbidden slug pellets lest poisoned slugs get eaten by birds.)
The "Organic" slug pellets made from ferric phosphate supposedly cause no harm to birds or other wildlife, or pets, or children. I use these and they are definitely effective.
I don't think ferric phosphate causes any harm to molluscs either. I've read that it is small amounts of ethylene diamine tetracectic acid (EDTA) - a powerful chelating agent - in them that actually kills your molluscs.

The trouble with them is that they are too soluble, and completely disappear during any moderately wet spell. Especially if you have any mollusc-asparagus (what I call any plant particularly attractive to molluscs), then any brief interval in protection during a wet spell and you can be done for. I regularly treated my toad lilies (Tricyrtis) this spring, but the snails managed to get in to completely eat them during brief intervals when the rain had done its job. And so I have no toad lilies, once again.

Unfortunately it appears that the old fashioned pellets which actually worked are unobtainable now. They sell blue ones that look like them, but they are just the ferric phosphate ones coloured blue.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:58 pm

You'd should all be adopting hedgehogs. They'll sort out your slug problems (and the population is plummeting!!)
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

bagpuss
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by bagpuss » Tue Oct 12, 2021 8:16 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:58 pm
You'd should all be adopting hedgehogs. They'll sort out your slug problems (and the population is plummeting!!)
I'd love to but we don't appear to have any hedgehogs to adopt. We have a pretty wildlife friendly garden* and we're not very far at all from a meadow with lots of wildlife but I haven't seen a hedgehog for years :cry: Foxes a-plenty and from time to time signs of badger visits but nary a hedgehog.

IvanV wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:48 pm
The trouble with them is that they are too soluble, and completely disappear during any moderately wet spell. Especially if you have any mollusc-asparagus (what I call any plant particularly attractive to molluscs), then any brief interval in protection during a wet spell and you can be done for. I regularly treated my toad lilies (Tricyrtis) this spring, but the snails managed to get in to completely eat them during brief intervals when the rain had done its job. And so I have no toad lilies, once again.
This is true - they do disappear after a soggy spell. I generally don't mind letting the slugs have a bit of a munch, though, as long as they don't kill my plants entirely, or eat so much of the lettuces that they're not worth picking. So I find that if I'm liberal with the slug pellets when I plant out, and make sure to top up after a lot of rain while they're still small then once they're reasonably established, I can pretty much let things be. That said, I wouldn't attempt to grow plants that are both intended to have attractive foliage and are (stealing your excellent phrase) mollusc-asparagus. I've never tried to grow toad lilies but I'll add them to my don't-bother list, along with hostas and a few other things. I do like a pot or two of marigolds in the summer and those are also mollusc-asparagus, but as they're mostly about the flowers, I can usually keep the leaf damage down to an acceptable level, as long as I am liberal with the slug pellets when I first plant them up.






*We're not lazy gardeners, oh no, it's all for the wildlife.

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Tessa K
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Tessa K » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:58 pm
You'd should all be adopting hedgehogs. They'll sort out your slug problems (and the population is plummeting!!)
I don't think a hedgehog would be very happy on my second floor balcony.

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Gfamily
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Gfamily » Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:17 am

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 9:02 am
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:58 pm
You'd should all be adopting hedgehogs. They'll sort out your slug problems (and the population is plummeting!!)
I don't think a hedgehog would be very happy on my second floor balcony.
would soon be part of the plummeting population.

We have always aimed for a wildlife friendly garden, and 20 years ago we regularly had frogs and hedgehogs in our garden - but despite our keeping up the wildlife friendliness* we've not seen either for years now.

Though at one time, we heard a horrible screeching noise from the garden and went out to find a hedgehog half way through eating a frog.

* not tidying up at all.
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
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Grumble
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Grumble » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:34 am

If you have visits from badgers then any hedgehogs would soon become food.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

bagpuss
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by bagpuss » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:36 am

Grumble wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:34 am
If you have visits from badgers then any hedgehogs would soon become food.
Ah. That is an excellent point that had somehow escaped me up to now. It would explain the lack of hedgehogs hereabouts.

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Fishnut
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Fishnut » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:39 am

Two summers ago when we had that prolonged heatwave I was woken by what I thought was cats fighting, but the screaming wouldn't stop and in the end I went down my street in my pyjamas ready to break up the fight. Turned out it was a badger attacking a hedgehog which had been severely bitten about its face (I didn't know before then that hedgehogs scream). I put it in a box overnight then, after contacting the local wildlife sanctuary for advice, took it to the vets where it was unfortunately put down due to the extent of its injuries. That's the last hedgehog I've seen near my house.

My garden is wildlife-friendly with a meadow area, a pond, a native hedge and a border with late-season blooms but I've noticed a real dearth in insects this year. It's very worrying.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

Chris Preston
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Chris Preston » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:44 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:48 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:27 am
Martin Y wrote:
Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:15 pm
The thing that finally stopped slugs and snails from visiting one veg growing tub was winding bare copper wire around the tub halfway up. (Mrs Y has forbidden slug pellets lest poisoned slugs get eaten by birds.)
The "Organic" slug pellets made from ferric phosphate supposedly cause no harm to birds or other wildlife, or pets, or children. I use these and they are definitely effective.
I don't think ferric phosphate causes any harm to molluscs either. I've read that it is small amounts of ethylene diamine tetracectic acid (EDTA) - a powerful chelating agent - in them that actually kills your molluscs.

The trouble with them is that they are too soluble, and completely disappear during any moderately wet spell. Especially if you have any mollusc-asparagus (what I call any plant particularly attractive to molluscs), then any brief interval in protection during a wet spell and you can be done for. I regularly treated my toad lilies (Tricyrtis) this spring, but the snails managed to get in to completely eat them during brief intervals when the rain had done its job. And so I have no toad lilies, once again.

Unfortunately it appears that the old fashioned pellets which actually worked are unobtainable now. They sell blue ones that look like them, but they are just the ferric phosphate ones coloured blue.
Ferric phosphate baits can work well. It is all about the timing.

You need to get the baits out at the beginning of the breeding season when slugs and snails first start becoming active. That would be April/May for the UK. I bait in late April here (when slugs and snails first become active after the summer drought) even though there won't be much in my vegetable garden over winter. I bait a second time a couple of weeks before spring planting and that is all I have to do. The baits only last a few days, but enough to knock the population down sufficiently that they are not a problem. Put the baits in the vegetation and areas where the slugs and snails might be hiding as well as among the plants you want to keep. The baits do not attract slugs and snails, they consume them if they come across them, so you need enough bait points to achieve that.
Here grows much rhubarb.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:41 am

Another good example of the importance of timing in checking exponential growth :D
He has the grace of a swan, the wisdom of an owl, and the eye of an eagle—ladies and gentlemen, this man is for the birds!

bagpuss
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Re: Simple 'Gardening' Problem

Post by bagpuss » Fri Oct 15, 2021 8:18 am

Chris Preston wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:44 pm
IvanV wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 2:48 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:27 am


The "Organic" slug pellets made from ferric phosphate supposedly cause no harm to birds or other wildlife, or pets, or children. I use these and they are definitely effective.
I don't think ferric phosphate causes any harm to molluscs either. I've read that it is small amounts of ethylene diamine tetracectic acid (EDTA) - a powerful chelating agent - in them that actually kills your molluscs.

The trouble with them is that they are too soluble, and completely disappear during any moderately wet spell. Especially if you have any mollusc-asparagus (what I call any plant particularly attractive to molluscs), then any brief interval in protection during a wet spell and you can be done for. I regularly treated my toad lilies (Tricyrtis) this spring, but the snails managed to get in to completely eat them during brief intervals when the rain had done its job. And so I have no toad lilies, once again.

Unfortunately it appears that the old fashioned pellets which actually worked are unobtainable now. They sell blue ones that look like them, but they are just the ferric phosphate ones coloured blue.
Ferric phosphate baits can work well. It is all about the timing.

You need to get the baits out at the beginning of the breeding season when slugs and snails first start becoming active. That would be April/May for the UK. I bait in late April here (when slugs and snails first become active after the summer drought) even though there won't be much in my vegetable garden over winter. I bait a second time a couple of weeks before spring planting and that is all I have to do. The baits only last a few days, but enough to knock the population down sufficiently that they are not a problem. Put the baits in the vegetation and areas where the slugs and snails might be hiding as well as among the plants you want to keep. The baits do not attract slugs and snails, they consume them if they come across them, so you need enough bait points to achieve that.
I suspect that my approach of being liberal with the pellets to protect young plants is accidentally working in pretty much this way as I'm generally planting things out in late April or May. Makes perfect sense now you put it this way. I only spread them about in one or two areas of the garden, though, so I might try spreading in other areas too next year and see if that helps to keep the population down for later in the year as well, when I'm not so worried about my veg as the plants are usually big enough to survive, but it'll still help with things like marigolds or any other bedding plants I fancy popping in a few gaps here and there.

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