Ailing Sug

If there's one pest that every gardener loves to hate, it's a slug. Slugs can ruin tender young vegetables and beautiful flower gardens in just a few nights' feedings. But slimy slugs will drink themselves to death when you offer them this aromatic brew concocted by Carl Elliot, garden coordinator for Seattle Tilth's demonstration garden.

Any time is a good time to get rid of garden slugs, but Carl says to be especially vigilant in the fall. That way, there will be fewer slugs around in the spring, when your garden is brimming with the young, tender plants that slugs like best.

Ingredients and Supplies

I quart unpasteurized beer t tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon baking yeast Plastic milk jug or large glass jar 15 I-quart plastic yogurt containers

Directions

  1. Mix ingredients together in the milk jug or jar. If you re not sure whether the beer you have is unpasteurized, check the bottle label.
  2. Let the mixture sit in a warm (70°F) place for a few days, until you see bubbles form.
  3. While the mixture is brewing, make some of Carl's Seattle-style slug traps by cutting openings I inch high X 2 inches wide in the sides of the yogurt containers, as shown in the illustration at right.
  4. Pour the beery brew about Vx inch deep into the yogurt containers and replace the lids.
  5. Bury the yogurt containers around your garden so that the openings in the sides are about I/4 inch above the soil line.

Yi^lH- Fnnitoh brew to fill about ¡5 slug traps

Soil line

Soil line

Slug Trap With Yogurt Container

Slug

Opening above soil line

V unpasteurized beer

Slug

Opening above soil line

V unpasteurized beer

To make a slug trap, take a 1-quart yogurt container and cut entrance holes near the rim. Bury the container in your garden so that the holes are lA~ above the ground, pour in '■/{ of beer, then replace the lid.

Note: When setting the traps, make sure that the windows in the traps are just a little higher than ground level to keep ground beetles from falling in. Cround beetles eat slug eggs, so the more of them you have, the better. Empty, clean, and refill the traps every 3 days, Carl advises. "Slugs like fresh beer. They won't go in there if it smells like bacteria," he says.

Here's an inconspicuous beer-baited slug trap that's perfect for high-visibility flower beds. Save some 1 -liter soda bottles. Cut the bottles in half, and insert the top half of the bottle upside down into the bottom half. This will create a funnel effect. Pour V2 cup of beer into each funnel and sink the bottles partway into the soil. The slugs will crawl in and drown. To clean out the traps, remove the funnel part, and pour the contents of the traps on your compost pile. Then you can add fresh beer, put the funnels in place again, and put the traps back in the garden, %

A 1-liter plastic soda bottle makes a cheap, effective slug trap that practically disappears amid your flowers. Just add beer—a slug favorite—and watch the slimy pests slide down the funnel to meet their fate.

0 0

Post a comment