Results just in in from Operation Slug Patrol
- Slugs caught in beer traps – One*
- Slugs stopped in tracks by blue pellets – 10
- Slugs killed in the salty bucket of doom – 27
- Effect of coffee grounds – unproven but seems to be working
*Suspect he may have fallen in by accident
You’ll see that the slug eradication is a slow but sure process, but I’m determined they’re not going to get the better of me. The beer traps aren’t proving a huge success, but I rather suspect my slugs have a finer palate than I gave them credit for, and I may have to replace the super-cheap beer in them for something a tad more ale-like.
This week I decided to extend the veg plot, so out I went again with the rotavator, and another big chunk of the lawn came up. The area then had a good old rake over, and I removed any twitchy bits. A trip to the garden centre (I’m sure I must qualify for a loyalty card by now) produced trays of French beans, leeks, broccoli and cabbage. The beans went in around a wigwam of 4’ canes which I’m hoping that will be tall enough for them, as I honestly have no idea how big they’ll grow.
The leeks, broccoli and cabbage were popped in next, in neat little rows. Bonus point to self: I actually read the instructions and didn’t skimp on the planting distance. After a good water in, I scattered the obligatory slug pellets and coffee grounds around all their bases. Not wanting to speak too soon, but the damage so far has been minimal, and I’m hopeful they’ll survive and thrive.
The extra planting area is great, but since turning over all my new soil, I’ve come across another slight problem. The local cats now think my garden is their public toilet. They blatantly stroll in, dig a hole, do their business and saunter off again. Having had a yappy terrier in my old life, cats have never been an issue – in fact, I’ve never seen a cat actually in the garden. With no dog at the new pad, It would seem I’ll have to try other methods to dissuade them.
My friend gifted me a curry plant, which she hinted would be a great deterrent due to its strong aroma. Into a quiet corner of the garden it went and I felt a little smug to have stopped their little game. I kid you not, the very next day I spotted a cat crouching right beside it, brazenly squeezing one out, before casually flicking some soil over and strutting off home. Curry evidently is not the answer.
Building on the smell theory, I’ve since been sprinkling even more coffee grounds around any patches of newly dug soil, and touch wood, this actually seems to be working at the moment.
The veg garden smells like a branch of Costa (other coffee shops are available), but that’s massively preferable to the alternative aroma.