Slugs and Border Plants - Knowledgebase Question

Orem, UT
Question by DCMANNING
March 1, 1998
I planted 500 red Petunias as a border around all my flower beds last year. They were gorgeous! However, the Slugs thought they were delicious! I spent 10 weeks sprinkling diatomaceous earth and oat bran and slug bait. By the end of the summer I could find very few anywhere. This year I'll start early with the deterents. What can you suggest as a border plant that they won't be attracted to? Perhaps red or orange or yellow.


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Answer from NGA
March 1, 1998

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The list of plants I have that are supposedly resistant to slug attack (or at least aren't their preferred food) unfortunately doesn't include any bedding plants. It does, however, list basil, poppies, and sunflowers. I wonder how a mix of these plants--say, an ornamental purple basil interspersed with dwarf sunflowers and bright poppies might look in your garden. It wouldn't give you that formal look, but I always figure it's a good idea to plant a variety of plants rather than all one kind, in case a disease or insect partial to one of the plants comes along.

The best barrier I've found for slugs is placing a copper strip around the bed/plants that are most effected. Obviously, you have to remove all the slugs inside the barrier, but once you do, the slugs outside get a shock everytime the try to climb over the barrier, and thus are
prevented from getting at your plants. These copper barriers are available from, Gardener's Supply Company 128 Intervale Rd. Burlington, VT 05401 800-863-1700

There's also a product called "Slug-Out" which comes in flake form. You spread it around the plants, much as you do diatomaceous earth, but you don't need to reapply it so often. It is available from Garden's Alive, ph# 812-537-5108

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