Hostas forum: Cure for slugs.

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Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Jun 25, 2015 6:00 PM CST
I don't know how many of you have a slug problem. Some years they seem to keep popping up all through the growing season. Here is a tip to stop them from munching the Hosta foliage. Put some diatomaceous earth in a shacker can ( like you use for sprinkling sugar on cookies) and lightly dust the soil around your new Hosta sprouts. This is a cure from slug damage because they won't crawl over anything that will cut their bodies. Diatomaceous earth is the cure and yes it is the same stuff you use for pools or feed to horses to cure them of worm. You can buy it at most farm supply stores or your pool center. Best part it will do no harm to wildlife life.
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Jun 28, 2015 5:54 AM CST
But you have to reapply every time it rains.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Jun 28, 2015 1:46 PM CST
No it stays on the soil. It really isn't a powder like we think it is finely ground coral and sea life that for the slugs feels like crawling over tiny slivers of glass. I only use it in the spring. Maybe they go over to the neighbors for lunch and snacks.
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Jun 29, 2015 1:26 PM CST
I've tried it in the past - quite a few years ago and at that time it had to be reapplied. Maybe it has changed since then.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 29, 2015 2:25 PM CST
Does need to be replied after every rain event according to this.
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/diatomaceous-earth-effective-af...
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Jun 30, 2015 11:16 AM CST
Thanks for the info.
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Jul 12, 2015 4:32 PM CST
It also works well to douse the garden with 1 part ammonia : 10 parts water. Used just before the plants emerge, it will kill hiding slugs as well as destroy slug eggs. Later in the season, I spray in the evening if I see slugs.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Jul 17, 2015 9:09 PM CST
I'm going to try the ammonia/water next spring. I have a terrible problem this year with slugs. At least I think it's slugs. Loads of very tiny holes in the hosta leaves.

A couple quick questions:

Should I be cutting the hosta leaves back later in the fall?

Do you think it would be a good idea to rake the old mulch and replace it with new? What's there now simply built up stuff that has dropped off of the gigantic cedar tree that they are planted under. I figured it would be good mulch as it seems to be something that the slugs would not like to crawl around in.

This picture is from two years ago when there didn't seem to be a problem, but you can get an idea of what is there for mulch.
Thumb of 2015-07-18/petruske/8dceee

Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Jul 25, 2015 7:41 AM CST
I find these 'tips' for using things with sharp edges like broken eggshells, sand, coarse grit etc to be absolutely bullsh**, no offence. Because when you think about it, the slime is an adaptation that allows slugs and snails to crawl over sharp things. It creates a layer to glide over and at the same time acts as a barrier to prevent wounding.

Besides, tests have shown that snails and slugs have no trouble crawling over razor blades. I'd go for some biological chemical like in pellets or garlic spray.
Name: MstrPBK
ST. Paul, MN USA (Zone 4a)
I got the slugs out of my garden!
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MstrPBK
Jul 29, 2015 11:15 PM CST
Here's the scoop on slugs;

1) They are hermaphrodites. They have the sex organs of BOTH male and females. If you miss even one slug your still gonna be in trouble.

2) MY trick with slugs is a 1:11 solution of Ammonia : Water. I apply it ONCE a month during the growing season of my hosta. I have NO Slugs! Apply the solution into the eyes of the hosta and around the base of the plants. My rate of application is 1 cup per 1 foot of diameter of hosta. I use almost a half gallon on my Sum and Substance. Since the ratio level is safe I can be generous with how much I can give.
NOTE: too much ammonia WILL cause ammonia burn. Your plants will be ok, but they won't like you for it.

3) What I have read about slugs is that they have a single season life span; with egg laying in the spring(?). What you don't kill in one application you'll get in a successive application later. Be diligent and persistent.

Peter Kelley
St. Paul, MN USA
Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
Region: United States of America Region: Northeast US Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers Miniature Gardening Herbs
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Bee Lover Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Frogs and Toads Hummingbirder
treehugger
Aug 2, 2015 5:58 AM CST
Cool info.
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Aug 3, 2015 8:56 AM CST
The ammonia works. The BEST time to apply is just before the hostas fully emerge as you will, at that time, also destroy slug eggs. I have a sprayer full of the solution and make late evening trips out to the gardens in August. Don't forget other places where the slugs like to hide - they aren't only under your hostas.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Mika
Oxfordshire, England and Mento
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Daylilies Irises Roses Hostas
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cliftoncat
Aug 11, 2015 3:39 AM CST
We love hostas and used to grow them mostly in pots with copper strips around the pot to keep out the slugs - but last year we discovered a product called 'Strulch', which is a mineralised mulch made of wheat straw. Slugs hate it. We now have a big bank of hostas in a semi-wooded part of the garden, plus hostas in the ground in several other places, and not one iota of slug damage. An application of strulch is supposed to last for two years (we won't know if it does until next Spring). I don't know if a similar product is made in the US - here's a link to the English one: http://www.strulch.co.uk
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Aug 12, 2015 5:49 PM CST
I WILL try the ammonia in the spring. I like the sound of this more than trying to find the right thing that they MAY not cross. Thanks to all!!!!
Name: Lin Jarvis
Peterborough, ON, CANADA (Zone 5a)
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Sedums Region: Canadian Irises Hostas Heucheras
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linjarvis
Aug 26, 2015 7:46 PM CST
I live in Canada, and I buy rolls of Copper netting from a company called Lee Valley - instore or online at leevalley.com. I cut a strip of the netting long enough to go on the ground around the Hosta stems coming out of the ground. I seldom have a problem with slugs using the copper netting. I've been told the copper burns the bellies of the slugs and therefore deters them. Come spring, the netting is a bit ratty but I've had the same pieces out for several years. I simply resettle it around the stems each spring. If they move around too much because of wind before the plant is big enough to prevent this, I will often stick a piece of a stick into it into the ground anchoring it. I've learned to be sure to get totally outside the area the plant is popping up through or you will end up with leaves that have stretched the mesh getting through it and deforming the leaf which defeats the purpose of using it - we all want nice looking leaves. These pics were taken Aug 20 after almost a full summer season:




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Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Image
ViolaAnn
Aug 28, 2015 4:20 PM CST
Lin - I'm in Ottawa and I've also used the Lee Valley copper mesh and I think it helps.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Kevin Smith
INDIANA (Zone 5b)
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kssmith
Sep 3, 2015 4:57 PM CST
Lin, nice photos. Never thought of growing hosta in a window pot. My first love are daylilys but have many hostas also because i love the different foilage and how huge they can get.
SO MANY DAYLILYS, SO LITTLE LAND

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