This summer has seen very little rain for our gardens, we’ve drained out every drop in our rain barrels, until just recently when the skies began to open up and shower upon us the rain we’ve needed since May.
The slug problems for me were non-existent during this time, until just recently where the garden beds are damp from night-time showers. Luckily, my permaculture beds are draining the rain off as fast as it pours down and believe me this is a good thing.
But, and yes with me there are many of these…Slugs still march on in whether it be an army or just a few scattered here and there. One morning, while sipping my coffee I looked over at the sunflowers with 9 flower blooms on the two plants growing in harmony together ~ What did my eyes go and see?
The biggest Brown Slug I’ve ever seen and during the daylight hours too. This Friend or Foe slithered up the sunflower stalk and made its self comfortable on the pretty yellow petals of the flower. I raised my camera, closed one eye and clicked the shutter button.. I really didn’t want to get a good look at it. But, just for you I lightened up the picture in photo shop, since it turned out so dark ~ happens when you don’t wanna look at what you’re taking a picture of..
I’m certain you’re happy this picture turned out horrible with its blurry pixels ~ I know I was…But since the slug in my garden and I have to co-exist during gardening season I thought I would find something, anything, whats so ever about these Gastropod Mollusc (Slugs or snails) that I could live with on a rainy day. I won’t ever use poison to rid these creatures in my garden because what’s the use of growing your own food if you’re going to also poison yourself in the process…
So, after looking on the inter-webs for information that I really found hard to read, since these beasties really do creep me out. I decided to google funny images for a change of pace to lighten up my thought processes…
After looking at these two funny pictures I could feel my mood changing away from complete frustration over these pests in my garden eating the pretty yellow petals of my sunflowers I began to actually absorb the information about this topic. I already knew from experience the slugs find hostas plants as delightful as I find a nice lobster on my dinner plate, dipped in warm creamy butter.
So, why are they here I pondered…I know every single thing on this planet has a reason for being here, whether it’s for their beauty or because they are food for another predator. Did you know chickens adore these slimy critters, as do birds, toads, frogs, snakes, raccoons, etc the list was almost endless….
I wondered if I made a visit to City Hall and tried to convince them to allow me to raise just a couple of nice looking chickens within these city limits because I needed a way to rid the slugs devouring my lettuce leaves…. Would they accommodate my needs?
So, after giggling over that thought I remembered hearing something about Diatomaceous Earth to help with the critter problems in the garden.
Or, I could…
go and buy some beer at the beer store and try to drown them while they are feeling woozy and perhaps flirtatious with each other or servicing themselves… Did you know they are both male and female all wrapped into one slimy package? hum… too much information….
The link above will tell you all about Diatomaceous Earth
Perhaps, the hated slug will never become my friend and the same goes for it being a foe. These slimy creatures do play an important part and benefit us ecologically.
So, I’ll continue to keep all of my hostas plants far from the garden beds, hoping these creatures dine there instead, and if they do find my lettuce leaves heavenly ~ Well who am I to dictate where they will eat out….
But, for now the Diatomaceous Earth is going around my Sunflower Plants, as these are a private section for the owner of this little piece of earth for the time being that is.. we can merely just tend to the earth and then return it when we’re gone… Life is way too short for all of this frustration over slugs in my garden beds. Because I dined on home grown Beets, and Carrots this evening and not a single slug was invited…
One last thought on this slimy matter. Early on in the springtime the caravan of caterpillars marched right on in to the yard with all of their markings so pretty in the daylight. Oh there will be a butterfly and perhaps that one is going to be a Monarch, Arctic Skipper, or a Zebra Swallowtail.. Come on in and dine on all of the newly sprouted leaves on my bushes my endless legged friend, because one day very soon you’re going to magically turn into something of beauty. Here, you bright green crawling thing, take this plate of honeysuckle leaves and have some maple leaves too…
When pondering the differences between how I felt about the slimy slugs, and the caterpillars I noticed something. In the Spring, granted we in the north are so happy to be out from underneath the many feet (meters) of snow that we’re happy and almost delighted to watch the brightly colored caterpillars slowly, but with purpose crawl into our yards and gardens.
After a rain when the same occurrence happens and the slugs slide on in during the darkness of nightfall, we are ready to head outside after midnight with a mallet in one hand and a torch in the other to bang away at the shiny bits crawling around our plants. Granted these creatures are something that this old saying applies, “Only a mother could love.”
But, the animals that feast on these slugs and snails consider them to be a bounty for their palates. I can remember thinking not too long ago I wish I had snail problems instead of the shell less slug. At least I could admire the different markings on the shells of a snail, instead of being grossed out by the slugs. Hum…
Just because beauty is not the first thing you think about when looking at slugs in your garden I think if you really with both eyes looked at all of the different markings and colors on the many species you’d be almost amazed. Remember, just a few grains of salt can turn this ravenous jelly like creature into a pool of slime. We are the Ghost-busters of the slug world when we put on our holsters locked and loaded with SALT.
Until next time