Problem-Solving during growing season forum: Slugs

 
Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3

Views: 46, Replies: 42 » Jump to the end
Imageteddahlia
Feb 9, 2020 11:47 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I have been reading up on advances in controlling slugs. In our garden before we got the gophers and voles, slugs were public enemy number one. In other countries in the world, organic growers can use slug killing nematodes to annihilate them for 6 weeks per application. It is a powder looking product mixed with water and applied to the soil where slugs will crawl through on the way to their dahlia meal. The USA is not allowing it "until it has been proven safe".

One product I saw on the internet, is a "gel" that has very high concentration of sodium chloride(table salt). Slugs crawl over it and get a lethal dose of salt. A home remedy in the old days was a salt shaker but it sounds like a gruesome, tedious activity. A salty gel sounds more practical.

I am still going to use Deadline(and they make generic versions too). I like the idea that it is very targeted and I use very little of it to control them. Yes, it is a Metaldehyde, an old fashioned product but I use so little of it that I am not impacting the environment much if any at all. By the way, they say that it does not affect earthworms at all.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
addicted
Feb 12, 2020 8:20 PM CST
Name: Em
NY
I use Deadline too. I only need it a couple of times during the season.
Em in NY
Dahlias -- the gift that keeps on giving!
ImageIslander
Feb 12, 2020 8:48 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I still prefer "death by duck" for slugs. My husband told me a few days ago he didn't want to have ducks here. We discussed it and we are going to have ducks, but not as many and we will make their house tall enough so one can stand up to clean it out. (If we can find ducklings of the Ancona breed which is what we had before we moved. The place we originally got our Anconas from no longer exists. Anconas are a rare breed. One hatchery says it has black and white Anconas. One is NOT supposed to separate them out by color because the nice mix of possible colors is part of the breed. Other online sources have them for mail order from Maine or MInnesota. It seems ridiculous to ship them from Maine or MInnesota to get them to Oregon. I am hoping I can find ducklings within an hours drive. We have a creek for the ducks to play in and bath in. That will cut the work load in half for duck care. I think the same precautions we used on the Island to keep them safe from predators will work here. I.e. shutting them into a secure enclosure at dusk. The nice part about using ducks for slug control is that they keep the slug population down to where there are fewer slugs laying eggs around the garden...and they patrol it all winter. That gives a shot time when the dahlias are coming up that the ducks can be banned from the garden without the slug population getting crazy.
Salish Dahlias
ImagePNWGal
Feb 12, 2020 8:53 PM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
Adding salt to garden soil seems in general a bad idea.

One person at our meeting last night talked about using slug bait when planting by putting some on & around the head of the tuber before burying it. It would be right there where the slugs would have to go through it to get to those tasty sprouts, and it wouldn't be out where pets could get into it.
ImagePNWGal
Feb 12, 2020 8:55 PM CST
Name: Linda
Portland OR, zone 8b
I suppose you wouldn't want your ducks eating poisoned slugs, so no using any bait then.
ImageIslander
Feb 12, 2020 11:09 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Right. In emergencies I use my ammonia/water spray on the slugs. Putting out started plants is when I usually do that. The ammonia water works so well, but needs re-treating every day or two and more often if it rains. It can give a plant that little extra protection when it is getting established though. Once the ducks have been on a patch for a while they eliminate the slug residents and thus their eggs also and patrol the perimeter for invaders.
Salish Dahlias
dahlia53
Jul 16, 2021 7:58 AM CST
WA
One problem with deadline is that it kills the good ground beetles that may ingest baby slugs poisoned with it. But yes, I have to use it or my dahlias and many other plants (annuals such as marigolds and salvias), and my echinaceas and agastaches, would be gobbled up by the many imported slugs (and snails) here. It's an endless battle with them.

i had heard that spraying ammonia water is effective too. we have far too many predators for me to risk having ducks and watching them get picked off.
ImageIslander
Jul 16, 2021 3:44 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
The fence around our garden is just about ready to admit my 3 ducks to the garden. They should be safe from everything but flying predators. That will be a worry though we have done everything we can to protect them short of covering over the whole top of the garden. I have seen far fewer slugs here then we had on the island in Washington. I do get some holes in leaves but am not sure what made them as I don't see any evidence of the culprit other then the holes. So far, no plants eaten down to earth level like I have seen slugs do. I am hoping that what ever makes the holes is delicious to ducks.
Salish Dahlias
SteveM
Jul 16, 2021 8:51 PM CST
Name: Steve
San Diego
Commercial cut flower grower
Noni, do you have raccoons around there? I built a fence around my chickens to keep the coyotes out (8' tall) because I was getting tired of herding all the chickens into the barn every night. A raccoon climbed over the fence and mutilated my whole flock of chickens. I had chicken parts everywhere. Raccoons are really mean and hard on chickens and kittens.
ImageIslander
Jul 16, 2021 9:23 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Steve, I have not seen them but I believe the raccoons are EVERYWHERE. We had to protect our birds from them on the Island so yes, I am used to living with them. Poultry goes into their secure lock ups at dusk or before each night. or and stays there until we are up and about in the daytime. Our critter fence is I think 8' tall. With dogs around we did not have trouble with them in the day time but evening is tricky . If we go out and might be late we shut the birds into their secure homes before we leave.

My neighbors here lost one of their ducks to probably a raptor. We will just have to see how it works out. My old Gordon Setter is a bird dog through and through and will watch and warn if there is a raptor attacking...but my poor girl is old and nearly blind now. I haven't seen the young Boykin get upset about birds yet. I wish dear old Josephine would do a bit of tutoring....
Salish Dahlias
Imageblown_dry
Jul 19, 2021 2:01 PM CST
Name: Amanda
CA Redwood Coast - Zone 9b
DahliaAddict.com
I once read a suggestion about raccoon proofing that seemed genius in its simplicity. Before adding fowl, put an open can of cat/dog food in any enclosure that is hoped to protect poultry to see if it remains unmolested overnight.
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Aug 6, 2021 12:17 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
We had rain here overnight and in the morning. I went slug hunting. I slaughtered 110 big fat slugs, a few of which I caught in the act of depredation.
ImageAndreaB
Aug 6, 2021 3:26 PM CST
Name: Andrea
SE Michigan
LoveOverGoldd wrote:We had rain here overnight and in the morning. I went slug hunting. I slaughtered 110 big fat slugs, a few of which I caught in the act of depredation.


That’s a lot of slugs.
They killed 2 of my dahlias, but I’m fortunate (and grateful) they stopped at two.
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jun 24, 2022 8:20 AM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
Has anyone had my experience of slugs attacking specific varieties in particular? I have four different pots of Taratahi Ruby, and every single pot was eaten down to nubs by the slugs. The plants have recovered now, but I did find it interesting that the slugs chose those plants over any other variety.

There's a few other varieties which seem to be more attractive to slugs than others, but the Taratahi Ruby plants were hit hard.
Imageteddahlia
Jun 24, 2022 9:53 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Baby slugs cause much of the damage and a batch probably hatched near your T Ruby plants.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jun 24, 2022 7:16 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
The pots were all in different places. Literally 20 feet apart from each other and with several other varieties in between.

[Last edited Jun 24, 2022 7:19 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1399900 (16)
Imageblown_dry
Jun 24, 2022 10:00 PM CST
Name: Amanda
CA Redwood Coast - Zone 9b
DahliaAddict.com
I can believe that those plants have less of what repels slugs than other plants. And no dahlia has enough.
Imageteddahlia
Jun 25, 2022 9:18 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
When dahlia plants reach about 18 inches tall, they generally do not get much slug damage. For many years, we used Deadline and it works well and very little of the product is used and only one or two applications did the job.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageLoveOverGoldd
Jun 25, 2022 12:20 PM CST
Name: Em
Southeast King County, Washing
teddahlia wrote:When dahlia plants reach about 18 inches tall, they generally do not get much slug damage. For many years, we used Deadline and it works well and very little of the product is used and only one or two applications did the job.


Deadline was discontinued around 2020 and is no longer available.

Imageteddahlia
Jun 25, 2022 1:28 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
We switched to commercial slug pellets a couple of years ago.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.

Page 1 of 3 • 1 2 3

« Back to the top
« Cubits.org homepage
« Growing Dahlias: cubit homepage
« Problem-Solving during growing season forum

You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Growing Dahlias:

A place to learn about dahlias, and a vibrant community of dahlia growers to ask, share and enjoy.

» Home
» Forums
» Articles
» Store
» Database
» FAQ
» Links

Cubit owner: Poochella

Admin team:

The Discussion Dahlia

'Unrecognized Form' Dahlias
Thumb of 2015-12-15/CCvacation/d189da
Click here to discuss the current dahlia flavor of the season!

Discussion of previous dahlias can be found here.