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Slug pellets used in National Trust properties

(23 Posts)
Aka Tue 08-Jul-14 19:00:17

AIBU to think that slug pellets have no place in a National Trust vegetable garden? Those very blue, very poisonous ones angry

After all I manage without them in my garden and allotment, because of the knock-on effect on hedgehogs and birds that then eat the slugs and due.

I thought the National Trust was better than this, but obviously mistaken.

Rethinking renewing my membership this year.

Ana Tue 08-Jul-14 19:05:00

Perhaps they were these ones? Doesn't say what colour they are, though...

Organic Slug Pellets

Aka Tue 08-Jul-14 19:25:44

I've emailed the NT Ana about this so await their reply, but they looked like the 'bad kind'. I'll be surprised, but delighted, if they say they're organic.

I'll order some of those on your link to see them as I feel very strongly about poisoning hedgehogs and birds just to save a few plants.

Ana Tue 08-Jul-14 19:28:26

Yes, I agree.

thatbags Tue 08-Jul-14 20:00:42

Ferrous phosphate is inorganic. The guff on ana's link says it is an organic compound. Hmm.

Ana Tue 08-Jul-14 20:04:45

I took their word for it, not being of a scientific bent. Can't trust anyone these days! hmm

Aka Tue 08-Jul-14 20:10:20

Think I'll pass on buying it if this report is true. Thanks for heads up Bags

I use nematodes which I hope is a natural slug controller and safe for other garden creatures. Unless that us others know better ????

Nelliemoser Tue 08-Jul-14 20:35:19

Well Iron and phosphates are used in many fertilizers, they are essential for plant growth and are present in many soils as part of natural weathering processes.

Saving a "few" plants from slugs and snails?
If I left them to it they would eat the bloody lot.

The organic pellets sound a good idea if the claims are true.

Aka Tue 08-Jul-14 20:48:36

You can't judge a compound from the sum of its elements Nellie. For example the element sodium is highly reactive and the element chlorine is very toxic. But combine them into sodium chloride and that is simply sodium chloride or salt.

Conversely combining iron and phosphate can produce something quite toxic .. If you click on the link.

durhamjen Tue 08-Jul-14 20:58:13

Those organic slug pellets are advertised in the organic gardening catalogue, and are safe to use around animals and children. They are blue.
I've used them before, and I do not like the idea of killing animals. However, most of my herbs have been stripped by slugs this year.
Haven't used them yet, but I might.
Last week I had to get the council round to dispose of a wasps nest in my roof. The neighbour told me about it, as he could see it from his kitchen window. Didn't like that idea, either, but I could not go out in my garden.

What I find worse is that the Woodland Trust use Roundup on their nurseries. Without using masks, either.

Aka Thu 10-Jul-14 08:38:13

Have you tried nematodes DJ?

As a follow up, the National Trust have been in touch and are going to investigate this.

I do have to say, in praise of the NT, that they offer great value for money, if, like us, you have several properties within easy reach. I always wonder why more grandparents don't make use of them when looking for somewhere to take the GC. Under 5s go free, good parking.

Ours love the outdoors and most properties have large areas to run free, lawns, woods, streams, gardens, picnic tables, etc. Granted the houses themselves tend to be viewed at breakneck speed so they can get outside again, but when we visit we often find we're the only ones with little ones. Can't understand it confused

Aka Thu 10-Jul-14 08:39:21

Great cakes too [cupcakes]

Aka Thu 10-Jul-14 08:39:42


rosesarered Thu 10-Jul-14 08:54:32

sorry AKA I ate the first cupcake [that's why there was no pic of it.]
I try not to use anything on slugs, but some years there do seem to be loads of them so DH uses beer traps [they die happy and blotto.]Your question about why grandparents [and parents actually] don't take their little ones to NT places is that so many people seem to think children only enjoy places like Alton Towers.Having 3 children in the past, and things being expensive, we had lots of walks, picnics, and a bit of culture thrown in [often free] museums and working life farms etc. The NT places we took them to they always enjoyed as well, so much outside space.Why do people think children don't like learning as fun? A simple picnic in the grounds of somewhere nice with space to play and run is great for children.

Marmight Thu 10-Jul-14 09:00:36

I'm using the blue ones - needs must. I only had my planters on the front doorstep for 12 hours, woke up and found the little b*****s had stripped the lot angry

vegasmags Thu 10-Jul-14 11:20:21

I also use beer traps, and I find that ale rather than beer or lager gives the best results. Why don't slugs and snails eat weed seedlings but always go for the plants you have lovingly nurtured?

annodomini Thu 10-Jul-14 12:06:35

I've always wondered that, vegas, but I suppose it's because they are distasteful to slugs and snails that they are weeds. Perhaps if slugs loved dandelions we would cultivate them as decorative plants. hmm

thatbags Thu 10-Jul-14 20:33:54

We use RoundUp on Japanese Knotweed. It's the only way to keep the bloody things under control. You can't dig them up or compost them.

We don't have a slug problem, thankfully. In Oxfordshire I used to go out in the evening with a pair of scissors and snip any I found in half. Bird food.

A botanist friend of mine used to flush them down the toilet. I bet they can swim hmm

merlotgran Thu 10-Jul-14 20:54:18

We use Roundup on docks and nettles where we are not growing vegetables. If we relied on digging them out by the time we finished we'd be back where we started.

annodomini Thu 10-Jul-14 21:30:08

Don't know about slugs, bags, but when I put a snail in a bucket of water, expecting it to drown, it climbed out. I salt them if I see them.

rosequartz Thu 10-Jul-14 21:37:22

I am going to have to get some roundup (perhaps the new gel) as we have bindweed, keeps cropping up in borders and strangling the plants. Can't dig it out without damaging the plant roots.

thatbags Thu 10-Jul-14 22:02:30

We had a lot of snails in our oxon garden. I used to tread on them. Song thrushes would then hoover them up.

Aka Fri 11-Jul-14 07:10:55

Here is an allotment-owner’s trick for making your own slug-killing nematode potion, using nothing more than a bucket, some weeds, tap water and the slugs from your own garden. If you are already used to killing slugs by drowning them in a bucket, you’ll find this method right up your street.

How to make your own slug killer
In any average garden some slugs will be carrying bacterial diseases or be infected by nematodes, but their low density means that they won’t devastate the rest of the population.
But, catch and confine the slugs and, if the disease or nematodes are present, you can concentrate these micro-predators and harness their natural slug-killing power.
Collect as many slugs as you can find. The best time to hunt for slugs is after dark. In the gloom, slugs become quite brazen and eat on top of leaves as opposed to holing up in cool, dark and damp places as by day.
If stumbling around with a torch is a bridge too far, look for slugs during the day in the drainage holes of pots, beneath stones and hunkered in long grass. If they evade your efforts, set traps. A classic that works brilliantly for hard-to-find small ground-dwelling slugs is to place the scooped out half-shells of grapefruits near the crowns of vulnerable plants.
Come dawn, the slugs make for the damp yellow domes, as they love to chew the pith inside. Slugs also make a beeline for cardboard. Lay a sheet on the ground among long grass.

Once you have caught around 10 to 20 slugs – the more you have the better it works – decant them into a bucket with an inch or so of water in the bottom for humidity and several handfuls of leaves to make an edible floating island for your catch.
With the slugs safely inside, place any firm cover over the top to seal them in. The bucket is the perfect environment for the nematodes and bacteria to breed. Nematodes spread in water, so check regularly, giving the slugs a stir with a stick. The idea isn’t to drown them but to keep them moist so the nematodes can hunt them out.

Top tip: This is cheating a bit, but you can use a bought pack of nematodes to “seed” the brew. Tap about a teaspoon of powder into the bucket to help it along

After a fortnight a high level of nematodes will have built up inside the bucket and the slugs will have died from infection. Now, you can dilute the brew: fill the bucket to the top from the tap and decant into a watering can fitted with a rose. Keep the sludge and leaves to start your next batch.

Water the sieved brew around vulnerable plants – the raised nematode population will seek out resident ground-dwelling slugs and see them off.
Like the shop-bought version, this slug killer gives up to six weeks of protection.