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Hostas and slugs

(75 Posts)
whitewave Sun 05-Apr-15 12:35:14

Does anyone grow these without too much lacing from slugs? I have just planted a row of Japanese Wood grass (can't spell the latin name off hand) and thought that hostas would look good behind it.

If you do what is your secret please?

pompa Sun 05-Apr-15 12:45:18

Frogs !!!. we have a small wild life pond, just 5ft x 3ft x 18" deep, which atm is full of frog spawn. We grow a lot of hostas and they have hardly any slug damage, frogs love slugs - aren't you glad you are not a frog.

whitewave Sun 05-Apr-15 12:50:27

pom we have a pond with frogs but also a terrier, who is out "frogging" as I write this. I can see them sat on the bottom of the pond looking at him, and he is squeaking and grizzling in frustration!

loopylou Sun 05-Apr-15 12:51:27

My frogs and toads can't keep up with the slugs and snails-we back on to woods so never ending warfare!

I used wool pellets last year with some success, plus judicial use of slug pellets. I've tried just about everything from copper bands to circling with fine grit, I'm now trying growing hostas in pots and stand them in water-filled trays.

So-called slug-proof hostas were devoured with relish tbuhmm

Good luck!

whitewave Sun 05-Apr-15 12:54:41

It is weird isn't it? Monty has hostas by his pond and they seemed OK. You also see wonderful hostas by expert growers, but us mere mortals seem to have so much difficulty.

pompa Sun 05-Apr-15 12:59:08

WE were troubled with giant Spanish slugs last year, beer traps worked well catching several per trap every night, I think they may have been too big for the frogs. We do have hundreds of frogs in the garden, even the greenhouse has some resident ones. They do jump out at you when weeding etc. and mowing the lawn early on is carnage on small frogs despite sweeping over it beforehand sad

loopylou Sun 05-Apr-15 13:01:04

Even growing hostas in bog garden by pond didn't help -makes me wonder how experts do it too whitewave. Possibly they employ an army of slug-pickers - I tried going out most evenings picking up as many as I could last year (record stands at 168 slugs and snails in one swoop), didn't seem to make a lot of difference!

pompa Sun 05-Apr-15 13:04:41

I wonder if the soil conditions make a difference, we garden on sand/gravel which is very well drained (not Ideal for Hostas, but they seem to cope), perhaps slugs to not like the dry conditions.

loopylou Sun 05-Apr-15 13:17:42

That's a good point pompa
The back garden's better soil than the front and North-west facing . The front garden's sandy/stonier and I get fewer slugs but more snails out the front which is sunnier.

Perhaps I should grow hostas there!

tanith Sun 05-Apr-15 13:57:03

I grow them in pots with a small gravel top coat.. it does keep them off but last year they would climb up my pots of Geranium and then somehow stretch across to grab a Hosta leaf and leaf frog over..grin they did last most of the Summer though.

granjura Sun 05-Apr-15 14:08:57

Large copper rings put around the base will help. And yes, pots with copper tape stuck all around.

Coolgran65 Sun 05-Apr-15 17:02:36

Thanks for heads up - I'm off to check my hostas smile

whitewave Sun 05-Apr-15 17:12:30

Well I've ordered "Sum and Substance" hoping the sheer size of it will defeat them!! Probably take one look at it and not believe their luck.

merlotgran Sun 05-Apr-15 17:29:53

Vaseline smeared around the rim of a pot helps as does baked eggshells, slightly crushed and scattered around the base of the plant. Doesn't look pretty but it works. You need large bits with sharp sides uppermost as then the slugs can't get across them.

Baking eggshells doesn't smell very nice but it's worth it.

janerowena Sun 05-Apr-15 20:03:13

I save our coffee grounds. I have to keep topping them up though. I save them all year and dry them in the oven, then keep them in jars until now. They give the hostas just enough time to come through until something tastier emerges. Bark chippings help a bit, and eggshells.

granjura Sun 05-Apr-15 20:14:50

Expensive, but for prize plants worth it - large copper rings from Harrods.

granjura Sun 05-Apr-15 20:16:01

pompa Sun 05-Apr-15 21:00:43

Trouble is, copper rings etc just move them elsewhere, need to kill the little buggers. Beer filled slug traps, effective and humane (what better way to go !)

Falconbird Mon 06-Apr-15 07:35:18

In my old house I had a tortoise who ate a lot of slugs. I couldn't put down slug pellets because a. I think they're cruel and b. the tortoise might have eaten them.

I managed to create a garden consisting entirely of plants that slugs don't eat, the few that managed to live were eaten by the tortoise which was a quick way to go. Miss that garden sad

AshTree Mon 06-Apr-15 09:06:21

Slug-picking, loopylou, seems the way to go. What do you do with your haul, though?

annodomini Mon 06-Apr-15 09:22:26

A garden of plants that slugs don't eat? Dandelions? Aromatic herbs seem to be distasteful to them. I have a very large hosta - bigger every year - that escapes the ravages of slugs. It has tall blue flower spikes. I wish all hostas were equally invulnerable. It was bought at a National Trust property when they were selling off plants that were surplus to requirements.

Falconbird Mon 06-Apr-15 10:12:46

I'll try and remember the list of plants that slugs won't eat but basically it's anything that's slightly pungent or as you say aromatic.

Interestingly the plants that the slugs wouldn't eat were the plants that the tortoise wouldn't eat.

Greyduster Mon 06-Apr-15 12:12:14

I grow host as in pots and in our last house, the only thing that kept the slugs off the pots was adhesive copper tape - they wouldn't cross it. We moved the pots to this house three years ago and we don't seem to see many slugs and snails here. I toyed with the idea of buying some copper rings to use in the flower beds but they seemed rather expensive and I am a terrible cheapskate, so I bought some thin copper sheet from a craft shop and made my own. You can cut it into strips with strong scissors and just cut a couple of notches to fit it together. Worked a treat!

Coolgran65 Mon 06-Apr-15 12:50:50

annodomini now you mention it, slugs don't bother with my biggest variation hosta. The leaves are a greeny-greyish and really tall and strong. The name escapes me... something to do with elephant comes to mind but I've had it so long.....

granjura Mon 06-Apr-15 15:52:04

Personally, I just do not want to fight with nature anymore- so if any plant cannot cope, I either use copper to protect them, or just don't grow it anymore. Mind you, when we had free range chickens as pets in the garden (6 of them and a little bantam cockerel) + lots of frogs, we never had moss in the lawn nor slugs. We have visiting badgers in our field to the North and East of the house, so I go slug 'picking' in Summer evenings, put them in a bucket and go and dump them on the badger path- they don't get a chance to come back.