If you love to garden, there’s nothing better than browsing plant nurseries and garden centers in search of new plants. I found this red Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan) and I had to have it. I figured since the slugs don’t eat wild Black Eyed Susan’s, maybe they’d leave this alone as well. Now I’ve seen it bloom, I’ll be buying many more of these next spring. They are spectacular. The blooms on mine have lasted for almost two months now and still haven’t began to fade. Also, I’ve seen no sign of slugs near it.
As I’ve said before, I have to be careful what I choose to plant because of my ongoing slug problem. For some reason, this year the slugs weren’t as bad and they ate different things. Normally, my Hostas (both solid green and variegated) are eaten right to ground, but only a couple were nibbled at this year. I took out several and passed them along to friends and was planning to take out the rest, but since they weren’t being eaten, I left them. Slugs aren’t supposed to like Sedum, but this year they ate large holes in one and ate all the tips off, so it will only have one or two blooming stalks. And they were eating the leaves of one variety of my Japanese Iris. The birds, in trying to get the slugs, ripped those poor leaves to shreds.
I know many gardeners have slug problems as bad as I do and like me, you’ve read all the advice online about natural control methods. Most of which are useless unless you have only a normal amount of these slimy invaders. If I could get mine down to a normal amount where I have a few holes and nibbles, I’d let them be. But when I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on plants only to watch them disappear within a couple of weeks of planting, then my war on slugs will continue.
I’ve tried every method of control from A – Z except poisonous bait (which I prefer not to use). The best thing I’ve found to eliminate them is to go out early in the morning and sprinkle a little salt on every individual slug you can find. A long and tedius process (not so great for your plants either). For a repellent, the best thing I found is a hot pepper spray I made. I put a bunch of cayenne peppers in a kettle of water and boiled covered for ten minutes, drained the water, added more ‘cool’ water to the pepper water and put it in a spray bottle. Then in the evening I sprayed all the plants and the ground around them. This has to be repeated after it rains. It didn’t hurt my plants and it did a nice job keeping the slugs away. I didn’t follow a recipe for my pepper spray, but there are sites that offer precise instructions on making a pepper spray if you want to give it a try.