How to protect new shoots from slugs – Best ways to get rid of slugs and pests

Keeping slugs away from your precious plants can be a full-time job for gardeners. Unfortunately, slugs damage gardens all year round. As the first shoots of the spring are about to appear, here’s how to protect your new plants from slugs.

Slugs are most gardeners’ sworn enemy.

The greedy gastropods eat through plants and can decimate whole flowerbeds and vegetable patches ruining all your hard work.

As spring is round the corner, many of the bulbs and seeds sown last year will start to produce young shoots.

The last thing you want is for slugs to gobble up the new shoots before they have a chance to bloom.

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So how do you get rid of slugs?

Slugs are virtually everywhere, so sadly every gardener will have to accept some slug damage is inevitable.

Although slugs can be irritating, they are an important part of the ecosystem and biodiversity.

Slug-proofing your entire garden is impossible, but your most vulnerable plants, such as shoots and seedlings, will need some extra protection.

Biological control such as slug nematodes tend to work best when the temperature is slightly warmer, so other methods are more appropriate at this time of year.

You can use mesh netting to protect seedlings from any slugs.

Beer traps made of containers – such as jars or old takeaway boxes – can be planted alongside your plants to trap slugs.

Another more organic method is to use orange or grapefruit halves to create beer traps.

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Just cut the citrus fruit in half, scoop out the flesh, and plant it next to the shoots you’re worried about.

Fill the hollowed-out fruit with beer.

Slugs will be attracted to the tasty beer but will quickly drown in the liquid.

Otherwise, you may have to go out on nightly slug walks.

Slugs do most of their damage at night, so you can get out in your garden with a torch, gardening gloves and a bucket.

Patrol around your plants and when you see a slug preparing to feast on your flowerbeds, pick it up and sling it in the bucket.

You can then add the slugs to your compost heap, where they will help make a lovely fertiliser.

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