Messages posted to thread:

Roberta16-Jun-03 03:19 PM EST 5   
16-Jun-03 03:24 PM EST   
WEndy16-Jun-03 03:28 PM EST 3a   
16-Jun-03 05:51 PM EST 6a   
Rocks17-Jun-03 06:45 AM EST 6b   
Brent17-Jun-03 11:31 AM EST 4b   
Dan19-Jun-03 05:24 PM EST 6   
DAVE20-Jun-03 05:48 PM EST   
20-Jun-03 11:07 PM EST   
Madeline20-Jun-03 11:12 PM EST 7b   
Shelley21-Jun-03 01:13 PM EST 6b   
kodi21-Jun-03 05:05 PM EST 5a   
jean dennery15-Jul-03 11:15 PM EST   
Dawn16-Jul-03 11:10 AM EST 3   
caca16-Jul-03 11:59 AM EST 7a   
Dawn16-Jul-03 10:18 PM EST 3   
Brent17-Jul-03 11:34 AM EST 4b   
Kodi27-Jul-03 05:34 PM EST 5b   
Donna27-Jul-03 11:45 PM EST 3a   
Joelle28-Jul-03 02:56 AM EST 3a   

Subject: Slug Fest (feast!)/hostas
From: Roberta
Zone: 5
Date: 16-Jun-03 03:19 PM EST

I definitely need to find out a way to stop the slugs from eating my hostas. The very wet spring has made this much more of a problem than ever before. I have about 60 different kinds of hostas ... so buying safers slug bait is not an option. I've done it twice this season already and I can't afford to keep at it. A relative in England says she uses 'sharp sand' which is available in garden centres there ... to surround her plants. Does anybody know what sharp sand is .. and where to buy it? Any other suggestions?

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
Date: 16-Jun-03 03:24 PM EST

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: WEndy
Zone: 3a
Date: 16-Jun-03 03:28 PM EST

Roberta the best thing that you can co is by a dozen eggs and have scrambled eggs. Take the shells and wash them off and then crumble them up and put them around the stems of the hosta. Slugs do not like crawling over the shells and will leave the hostas alone. Have a great gardening season.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
Zone: 6a
Date: 16-Jun-03 05:51 PM EST

Sharp sand is the kind created by rock crushing operations - the crushing leaves grains with sharp edges. This is the preferred kind of sand for making concrete. Beach sand is different in that the grains of sand are rounded because they are created by erosion by water.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Rocks
Zone: 6b
Date: 17-Jun-03 06:45 AM EST

I'd also read somewhere that coffee grounds can be used in the same way as sharp sand with the same effects. Good luck!

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Brent
Zone: 4b
Date: 17-Jun-03 11:31 AM EST

Ordinary table salt will, as you probably know, kill slugs. Unfortunately, it is also bad for your plants. I understand now there is a new salt that you scatter on the soil around your plants; it deters slugs and wont hurt your plants (Maybe Ferric Chloride?) I think I saw an item on it on 'Bugs 'n Blooms'. Also, I use cayenne pepper on my flower beds to deter rodents and cats, but I don't have any slugs on my hostas either. Maybe that would work for you! They also hate copper. I did an experiment with a handful of pennies. I found a slug and put a ring of pennies around it. It would slime up to the pennies, but would stop just a few millimeters away and veer off. It went around and around inside the ring, but wouldn't touch the pennies. Since, I have installed a copper wire around all my raised beds. Brent. (When I saw your message, at first I thought you meant your Hosta ATE slugs! I'd love to see that!)

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Dan (
Zone: 6
Date: 19-Jun-03 05:24 PM EST

Along the same lines as egg shells, we use zebra mussel shells. Every now and then we collect a small pail from the shores of Lake Ontario. They have usually begun to crumble and have relatively sharp edges. They are very effective.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: DAVE
Date: 20-Jun-03 05:48 PM EST

I had a real problem with slugs and tried egg shells combined with lots of hand picking but this gives only temporary relief and requires constant attention. By luck, four years ago, we put in a pond and toads quickly came to mate, producing lots of tadpoles that then turn into more toads. Their main diet is slugs. On top of requiring no effort on my part, the toads do an excellent job of controlling the slugs.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
Date: 20-Jun-03 11:07 PM EST

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Madeline
Zone: 7b
Date: 20-Jun-03 11:12 PM EST

Trust me, used coffee grounds does the trick. I have been plagued with slugs forever and when I started the coffee grounds that was IT,no more slugs .Hope it works for you!

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Shelley
Zone: 6b
Date: 21-Jun-03 01:13 PM EST

I think the sharp sand that you are talking about is called "diatomaceous earth" and you can buy it at garden centres. I have tried it and it does work, but like eggshells and anything else, it does need to be "refreshed" regularly.

Do you think that using coffee grounds on a regular basis would eventually make the soil too acid and therefore affect the hostas?

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: kodi
Zone: 5a
Date: 21-Jun-03 05:05 PM EST

Madeline, HOw often do you have to put down the coffee grinds? and how many? Do you spread them around the stems or all around the area? I'd love to get rid of the slugs... yuk! Thanks for any help.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: jean dennery (
Date: 15-Jul-03 11:15 PM EST

please tell the proportion of AMMONIA house cleaner to kill slugs safely from Hosta

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Dawn
Zone: 3
Date: 16-Jul-03 11:10 AM EST

The mixture I used was 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. I also left the dead slugs as it seemed to attract the others....made for easier spraying.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: caca
Zone: 7a
Date: 16-Jul-03 11:59 AM EST

Please don't use ammonia or any other toxic thing in our environment. Remember that by using things like that you will also kill the "good" bugs along with the "bad". I would use several methods - beer in containers and hand-picking each night. Regarding acidity and coffee hostas thrive in acidic soil anyway, don't they? Also, if you ever move remember that you have the option to plant hosta varieties that are resistant to slugs in the future.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Dawn
Zone: 3
Date: 16-Jul-03 10:18 PM EST

Caca, please explain!!!! As far as I knew ammonia wasn't "toxic". It contains nitrogen which is beneficial to plants. The ammonia & water combo is sprayed onto the slugs. Basically, instead of hand picking you are hand spraying. It's not like the mixture is left out to harm the "good" bugs. If I've missed something please provide the info.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Brent
Zone: 4b
Date: 17-Jul-03 11:34 AM EST

Hi Dawn:

The fact is that ammonia is indeed a naturally occurring compound containing nitrogen and hydrogen (NH3) and is a result of the famous 'nitrogen fixation'. It's found in high concentrations in seagull droppings, for example, and is used to make fertilizers. Of course, overloading on any chemical can be toxic, whether it's "Natural/Organic" or synthetic. And ammonia is very toxic in high doses. At 300 ppm it can kill you, but fortunately it smells bad at 20 ppm. At the concentrations you're using to kill slugs, it's not likely to create any problems. If you were a beneficial bug, and you smelled ammonia, would YOU eat it?

This brings up what could end up as a big discussion, though. Labelling something as "Natural/Organic"(GOOD) or "Synthetic/Aritificial"(BAD) CAN be misleading. It could even lead one to fail to use due caution. After all, many dangerous substances are naturally occurring (mycotoxins, alkaloids, nicotine), and some synthesized substances can be beneficial. We can't assume that just because something is organic in origin, it's better, or even safe.

Regards, Brent.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Kodi
Zone: 5b
Date: 27-Jul-03 05:34 PM EST

I've just about had it with the slugs and am ready to pull out my Hosta at the end of the season. As far as hand picking the slugs, I jsut can't do it. YUK. Has any one had luck with the coffee grinds and how often do you put them down? Also what varieties of Hostas are slug resistent? I'd love to know.

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Donna
Zone: 3a
Date: 27-Jul-03 11:45 PM EST

Now I am going to jump in here and tell you that I have tried all of the above...over the many years of gardening and the only thing I have tried that has worked is ammonia.

I fill a spray bottle with one part ammonia to ten parts of water, then adjust the spray so it is a thin spray and spray slugs only.

I find that by mulching my soil I tend to have many slugs and yes they love hostas in my garden as well as a lot of other plants.

As long as I can keep the numbers down I am happy - but I sure would love either a heghog or a couple of ducks!

Subject: RE: hosta eating slugs
From: Joelle
Zone: 3a
Date: 28-Jul-03 02:56 AM EST

I totally have to agree, I do the ammonia thing too, Egg shells and coffee grounds are so labour intesive and if your garden has hundreds of plants you would be there all day. The only thing I have to add is to go out at dusk or night time(with flashlight)and spray away. They will be easy to see on the leaves. I HATE SLUGS!!!! They are destroying my Dahlias!

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