There is nothing more frustrating than planting a garden and having it ravaged by pests. Several weeks ago, I noticed that my strawberries were beginning to ripen. I was so excited to pick my first strawberries of the season, until I examined them closely and noticed that the slugs had beat me to them. Have you ever wondered how to get rid of slugs? Several years ago the slugs were feasting on my tomatoes and I decided to put eggshells in my garden. It’s a simple but very effective way to control slugs.
Slugs are night feeders, so you may never actually see them. All you’ll see of them in the morning is their havoc – bean and lettuce leaves with holes in them, and perfectly ripened strawberries riddled with deep tunnels.
How to Get Rid of Slugs
Slugs can really wreak havoc in a garden. They seem to have a never-ending appetite.
Slugs and snails are part of the mollusk family, and the only real difference between the two is that snails have shells and slugs don’t.
And if you have one of the two species, you usually have the other, since they both enjoy the same environments. We have not seen snails in our yard, but the slugs can really be a nuisance.
Their bodies are soft, moist and covered with slime to protect them from drying out and dying.
Like all animals, even slugs have their place. In the wild, they help compost soil. You just don’t need that many of them “helping” you in your garden.
Should You Kill Slugs?
In my opinion, it is not necessary to kill slugs. There are rational ways to deal with the pests. You do not need to fight them directly. It is easy enough to ward them off passively; for example, with barriers against slugs and snails.
Slugs are very important. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, earthworms, insects and they are part of the natural balance. Upseting that balance by removing them and we can do a lot of harm.
Eggshells in the Garden
Our favorite way of how to get rid of slugs is to add eggshells in the garden. Each time you crack an egg open, instead of tossing the shell into the trash, drop it into a container. As the shells fill the container, I simply push down on them to crush them and make more room. Once the container is full, you are ready to use those eggshells in the garden.
I have been concerned about bacteria that may be on the shells, so I bake my shells before adding them to the garden. Now, there are may people who don’t worry about sanitizing them, but it makes me feel better. To sanitize, place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350°.
Crush the shells into small bits, just use a rolling pin or wooden spoon.
Sprinkle the crushed shells around the base of your plants. The sharp eggshells are said to deter slugs and other soft-bodied bugs from feasting on your garden.
Side note: Strawberry plants grow well with the addition of natural potassium from the eggshells.
Do eggshells help in the garden? Absolutely! Using eggshells in the garden can boost your garden’s productivity — and it won’t cost a dime! Eggshells are a free byproduct of cooking in most households. Instead of tossing them in the trash, use eggshells to improve your garden soil and to deter pests.
Using Eggshells to Improve Your Soil
Eggshells add calcium to the soil. Tomato plants love the addition of calcium to the soil.
Add a small scoop of finely ground eggshells directly to individual planting holes when you’re planting your garden.
To finely grind the eggshells, place them in a blender.
Add Eggshells to Your Compost
Can eggshells go in compost? Absolutely! Adding eggshells to your compost will boost the mineral content.
Eggshells that are crushed will break down fairly quickly, but you can still use the compost in your garden even if the shells are still intact.
This method of eggshells in the garden works wonders. It has taken care of my dilemma of how to get rid of slugs in my strawberries.
This week I was able to go out into my garden and harvest big, juicy strawberries without being half eaten by slugs.
Do you struggle with slugs or snails in your garden? What have you used to control these pests?
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