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here I am again

Dordogne, France Fr

Right. I have successfully grown many veg from seed, including, cucumber, climbing french beans, sweetcorn and cabbages. These are now planted in my 4raised beds outdoors- average daytine temperature 18C and night time temp. 13C.We have had plenty of rainfall and very sunny days. I have also got growing carrots, parsnips, sprouts, cauli, onions and garlic, some potatoes, peas, mange toute and purple boccoli. How though can I stay organic and keep mice, moles, bugs and slugs from eating stuff in the night. We have some toads around and a couple of hedgehogs but this morning I just have cucumber stalks, only half the french beans are left and the others have holey leaves. The cauliflowers are just stalks and the cabbages and lettuces are sadly depleted. Everything looks as if they're struggling to grow. We have been out and picked big fat orange slugs off by hand- well trowel- we have scattered coffee grounds- egg shells and made beer traps- all to no avail. My french neighbour has slug pellets all over his veg and he has sprayed with insecticide so obviusly all the starving bugs are heading our way. Help I am reluctant to resort to slug pellets and sprays but what more can I do. I have nasturtiams spread among the veg but I am rapidly becoming totally despondent after all my hard work my veg looks a sorry mess. Also have two apple trees- a cox's orange pippin and a brambly cooker- now 1and a half metre high- not one flower blossom this year and the bramley has curly leaves with eggs inside which I have pulled off and burnt. Short of giving up what can I do Thanks! Hope you are all gardening away



it sounds terrible, such a shame after all your hard work.
Please dont give up, youve come so far it would be a shame to let these little rascals beat you.

Its awful but I use salt around my veggies and plants. unfortunatly they have a nasty end but it works

all the best

x x x

14 May, 2009


What a bummer... no idea what to suggest other than what you are already doing - perhaps you do need to use slug pellets for this year?

I really hope you manage to get some veggies to grow despite the slugs depredations!

14 May, 2009


It sounds disasterous, but bearing in mind your temprature drop at night time, it is still early for some things. It sounds to me as though you have particularly starving slugs or could it not be a rabbit eating all your lettuce and cabbages? Seeing as you have raised beds why not try putting a fleece or plastic covering on them over night to controle the warmth a little and make it wild life proof, until they get a little stronger. Just put some bamboo shoots or branches like pea sticks laying down accross the bed to support the covering, forming a clotch. You could put slug pellets all around the edge of your raised bed to hinder the crawling variety and also a layer of course sand on the beds especially around the stems. That does hinder the ones already in residence! Apart from calling in the army!!! I don't know what else to suggest.

15 May, 2009


Thelme8's suggestion of a cover sounds good. We got a very fine "floating" row cover this year and I have been very impressed with the results. It keeps the temp a couple of degrees up but allows 90% of light and water thru.
Copper strips on the raised beds might help with slugs/snails. Have never tried it myself but understand it does work. An iron phosphate slug bait is now available(not toxic to animals(pets), one brand is Sluggo. Which I have used and it works fairly well.

15 May, 2009


Ducks are good for pests and don't scratch like chickens. Pigeons may be eating the cabbages and other veg. We have just started to use mini flowerpots dangling on long strings suspended from thin canes pushed into the ground at about 45 degrees. CDs also work but don't look so attractive. With slug pellets less is better as they actually attract the slug in order to kill it. Don't give up.

15 May, 2009


Bonjour Frenchgardener. I am sorry to hear you are having trouble wih your neighbours' pests. I don't usually use chemicals of any description in my garden as we have 3 cats and 2 fishponds. However, I also have a major slug/snail problem so I have had to resort to slug pellets. They have worked a treat. The cats do not frequent the areas on which I have used the pellets and the slug/snail problem seems to be under control at the moment. We have had a bit of rain over the last couple of days and this has made a few snails come out for a wander round the garden to explore what free food is on offer to them. Crunch....I stepped on a few as I came in from work yesterday, then as I wandered around the garden in the evening I saw about 6 all lined up on top of the fence - I was hoping they were making their way into my neighbours garden, LOL. Try some pellets if you can, don't worry too much about being organic to the extreme, sometimes even our best intentions need a little assistance. It would be a real shame to give up now after you have put all that time and effort into your garden already.

15 May, 2009


P.S - the copper slug tape also works wonders!

15 May, 2009

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