Organic Slug Control

February 19, 2016

Finding a truly organic slug control product or homemade slug bait that really works can be tough — especially in Seattle where it rains so much. Until now, many “safe” slug control products and “natural” home remedies simply didn’t hold up well in the rain. And, slugs thrive in our damp, relatively warm weather. So, what’s a gardener to do?

Slug-free lily flower

These lilies were protected from slugs by Slug Gone & looked great from stem to bloom!

Most pelleted “pet safe” products melt quick in the wet, so if you aren’t re-applying the stuff after every soggy day, the slugs will make a meal of your lilies, veggies and hostas before you know it. Beer-filled cups will lure in these gastropods to their death for a while, but it doesn’t take much rain to dilute the beer to the point where it’s no longer a viable death trap for those slimers. Plus, putting down these products actually lures these unwanted pests toward your garden – not ideal!

Wouldn’t you rather use something that lasts through the rain and repels rather than attracts slugs?

Slug Gone in Garden

Encircle your plants that slugs love to munch with organic slug control Slug Gone, water it in so the pellets form a felted wool mat & let it repel those slimy pests while further benefiting your garden!

In 2015 Garden Mentors was offered free samples of a Slug Gone to trial in our soggy, slug-filled Seattle gardens. We were not paid or otherwise compensated to try these free samples. However, we have been so impressed with this natural byproduct of the wool industry that we’re featuring it in our 2016 Northwest Flower & Garden Show seminar Best Tools for Your Garden Shed and offering it through our store now! (Psst! If you’re one of the first to arrive at our NW Flower & Garden Show seminar on 2/19/16 on the DIY stage, you might win a free sample of this slug repellent or other gardening products we love for your garden shed!)



(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)

This product is new to the United States, but here’s what the supplier told us about it when he shipped out trial samples and what we found in relation to these claims during our trial period.

Supplier statement: Slug Gone is completely natural product made from 100% waste wool, a by-product of the wool-scouring industry in England. Slug Gone has achieved Soil Association approval in the UK, permitting it’s use in organic food production in the European Union.
What we found: This stuff definitely smells like a sheep, but that’s not surprising since this is a waste byproduct of the wool industry. If you don’t mind a slight barnyard smell, this won’t be off-putting. Our border collie really liked the smell and took a couple of nibbles, but soon she wasn’t interested in either the taste or the scent. And, she didn’t get sick from what she munched.

Supplier statement: Slug Gone is not a pesticide or poison. Slug Gone is a barrier to slugs and snails. When applied in a continuous mat around a plant, the wool pellets will self-felt to form a barrier that is very irritating to the foot of a slug or snail. (it’s the hooks and barbs in wool fibers that make it itchy and irritating to the foot of a slug or snail) These pests will simply choose to eat elsewhere, preserving the biodiversity in the garden while protecting your plants.
What we found: 

Slug controlled by Slug Gone

Frustrated slugs may try to cross Slug Gone barriers, but they quickly give up & head the other direction.

Supplier statement: Slug Gone is a weed barrier: Weeds are prevented from coming up through the wool mat, and seeds that land on top of the mat are less likely to germinate since the surface of the mat will dry quickly.
What we found: Since it rains in Seattle a lot and since we water our garden, the mat doesn’t stay dry and weeds will germinate in the wool barrier, but they’re easy to pull. Just be sure that you don’t create a break in the mat circle or slugs can get through.

Supplier statement: Slug Gone is a moisture mulch: Slug Gone forms a barrier that allows water to penetrate the surface, but reduces evaporation from the soil.
What we found: Wool is a bit waxy, but once it gets wet it does stay soggy, releasing moisture slowly into the root zone below. Plants didn’t seem to dry out any more or less than others if they were surrounded by Slug Gone.

Supplier statement: Slug Gone is a thermal barrier: Wool is a natural insulator. Slug gone will keep roots cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Slug Gone will add organic matter: Slug gone will last for 8-14 months as it biodegrades. During this process, Slug Gone will be adding organic material to condition the soil. Slug Gone will not wash out or blow away.

Slug Gone in vegetable garden

Surrounding freshly seeded beds with Slug Gone resulted in lots of burned seedlings near the Slug Gone perimeter. Waiting to surround emerged plants worked much better for us.

What we found: It’s important to keep Slug Gone away from tender young stems and early seedlings. The organic matter it adds seems to release some “hot” nutrients right away, which established perennials, such as Hosta, seem to do fine with. But freshly seeded veggies may not be able to handle it. Also, how long an application will last does vary significantly. In our sandy loam and rainy climate, a single application easily lasted from spring until autumn. Then, it simply decomposed into the garden. A new application will be necessary each growing season.

Supplier statement: If the plant grows larger during the season, and leaves bend down to touch the soil beyond the wool mat, be sure to place more pellets there to keep slugs from crawling up the leaves.
What we found: Yep! Given the chance to slime their way up a leaf outside the Slug Gone slug control barrier, slugs will do it. But, as the growing season progressed and summer got hot and dry, there weren’t many slugs out there trying to munch down fully emerged plants like our hostas.

Slug Gone applied to Hostas

Before our hostas emerged, we encircled the sprouts with a barrier of Slug Gone, watered it in & didn’t need to reapply all season long.

 

Where to find Slug Gone: We’re betting you’ll start finding Slug Gone at your local nursery soon. But, for now, you can buy it through our Amazon Affiliate store via these links!
(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)


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(You can support this blog by buying through our links. Purchases made through the affiliate links on this page and others on this site pay a small percentage to Garden Mentors but don’t cost you anything extra. Thank you for buying and helping support us!)