Do your Hostas look like Swiss cheese? Slugs could be the slimy suspect.  These nocturnal feeders hide in cool, damp places and are thus often not seen but they can leave a shredded trail of destruction.  Slug damage can be identified by the holes in the leaves.  Slugs typically create oddly shaped holes, and leave the veins on the leaf.  They tend to chew in the middle of the leaf, rather than on the edges. Since they prefer a moist, cool environment they will be more likely to attack plants in a shaded area, but they will eat your gorgeous sun-loving plants as well.  These gastropods can seem to be unstoppable, but McArdle’s has the tools to reclaim your garden.

We recommend Sluggo , an all-natural slug bait.  It is made from iron phosphate, and has been OMRI approved for use in organic gardening. It can be used right up to the day of harvest on edible gardens, ornamental  gardens and lawns.  Simply sprinkle Sluggo on the soil around the plants to be protected.  Reapply every two weeks, or after heavy rain.   We also love Sluggo Plus, which has an added ingredient to combat cutworms, earwigs, sow bugs and pill bugs, as well as slugs!

In addition to treating with Sluggo or Sluggo Plus, you can make your garden less appealing to slugs.  Clear your garden of any leaves, dead plant materials and any logs or other debris.  These are favorite hiding spots for slugs since they stay cool and moist. Choose a mulch with small chips like our Mini Pine Nuggets, or Coast of Maine Enriching Mulch.  These mulches will give the slugs fewer places to hide.

Happy slug-free gardening!

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