Four Things I’ve Learnt From Slugaggeddon

Four Things I’ve Learnt From Slugaggeddon That Make Me Feel Better.

four things I've learnt from sluggaggedon

First, there was the Brassica Massacre. Now there’s Slugaggeddon.

My Twitter friend Julianne coined the term Slugaggeddon, to describe the ridiculous amounts of slugs currently munching through plants the length and breadth of the country.

My garden has been no exception. I have lost so many plants, from the normal casualties like caulis and lettuce to those that normally survive untouched by slime, such as courgettes.

However, Slugaggeddon has taught me a lot also. Here are 4 things I’ve learnt that make me feel better.


Sow More Than You Need. Like, Loads More.

I’ve always tried to be economical with the amount of seeds I sow. I think it’s the money saver in me, but each year I endeavour to grow just as many as I need. No more of that in the future though, not after this year.

If you sow more than you need, there’s a chance that the snails and slugs will not chomp through all of your plants. They might actually be good enough (or too stuffed…) to leave you a sufficient amount of plants to provide a healthy harvest.

Of course, in Sluggageddon years, this might mean quite literally hundreds of plants, but seeds are dirt cheap really and if it results in me feeling like I’ve got one over on the slimies, this will be money well spent…

I Love My Greenhouse
Despite the struggle against wet weather, weeds, and slugs, there is one part of my veg garden that is giving me much enjoyment: my 6 x 4 greenhouse.

My cucumbers, toms, peppers, and melons are all looking really healthy, which is heartening when everything outside is struggling. The higher temperature helps obviously, but my greenhouse is also the only growing area that I can actually (to an extent) keeps the slugs away from by shutting the door at night.

Subsequently, I’ve decided to cram as much in here as possible. I’ve planted extra tomatoes and will stick my French beans and other Summery crops in there too. It’ll be a squeeze, but at least they won’t get munched.

There Are Still Things to Try
One of the great things about social media is sharing different growing tips and ideas. Apparently, you can get organic slug pellets, whilst John Laughlin (@easylec) reckons sowing in half plastic milk bottles has deterred the slugs from his plants. John says the plastic provides a barrier, and you can also a ring of copper wire around the bottle.

My own new idea is a barrier of old sandpaper around the base of the plant. This still needs some refinement before I can call it a tip, but it has been semi-successful. I think I need to cut large sheets in a big square with a hole through the middle for the plant, but the concept has definitely got legs.

I’m Not Alone
You might think that everything is going wrong and your growing season is an unmitigated disaster. However, I’d bet your bottom dollar that other people are feeling like this too.

On Tuesday, I posted a photo of decapitated runner bean seedlings that had been eaten to my Twitter account. I described this growing season as ‘One of the most depressing I can remember’. Within seconds my phone was beeping at me with Twitter replies and didn’t stop all day. Lots of people were experiencing similar slug disasters and finding this year incredibly tough too.

It doesn’t bring my plants back, but it is very comforting to share tales of woe with other gardeners!

13 thoughts on “Four Things I’ve Learnt From Slugaggeddon That Make Me Feel Better.”

  1. Ah, so it’s not just my allotment that’s suffering with the slug invasion then. That’s a comfort at least, though the chance of an actual harvest would have been nicer.

  2. I don’t want to depress you or bring bad luck on myself, but I haven’t had any problems this year except for a bit of nibbling on a dahlia. I am not doing anything different than I normally do I have to say, so I don’t know why they are shunning my garden. Needless to say, I am delighted.

  3. Gardening gives a lot of happiness. Seeing the plants grow gives lot of happiness. The plants are very good and it creates a good atmosphere and brings in good vibrations.

  4. You’re definitely not alone, and I’d definitely back the plan of using the greenhouse to protect as much as possible.

  5. PETER WHITEHURST

    Just read what you said about slugs ,they drive me mad only thing ive found to try and keep them down is to fill a few jam jars with beer they seem to have a taste for it fall in cant get out and the ones that do are to pissed to fancy a nibble on your lettuce.

  6. We’ve had exactly the same this year. Some good tips here, particularly the greenhouse one. We’ve got one of those small plastic greenhouses and we got into the habit of packing as many of our seedlings as we could fit into it every evening until the plants were big enough to stand a chance. We even lost a few in there, but we had fewer casualties in there than outside of it.

  7. I do use organic slug pellets as I have found over the years they are the only thing that works. I only ever use them when I first plant out my small plants and after that my plants are just fed with a seaweed fertiliser until they are established and it seems to do the trick. Organic slug pellets are great because you don’t need to reaply when it rains, and they are safe for animals and children too and you only need to use a few pellets

  8. It is almost impossible in Washington State NOT to have a slug year, haha. My solution is to save my favorite veggie by planting Scarlet Runner beans as the slugs seem to like them.

  9. It’s good to share the disasters occasionally, I wrote a similar post on my blog recently, and had lots of similar stories in the comments. Good idea with the sandpaper, I’ll have to try that.

  10. Stephen Bennett

    I just built my first time ever green house,& I used PVC pipe it’s very steady to,i would like to know what kind of plants too start off with,i live in South Tampa Florida.i flowers that bloom & shrubs,i also have some perennial plants already bloom

  11. We’ve put nematodes down in the allotment which does seem to have had a very noticeable effect on the slug population (we have lots of raised beds which the buggers love).

    Other things which seem to have helped are:
    -woodchip on paths (too scratchy for them?)
    -eggshells around plants

    We’re doing okay so far but I am growing on things quite far before we pot out to try and get them big enough to withstand attack…

  12. I’m so glad I found this, the slugs have decimated my veg plot this year! It is so disheartening. But I do feel marginally better since reading this. I have never seen so many slugs in my life. I’m saddened to say I’ve set beer traps for them and I’ve been begging old egg shells from friends and family and have been sprinkling baked crumpled egg shells in my pots and all round the garden this has helped!

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