Gardeners often worry about dealing with slugs and snails, which are consistently ranked among the most troublesome pests in gardens. They eat away at the fresh growth of valuable plants, destroy seedlings overnight, and leave behind irregular holes in leaves, stems, and flowers, marked by their shiny slime trails.

Slugs remain active throughout much of the year, but they pose a particular problem in spring when there’s plenty of tender growth for them to feed on. They tend to be most active at night, especially in warm and damp conditions. During hot, dry weather, they retreat into the soil or seek shelter in cool, dark spots to avoid drying out.

Despite efforts to control them, it’s difficult to completely eliminate slugs from your garden. It’s important to acknowledge that some level of slug activity is inevitable and find ways to minimise their impact.

Protecting the most vulnerable plants should be a priority, including all seedlings, new growth on most herbaceous plants, and the delicate parts of plants such as delphiniums, hostas, and dahlias. If you’re growing plants in pots, be mindful to prevent slugs from moving between pots by removing any leafy connections.

There are various methods available for controlling slugs, and the most effective approach usually involves using a combination of techniques, starting early in the spring. There are many ways to control slugs from slug pellets to organic methods of control, including:

– Using sheep wool. We sell a product called Slug Gone which are pellets of sheep’s wool that create an irritating barrier to slugs and snails. Shards of slate also work in a similar way and look stunning scattered around hostas.

– Copper tape is a great way to protect slugs from climbing up the sides of your pots. The copper reacts with the slime and again deters the slugs and snails.

– Traps are sunken pots that you place in your garden beds with an attractant in them (traditionally a cheap beer) the slugs and snails effectively drown.

– Organic slug pellets – kill slugs but are not a risk to other garden wildlife.