Thursday, 16 November 2017

A Tale of Two Hostas

After a couple of colder days the weather turned milder for  Tuesday and Wednesday although it's forecast to turn colder again by the end of the week. 
This year we tried some Slug Gone wool pellets to try and control the slugs. As these pellets are expensive we decided to try to protect some of our potted hostas situated around the garden pond rather than attempt to protect too many plants. It's been a bit hit and miss so I'm not sure whether that's down to the protection offered by the wool pellets or something entirely different. 

Here's hosta number one pictured a few days ago.
As you can see the leaves are now starting to turn yellow as the plant dies back for winter when it will loose all its foliage. However the most important point is that the leaves are completely free of any slug damage. Hostas in previous years have been devastated by slug attack in similar positions around the pond.   

Now let's have a look at hosta number two.
Not such a pretty sight with lots of slug damage. So I'm not sure exactly why the first plant is undamaged. The two hostas are different varieties. Maybe the slugs aren't partial to hosta number one. The two plants aren't situated that far apart.
The other issue which comes to mind is, do the slugs find an alternative way of getting to the second hosta that avoids the sheep's wool pellets. Can they get onto the hosta leaves by sliming their way over the fern planted next to it but then they'd have to find a way off the hosta leaves.

I'm not entirely convinced how successful the use of these pellets around the hostas has been through summer. I did try to use some around plants in our cold frames at home. Tender young plants in the cold frame often fall prey to slugs who have been known to completely clear trays of lettuce or cabbage seedlings. I think the use of these pellets around the edges of the cold frame was helpful but I still had to go round checking underneath seed trays for slugs lurking in the seed tray crevices. I usually found one or two.

I think I'll give the pellets another go next year. I've tried lots of other methods and have still to find one that's effective. I'll have to give some careful thought to where the pellets are used to give maximum slug protection.  

To finish off below is a video tour of our allotment plots in the middle of November.


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