Could bran be the secret weapon in the war against snails and slugs?

Snails and slugs are eating Sheena Grant's veggies

Snails and slugs are eating Sheena Grant's veggies - Credit:

Sheena Grant has an update on her battle to protect her vegetable plot.

Slugs beware: I have new information to stop you in your slimy tracks if you so much as think about slithering on to my vegetable patch to munch my produce.

Oh yes, be afraid; be very afraid. No longer will I be relying on the failed defences of crushed eggshells and human hair clippings. There are new weapons in my armoury and, I have to say, I’m quietly confident they will work.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my hapless attempts to grow my own vegetables, thwarted, in the main, by an army of slugs and snails that emerges under cover of darkness to destroy my tender young seedlings.

This, I vowed, was my last make-or-break attempt at veggie-growing success. But how could I do it without resorting to chemical pellets? Well, thanks to Ealife readers I now have a few ideas.

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Paul Collins, from Badingham, emailed to recommend using bran for slug control. He advises buying it from equestrian suppliers and encircling plants to be protected.

“Slugs love it so much that they will climb over otherwise edible plants to get to it,” says Paul. “It is supposed either to dehydrate the slugs or swell up inside them and cause them to explode, although I have never seen this happen. It is 100% biodegradable and isn’t taken by thrushes, etc. It can get washed away, so you need to check after heavy rain. It has worked for me for many years.”

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Although I harbour dark thoughts about slugs, I’m not sure I want them exploding around my carrots. Nevertheless, I like the bran idea.

I’m also tempted by Bev Daniels’ tip for dealing with my slug menace, using the tools of a bottle of cheap beer or lager and white plastic cups.

“Dig a hole in the garden the same size as the plastic cup and put the cup into the ground, level with the soil,” says Bev. “Quarter to half-fill the cup with the beer or lager. Slugs go for the yeast smell and fall in. They die happy!”

Deborah McKinley, meanwhile, suggests getting a torch, a pair of gloves and physically removing the pesky critters as they move in to do their damage.

I’ll trial all three methods - including the last, if I can face it - to see which is the most effective.

Slugs, you have been warned....

Email Sheena with your thrifty tips or tweet using #ThriftyLiving

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