Beet It

comments: 134





Do you want to just throw up right now? I know, me too. Turns out my garden forager wasn't exotic at all; I staged a reconnaissance mission in the rainy dusk of Monday night and caught one of these gelatinous blobs in the act of slurping up my Chioggias. Six are completely gone, two more are almost done for. BEAST! My neighbor came out just as I found the marauder: two grown women, four rows of beet seedlings, and one slug. You would've thought I had encountered a piece of plutonium. The screaming (mine). The frantic pointing and prancing in place (mine) (as if on hot rocks). The gagging (mine). It was truly embarrassing. Not a native Oregonian's reaction. I couldn't believe myself myself. Fail.

So, Sluggo. Organic. I may also consider putting the copper tape or waterproof sandpaper around the top edges of the beds. Or hermetically sealing them.

Ah, such is the life of a dilettante gardener. There's nothing like gardening to make you appreciate the farmer's market, I tell you.


In other news (thank gosh there's other news), I have all of the fabric for the new quilt. The new cross-stitch just came back from the framer. The new web shop is in progress (it's slow — steep learning curve on this for me — but it's going to be really cool). My new yarn should be arriving any day. And sweet potatoes, marigolds, cosmos, dill, camomile, and tomatoes are now in the ground.


I think your reaction was perfectly justified. You could try the beer trick. Apparently slugs love the taste of beer. Better beer than your beets. :)

Claudia Horner says: May 24, 2012 at 07:22 AM

You can drown slugs by putting a saucer of beer in the garden. I know, I know -- seems like a waste of a good beer! They crawl up in, get drunk I presume, and die. Bar hounds.....

A plate of beer in this climate would quickly turn into a puddle of rainbeer (Old Style?). But in other places, I've heard this works!

Yes to the copper. I make rings of copper wire and put them around my dahlias.
But also try coffee grounds. Slugs don't like the coarseness of them- no fun to slither over.
Starbucks will give you bags of coffee grounds for free! You can win this fight! Alicia! Alicia! Alicia!

Thankfully, we don't have many of them in Idaho, but since my husband comes from your side of Oregon, we are no stranger to the hideous nature of slugs! Here we've been battling thousands of tiny little grasshoppers hatching in our garden. Blech.

We save our egg shells and crush them up, then sprinkled around the perimeter of plants/beds. They don't like crawling over the sharp little pieces. Plus the eggshells eventually leach minerals into the soil.

Sluggo works like a charm! We use it in our yard and you can see exactly when we started using it by the leaves that are uneaten on our plants after we started using it!

Beer is always mentioned, but I read some reliable information about how it can draw slugs from something like a 100 yards away! Just what I need - my neighbors slugs in addition to my own!

boo-hiss. i feel your pain and you should not feel at all sheepish at your reaction to the nastiness. i have lived on a farm for 29 years and still recoil at the sight of beasties. off with their heads i say.

"There's nothing like gardening to make you appreciate the farmer's market..." I know, right? We don't get too many slugs here (too hot/dry for them) but my tomatoes this year were nearly wiped out by tobacco hornworms. Ugh. Thank goodness my dad is a master gardener and tells me all the good organic stuff to get. Begone, garden-eating vermin!

Yep, saucers of beer...I remember my grandfather placing them among his pansies when I was a child growing up in western Oregon.

oh, i love the way it is all coming along! the stones in between the beds really complete the look. you are so good at getting all the little detail just right :) i am so in love with those moss covered rocks in the front.... sigh.... hope i have some of my own some day. i can't wait to get back to working outside. i have been making costumes for the alice in wonderland dance performance and it is completely consuming my life... well, that and my four children :)

You crack me up. I validate you: would've had the same reaction. Evil Doers!! Swine!! In other news, your beet leaves look so sweet and sprouty!!

Got your photo text when I couldn't reply and forgot to reply yesterday. Incredible. Those 3 crack me up!! I had no idea their distaste for one another! Miss you! Think of you so often................

Use a disposable container of some kind with a lid. Cut a hole in the side and put the beer inside. The slugs will find it and crawl in. Then u just throw the whole thing away.

auntie m says: May 24, 2012 at 08:06 AM

I'm waging a similar war in my garden. At dawn and dusk I advance across enemy lines in my PJs with umbrella in one hand and a sharp trowel in the other. I do unspeakable things to those little invaders with great satisfaction and no regrets!
And works too! It attracts the tiny invaders that might remain unseen and should be snuffed out before they learn bad habits from their horrible parents.
Soldier on!

Susie Sears Taylor says: May 24, 2012 at 08:06 AM

Go to the edge of the gardens, in a LOUD voice, discuss the deliciousness of garlic butter, etc and then in an even LOUDER voice say, "Garcon, garcon! Escargo for two tut suite!" (excuse my french spelling) this should strike fear in the little slimmers hearts. Sprinkle them with salt and they will dry up and die. Save the beer to have with your escargo.

Laura A. says: May 24, 2012 at 08:09 AM

I always found that the slugs came, drank and partied...

If you want to stage a little hand-to-hand combat I recommend chopsticks and a dish of soapy water.

Give that slug a beer and watch him die! :-). You know, just in case he has a death wish. I always like making wishes come true. I'm nice like that.

Oh my....yesterday when I was going out to fill the "bird bowl" (an old, shallow roaster that now feeds birds, bunnies, and squirrels) I lifted it up an felt the goo underneath as I saw the worms scurrying back down into the ground....oh dear God...please don't say...I peaked under the bowl...and....EVEN WORSE...SLUGS. That's when I barfed in the bird really. But I wanted to. Don't be ashamed. I agree...gardening IS a good reminder of how precious the farmer's market is. Can't wait to see the new projects!

I just chucked two of those spinach eaters into the neighbors blackberry brambles!

Sorry about your bad slug experience, but what a delightful post to read! Yes, I giggled at your expense. You SO cute!
**kisses** Deb

michele says: May 24, 2012 at 08:47 AM

Here's the thing with slugs. if you have one, you have a million. I like Corey's better than Sluggo because it's flakes not a pellet so no neighborhood birds, cats of dogs will eat any. Also the slug bait will also bait the sow bugs who are the next guys planning to show up and eat your garden.

Laura J. says: May 24, 2012 at 08:54 AM

Old scissors and a head lamp. We live in the area and my husband would go out morning and night and take care of the slugs. It got so that he was counting how many he got each time. I won't tell you his biggest number. You would definitely start gagging.

I've lost rows and rows of seedlings to slugs and snails this year, along with hostas and, oh, everything it seems. It's been cool and wet here in England and just perfect for slugs. Enough to make me feel like giving up. My best tip is to water in the mornings, not the evenings. Then the surface water has evaporated by the time it gets dark. I'm going to try the eggshell thing too, and I've put a gravel mulch around a couple of the hostas. And I think I will start stamping on things instead of throwing them over the fence into the lane; I'm sure they just come back, and it's only a matter of time before one lands on an innocent passer-by...

Last year, I had a disgusting, horrifying slug invasion. Mowed down three re-plantings of kale, plus tons of peas, etc. Can totally relate. I would go out on nightly slug patrol, flashlight in hand, always about to throw up. But, this year, Sluggo saved the day for me as well. One tip: next time, sprinkle it on right when you sow seeds, and follow up later as needed. The slimers won't have a chance to even get started. This year, I did that and we've been slime/barf free for months.

Melissa L. says: May 24, 2012 at 09:23 AM

Well, did I call that or what?! lol (Okay, not lol at you, just at myself for being such a juvenile know-it-all). Still think that diatomaceous earth would be the best solution for you - beer will inevitably just get diluted, coffee grounds and eggshells are not so pretty in a lovely garden like yours, and using slug bait is scary.

My penance for being a smart-aleck: GIANT banana slug plastered to the outside of my living room window this morning. You don't know ugly till you've seen a slug's underside. Ew.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at