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.


Being a fellow NWer up near Seattle, I have to say that my Sluggo has always molded. Not cool.

However, I have found Diatomacious Earth (spelling apologies now), selective copper usage, and massive and consisitent hand-plucking of the monsters to be quite effective

SLUGS!!!! Maybe THAT'S what has decimated all of my cabbage and broccoli! I thought it was probably caterpillars as in past years but always before I've been able to find them and pick them off. But no such luck this year. I haven't been able to catch anything in the act. I'm going to get up extra early tomorrow, salt in hand, and see if I find any of the gross little critters.

the coffee grounds have kept my hostas looking pretty decent for about 3-4 yrs now (the slugs we have in Michigan, have no idea what you have out west). Anyhoo I thought that the slugs drank the beer, drove away in their little slug cars, and met their end as a result of impaired driving ;) ...good luck with your remedies, the beets look awesome anyway--such an underrated, unappreciated veggie!!

Sluggo is the way to go. You won't need anything else and you will be rid of slugs and snails in your garden. It's worked for me for many years.

Kim McBirnie says: May 24, 2012 at 09:40 AM

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your beds and it will stop them in their slimey tracks!

Oh, dear.
Sluggo, you gotta go!
Courage, Alicia!

I had a lot of success with copper tape around my raised beds. The only problem is that you have to get any that have found a good home in the bed (or reproduced) out. They won't cross the copper to get in, but they also won't cross the copper to get out.
I went out early in the morning with a cup of tea in one hand, and a stick to fling them with in the other and picked them out manually. Totally gross, but after about a week I was done with it and was slug and chemical free for the rest of the season.
Now I've got to figure out what to do about those white moths that keep laying eggs on my kale. It seems as though everything here in Oregon is as in love with my garden as I am. (I must be doing something right!)

I once had a slug-in-my-garden problem. I put some beer into a mason jar and just set it in the garden morning, there were 4 bloated, drowned slugs floatin' in there. :) Success!

(Your garden is lovely, by the way!)

Eeeeeeew! Totally slimy and gross! I've heard about the beer too. Maybe you need a saucer with a little umbrella on it. With your artistic talents you could probably fashion something that ended up looking like a darling fairy umbrella over a kiddie pool. The slugs would think "pool party!" and drown in their drunkenness.

I personally wouldn't waste beer on a slug. No way. I'd put it in soup before letting a slug get drunk. :)
Anyhow, fascinated by the curb-side garden. You don't see too much of this in Chicago or in the area. Zoning laws may prevent it? I dunno.

Anyhow, I can't wait to see what you do with the yarn, Alicia.

Heidi C says: May 24, 2012 at 10:15 AM

We have an infestation of snails at my house. I'm tempted to buy a pet turtle to let loose in my flower beds just so it will eat the snails.

I'm very heartless when it comes to slugs. I keep half a cut orange in each of my beds which seems to attract them and I go out each evening with a torch and a sharp edged trowel and I chop in half all of the suckers that I can find! Sorry - I am not violent by nature but slugs eating my cabbages gets me mad!

don't they explode if you feed them beer? beer! of all things!

I live in Milwaukie and have nine 4 x 9' raised garden beds. We've always had a problem with slugs and tried lots of things: diatomaceous earth, hazelnut shells, eggshells, etc. and nothing seemed to work EXCEPT for when I went out there one evening with a light strapped to my head and hand-picked off every slug that I saw and put them into a bucket. If you measure sensitive on the gag-o-meter scale then don't read this part: but I literally filled a 5-gallon bucket 1/3 of the way full with slugs. Then I salt-watered them and buried them in a far-off corner of my yard while saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry" over and over again. So, slug hunting by headlamp in the middle of the night, I think, is the only thing that will get rid of those creepy crawlers in the Pacific NW.

Miss Alicia,

I put all of my mashed eggshells in my garden, as that is supposed to keep slugs away :)

Gives you good reason to make custard for tarts and such too ;)

ugh slugs! yucky! I have used coffee grounds around my hostas (Chicago land).
That shiny trail they leave YUCK! hardly visible to GINORMOUS!!!
Hang out the not welcome sign.

with kindness,

I have often used the copper blocker (mesh) and it is quite effective--and the roll is rather larger for the price. I get mine at Lee Vally Tools (www.leevalleycom)

Product No. is SS407 or SS407 depending on the length of the roll.

I love how yourgarden looks....inspite of the trespassers.

Karen Durfee says: May 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM

The egg shells really work. And dried and crushed they don't look bad. Moved to the mountains, we have different problems. It was snowing just an hour ago. The zinnias are black sticks. lol

Nancy McKenna says: May 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Make sure to wash your produce especially well, for once they have been on the leaf, their slime remains. I heard the egg shell thing works pretty good in the San Fran Bay area. Let us know what you discover works!

Dana Laviano says: May 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM

That is precisely the reason I do not do vegetable gardening. I am more than happy to avoid the sun and bugs and pay the nice, hard-working folks at the farmer's market to deal with the slugs while I sit on the patio with a gin and tonic!

"dilettante gardner"--I love it. (And I love this blog so much!) I'm looking at my wee herb garden and am now referring to myself as a dilettante gardner also:) Good luck!

Moth balls work the best!! Lay them around in your garden and the slugs won't come back. I worked in greenhouses for many years and that is what we used. Grasshoppers will clean out your garden in a few hours...they don't like the moth balls as well. My biggest pest (although cute as can be) RABBITS!! They make a heck of a mess. Best solution, and prevention for those little guys is human hair. Yep that's right....get your hair cut and save the hair. Hang it inside nylon stockings around your garden. They smell fear...and leave your veggies alone. Just thought I would mention that incase a rabbit shows up in your neighbourhood.
Happy Digging and stitching!!!

I have just found your blog and it is delightful - so many gorgeous, pretty things to explore xx

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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