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Garden Diversity and Slugs

garden diversity

While Kim was visiting us in the UK, I planted some cabbages and pumpkin vines in my new, fledgling garden, but they were attacked very quickly by slugs. Hmm. How annoying. I’m trying to keep the garden as close to organic as possible, so I don’t want to use any chemicals to kill the slugs. I started to look into garden diversity as an option and investigated which plants slugs don’t like, then went out and bought some lavender, rosemary, mint and garlic plants to spread around. Guess what? The slugs stopped eating my cabbages and pumpkin almost immediately. Wow!

Here’s a photo of the cabbages and pumpkins that I bought from a local horticultural market. This is how they were before planting. Two pumpkins and about eight to ten cabbages.
garden diversity

When I planted these in the garden, they were quickly attacked by slugs. One of the pumpkins was obliterated completely and the other was badly damaged – I couldn’t see how it could survive. All the cabbages were munched at severely and it looked like only 4-5 had any chance of surviving.

After some research, I decide to buy some other plants and spread them around, to see if they could distract or divert the slugs. I decided to add lavender, rosemary and garlic plants.

Here’s a photo of the garden just after adding the new plants to generate some garden diversity. In this photo, the red arrows are pointing out the bits of identifiable cabbage that are left and the yellow arrow is pointing to the only bit of a pumpkin plant that remains. Everything else you see are the new added plants.

Adding these new plants worked magically as far as the slugs were concerned. Instantly, the slugs seemed to disappear. I have no idea which plant was the key for this, but something really scared the slugs away.

Now here’s a photo a few weeks later showing how the vegetables are flourishing. The cabbages are coming on and the pumpkin plant, that looked like it was a goner, is coming on too. One lavender plant has died, the one on the far left, but everything else is still ok.

garden diversityBut it’s all not plain sailing. The cabbages are starting to be eaten by something else, other than slugs, now. I’m not sure what. That’s my next challenge. Hmm. We’ve also been battling a drought and a heat wave in the UK. The ground is getting very dry and hard. I’m watering my plants every morning using water from my 3000 litre rainwater tank, but I’m getting concerned that this might run out soon. Hope we get some rain!

garden diversityJust before signing off today, I just have to thank Kim who helped me plan out this garden diversity experiment and helped look after the garden while she was visiting. Here she is watering them in the early days using water from the rainwater tank.


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