There are a number of methods gardeners use to keep their hostas free from slugs. Like deer proofing your garden, some methods seem to work and others do not. Good cultural practices are very important in keeping slugs out of the garden. Weed the area around your hostas aggressively. Clean up weeds, fallen leaves, and other garden debris immediately. Dead foliage creates a slug haven. Cut hostas back to ground level when the leaves die in the fall and remove debris.
Research indicates that coffee grounds around the plants and crushed egg shells do seem to work at least some of the time. However the Haliburton Master Gardeners agree that the best solution seems to be a mixture of household ammonia and water has the most success.
The recipe is as follows:
- 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water.
- Spray on leaves using hand sprayer.
Alternatively it has also been suggested that 1 1/2 cups of ammonia, 1 tbsp. Murphy’s soap oil and 1 1/2 cups of water mixed and sprayed using a hand sprayer.
Coffee grounds can be mixed with water and sprayed directly on the slugs. Generally slugs are out at night making this solution to the problem a little more difficult. The dregs can also be put around the plants like mulch.
Egg shells need to be washed and crushed and placed in a ring around the plant. Slugs do not like to slither on sharp objects!