Basil SOS

My personal stash of basil is one of my favorite parts of summer; it’s easy to maintain, it smells great, and it adds a delicious, refreshing flavor to (almost) everything and anything. But, this summer I’ve noticed my basil plants haven’t been looking so hot. New holes appear on the leaves every morning and some leaves even look half eaten.

After doing some research on the web, I finally caught the culprit in the act last night: SLUGS! Although slugs can be deterred by pesticides and chemicals, I prefer not to use unnatural gardening techniques. Instead, I’m going to try some of these natural deterrents to solve my slug problem (I’ll keep you posted on which method works the best).

  • Hair – placing human hair near the base of the plant acts as a slug trap (similar to flies and a spider web).
  • Coffee – old coffee grinds supposedly deter slugs, but some gardeners haven’t had much luck with this technique.
  • Citrus rinds – the rinds act as a sun barrier for slugs. Place these in your garden or in your pots and check/throw away/compost daily.
  • Copper – the shiny-ness of copper deters slugs. Sheets of copper can be found at your local gardening store, but I’m not sure how well this will work during the night time when slugs are most active.
  • Beer – placing beer in a plate, butter dish, or bowl at ground level attracts slugs. Beer/slugs will need to be discarded daily.
  • Mint – rumor has it slugs hate mint (I’m thinking this might be true due to my thriving mint plants). Planting mint (or also red leafed plants such as swiss chard) around the basil plant could deter slugs. But, be careful because mint grows like wild fire and may suffocate your beloved basil.

Does anyone else have a slug problem? Or, does anyone have a solution to deterring slugs? I would love to know!

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