Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!


Thursday, April 05, 2012

My slugs refuse to pose for pictures, so this is a non-life-size representation. 
Standard legal disclosures apply.
I've just gotta get something off my chest before we talk about Mr. Slimy.  It's early April and we really shouldn't be fighting mosquitoes yet, right?  I must have been breathing too much or something as I was transplanting my tomatoes because today I am COVERED head to two in itchy mosquito bites.   They even got me on my stomach through my t-shirt.  Apparently, I need to make some more of those homemade mosquito traps that I posted about earlier this week.

And somehow J. never got bitten.  I told him it's either because he's too old and tough or because I'm tender and sweet.  I swear, life is definitelly not fair.

On top of that, I see a slug has been feasting on my tender little cabbage plants.  I can only assume that they'll be delighted when the lettuce seedlings pop up also.  It's been raining, so I haven't had a chance to put in the new in-ground swimming pool for the slugs.  What's that you say?  Unless you're going to stand out there with a skewer to stab them or a salt shaker to shrivel them up 24 hours a day (and, by the way, slugs like to come out at night), then the easiest way to get rid of them is to bury a shallow dish full of beer so that the rim is even with the soil level.  Slugs are alcoholics, you see, so they can't resist climbing in and drowning.  Okay, maybe I made up the alcoholic part, but it does work. 

I was just doing a little research also and one suggestion is to cover your seedlings with a cut-off 2-liter bottle - kind of like a terarium.  Just cut the bottom off the bottle and discard it, sink the cutoff part into the soil and then remove the twisty cap.  Great way to recycle those 2-liter bottles, and you can reuse them over and over.  Heck, you could even put a label on them with the name of the plant that it's protecting.  My brain is brimming with ideas on this one.....

In all seriousness, though, slugs can really do some damage to your garden and they need to be dealt with.  Some other ways to help avoid the slug problem are to keep clippings, weeds and other garden debris away from your plants (slugs like to hide in it), and I may try sprinkling diatomaceous earth or crushed egg shells around the plants as well.  DE and the shells will cut the slugs tender undersides as they crawl across it and kill them.  I've also heard coffee grounds, talcum powder, or even mulching with pieces of shingles.  Just remember that anything you're sprinkling around your plants has to be done over again if it rains.

Oh, and here's a tip:  if you get slug slime (gak!) on your hands, just pour a little white vinegar in your hands in then wash it off with water.  Yet another household use for vinegar in addition to cleaning.

Got a tried and true method for dealing with this common garden pest?  Share it in the comments!

This post is linked to today's Rural Thursday Blog Hop and Country Homemaker Hop
Hop on over and find out what everybody else is up to!


  1. My husband just brought home some sort of slug bait stuff the other night. We haven't tried it yet, so I can't say if it works or not.

  2. I have two words of advice: Muscovy Ducks. :-)

  3. Hi, Lisa! Was it Slug-getta? I've been trying to find that today and have had no luck. I'd love it if you let me know if it works. J. is threatening to shoot the slugs with a .22 if my beer idea doesn't work.

  4. Mary Ann: First, thanks for the linky on your blog - I am flattered! I'm going to be linking up to yours as well as soon as I can find some time to do some design work on here.

    I'd love to have some duckies running around, but I think J. might come unglued if I tell him I'm getting more critters. I can't publish what he said I told him I wanted dwarf goats. :-)

  5. Slugs are the most digusting things I know.

    Bury a small cup of beer ground level so they can crawl right in. I am not explaining it very well, but it does work. I will try to post on my blog next week how we do it. I have a really funny story that goes with it too.

  6. Dwarf goats- that would be great! We have giant slugs, really, truly giant. We call them Mr. Slugleys. They get to be 4-6 inches long, really thick too. Probably from feeding on my hostas. They live in the holes of the retaining wall and slime their way across the courtyard and onto my porch where for some reason they eat dirt/pollen (?) off our siding. Then they crawl over to the hosta bed and make nice holes all over the leaves. I'd put out beer but I'm afraid I'd find my husband laying there slurping it all up! (LOL)

  7. A shallow dish full of beer next to the plants is supposed to work. Good luck!

    Thank you so much for sharing at Rural Thursdays. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. We have the WORST slug & snail problem here. Here's what we do:

    Put a bit of corn meal into a jar and lay it on its side near delicious plants. Slugs & snails will crawl in, eat the corn meal and crawl off to die. It works really well. As do the beer traps. :)

    For ants, you can use the same method but with semolina flour.

  9. My Journey: I agree with you! Disgusting creatures. I have to admit that I feel guilty about killing them, though. I'm such a softy...even for slugs!

  10. Nancy: It absolutely does work! Strange, but true.

  11. Kathy: Sounds like you have slugzillas. Yuck! I hate their slime tracks because they're impossible to get off. Tiffany just suggested cornmeal, or maybe you could try the diatomaceous earth sprinkled around your hostas? That is, unless your hubbie like cornmeal. :-)

  12. Tiffany: Thanks for the tip on cornmeal also - I'll have to try that as well. I think it it's anything rough, then they won't want to crawl across it. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Actually it's more about them eating the cornmeal than crawling over it. We only had really fine corn flour here for a while and it worked as well. But it's got to stay dry, hence the jar method.

  14. Oh! So they eat the cornmeal rather than your plant. That makes sense. What I'd really like to have is exploding corn meal because you'd know when you got one of those slimy little critters. Did I mention I really hate slugs?


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