Garden Myths

Slugs and Eggshells: The Truth

Photo: Neil Cummings.

We’ve all heard it. To protect your plants (hostas and lettuce, for example) from slugs, you’re supposed to surround them with crushed eggshells. The idea is the shells will create an impenetrable barrier, because slugs can’t cross them: their soft bodies would be torn apart on the sharp edges.

I did this for years, but stopped. It just wasn’t working for me. I saw no difference between protected plants by eggshells and unprotected ones. they all got munched on by slugs. But I naively kept recommending this technique to my readers.

Until I read up on the subject. (Look at this: amazing! )

Turns out it doesn’t work. Not even a bit. In fact, the odour of fresh eggs will actually attract slugs to your plants. Oops!

My suggestion? Reduce those eggshells into a fine powder and add them to your compost. They won’t damage any slugs, but at least they’ll boost your compost in calcium.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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