Gardening

The Truth About Slugs and Eggshells

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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 could see no difference between protected plants and unprotected ones: they all got munched on. But I naively kept recommending this technique to my readers.

Until I read up on the subject. (Look at this: amazing! http://www.allaboutslugs.com/eggshell-myth-busted/)

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

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.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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