The resurrection of the beer traps

22 May

It has to be said that when it comes to gardening we often don’t like to consider how much destruction cultivating a few veggies brings in its path. I have written on here before that I have accidentally killed, among other creatures, worms, slow worms and mice while digging or they inadvertently got caught in a beer trap.

And then there is the never ending war against slugs, snails and weeds. Life is constantly being curtailed in the name of growing things. Some super ethical gardeners attempt to be fully vegan by eschewing all animal produce (no manure, or the appealingly named blood, fish and bone for vegan gardeners). Tempting though this is it’s hard enough being a normal gardener who aspires to be vaguely organic without ruling out the use of organic poultry manure (my go to for everything from improving soil structure to slow release plant food).

I was gifted some slug poison last year, I felt uneasy about it but used it anyway as the slugs were eating everything which was not good for morale. My oldest recently had to do some research for homework on hedgehogs and has since started lecturing me on the fact that slug poison can in turn harm hedgehogs when they eat the poisoned carcasses of slugs and snails.

Gardening is full of unintended consequences. When my youngest asked me the other day what’s more important our home grown vegetables or a slug’s life I have to admit I believe our home grown veg is more important but when the eldest makes me think about the same question but replaces slugs with ‘Eco system’ then I know that something that disrupts entire food chains does not sit well with my ethics.

For now I’ve sprinkled my last shake of slug poison and instead this week dug a few holes to put new beer traps down. I bought good old basics beer to fill them with and have started saving egg shells once more in the hope that the beer trap and egg shell approach coupled with casual garroting of slugs found while weeding will keep the population controlled while at the same time not upsetting anyone further up the food chain. Here’s hoping anyway.

2015-05-21 09.32.30

No more blue pellets for now

2015-05-21 09.31.51

Beer traps – a more eco friendly way to cull slugs

2015-05-21 09.30.53

Using any other beer would be a travesty

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One Response to “The resurrection of the beer traps”

  1. gillridge May 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    Hmm – slugs v vegetables …..discuss. It could be in an A level philosophy paper so well done a 5 and a 6 year old engaging in that dilemma. I think I’d come down on the side of the veg but at the same time without toxic slug pellets if possible. xx

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