No hiding place

Published: August 31, 2022





No, I am not talking about the TV programme from the early 60s, starring Raymond Francis as DCS Tom Lockhart, but I can remember it, and the signature tune! I am once again on about slugs and slugs with shells.

They must be decreasing in numbers by now, but I still come across lots if I dig a plant up to move it -I know, the answer is simple -don’t dig up and move any more plants!

Although I am constantly on ‘pot alert’, checking underneath pots for slugs and checking the sides for snails, I am now checking underneath plants, having discovered that slugs and snails have favourite hiding places.

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A group hiding under the stand of a large pot

Now remember, slugs and snails are not supposed to like grit and we are even advised to mulch the top of pots with grit to deter them. Well my rockery is covered in the stuff and they don’t mind it one bit -in fact they seem to prefer it, getting quite a nice tummy tickle as they head towards their preferred hotel for the night.

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Under the foliage of a Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s gold’

Campanula garganica ‘Dickson’s gold’must be the equivalent of a Premier Inn, as every day I find a good hoard of both snails and slugs under the foliage. A large Cyananthus is another favourite hiding place.

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Under the foliage of a Cyanthus

After swiftly dispatching them to slug nirvana, I place them on one of the rockery stones. By the next day all the corpses have disappeared -like magic really.

So what’s mopping up the dead slugs and snails, well it could be birds, but my money is on hedgehogs or perhaps the toad I found under a large Erodium. Whatever it is, it is doing a great job of clearing up my debris.

Maggie Duguid

Text and photos by Maggie Duguid, who is a member of the HPS North East Group.