Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Marigolds Or Slugs?

Slugs have always been the bane of my gardening success. Slugs love eating attractive marigolds . . . those yellow or orange flowers that keep aphids away. Slugs don't just eat the buds. They consume the marigold's pinnate leaves and even consume the softer part of their stems so all that's left are the marigold's nubs/killing the plant.

I have no problem pouring salt on a slug to kill it. In fact, I often lift my potted plants to pour salt on the many slugs that hide beneath them. Meanwhile, I recently learned my grown children have always regarded this practice of mine as rather cruel and unusually insane.

After taking my daughter-in-law to a movie to celebrate her birthday, I also gave her a variety of plants from my gardens (since she also loves to work the soil and wanted some strawberry plants as well as chocolate mint). We had passed the potted plants from my trunk to hers when I suddenly realized, quite sadly, that one of the gifts I handed to her had a tiny slug clinging to it. (That's what happens when you put things in pots and wait more than a week, in Western Washington's soggy spring weather, to pass them onward).

Horrified that I had given her a slug, I brushed the little creature off and it landed on the pavement where we stood at the mall parking lot. My own offspring (her husband along with his oldest sister) felt sorry for the slug, however. They picked it up and horror of horrors put it in the mall's flower bed.

We actually dialogued about it. My grown children said they wanted the slug to live while I said it was a "killer" and would only destroy the mall plants. My offspring shrugged and said: "You mean they're killers just like us!"

{{Hmph}} . . . there are a million ways of looking at this whole slug-eat-marigold world. I am sure that slugs help recycle organic matter on some level. Even still, slugs are not NATIVE to Washington state and since they compete with marigolds, which are much more highly beneficial to this planet in my opinion, the slugs still must go!

NOTE: The only way I've managed to grow marigolds and keep them growing (safe from slugs) was to raise them in window boxes or hanging baskets as pictured!


Fijufic said...

Love the plants.

SunTiger said...

Hi Bobby! Good to see you on here! (Missed ya!)

Wizardress said...

I will kill them too if they get in my flowers. They are EVERYWHERE here with the rains and last week JJ (the pup) ate one.. shell and all *arghh*

Tami said...

Wizardress ... did the pug totally gag afterwards? I accidentally chomped into raw lettuce with a tiny slug and thought I was going to gag for FOREVER!