How to battle slugs

BRITAIN has often been described as the 'Slug Capital of the World' and, capitalising on our mild, wettest winter on record, the populations are expected to boom this year.

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There are more than 30 different species of slugs in the UK and not all are pests. For example the most visible of our slugs, the iconic large black slug, does a sterling job as one of nature's cleaners.

However, other species are equally likely to turn carefully nurtured plants into a slimy heap of green waste.

The harsh truth is that there is no simple solution to the gardener's battle against the slug.

For those of us who would rather be watching the Commonwealth Games this summer than slugging it out in the garden, the most simplistic approach is to select slug-resistant plants.

But beware - no plants are truly slug- resistant. Slugs have similar tastes to humans and prefer to eat nice tasting, tender plants, and avoid plants that are bitter, woody, waxy, stringy and hard to chew.

I have selected a list of my top five "relatively" slug-resistant plants from Pollok Country Park.

Firstly, our native Foxglove: this striking plant with its magnificent flower heads, provides a much needed banquet to our declining populations of bees, and is a must-have mid-summer highlight in any garden.

Next the smoothing aromatic lavender plant: its deep scent is the prefect de-stressor after a particularly harsh slug attack.

Then Aquilegia, better known as Columbine or Granny's Bonnet: they are simple to grow and there are over 60 varieties to choose from.

Favoured by bumblebees their bell-shaped, spurred flower heads come in whole spectrum of colours and with a ballgown of light airy foliage below them they provide a classic cottage garden look.

Next, the lovely, late winter/early spring flowering Hellibores.

There is a whole range of these curiously enchanting shade tolerant plants to choose from.

My favourite is the strikingly colourful Lenten Rose, guaranteed to lighten up a dreich day.

And lastly, our native White Water Lily, the true centrefold of all pond plants. How slug resistant water lilies are, I am not sure, but they need a pond and fish- free ponds attract frogs.

A quarter of the common frog's diet consists of slugs and, thanks to the conservation charity Froglife, our city has a thriving population of these cheery garden critters.

Home and Garden

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