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Rhubarb leaves as mulch and possibility of attracting slugs


 
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Ruby
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Kerry

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject: Rhubarb leaves as mulch and possibility of attracting slugs Reply with quote

Hello all,

our large and plentiful rhubarb leaves seem perfect for covering the ground between vegetable rows (onions, cabbage, leeks). I carpeted the spaces today. But now that the work is done I've remembered that whenever I left rhubarb leaves in a pile and forked them up a day or two later, there were slugs on the leaves. The grass beneath is also usually dying which is why I used them in the first place.

Have I introduced something terrible? Surely it would be similiar with any other kind of rotting mulch - even grass mulch - does compost material not attract bugs anyway?

(I read somewhere that slugs return to the same spot - please tell me this isn't true because the veg garden was largely free of the slimey buggers).
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone on here was waxing lyrical about slugs the other day in that they exist to eat up any vegetable matter on the surface of the ground and presumably then deposit a sort of manure into or on to the soil.

I use lawn mowings a lot as mulch and weed suppressant but any stifling vegetable matter will do the same thing. Mulch is designed to help retain moisture in the soil. Slugs like moist environments so mulched ground will be to their liking.

I shouldn't get paranoid about them. Learn to live with them but, if you've got a crop that will suffer badly at their hands, e.g. lettuce, use slug pellets, beer traps or a ring of soot - all the old remedies - to protect it.

Don't forget, the strained off liquid from boiled rhubarb leaves works well as an aphid spray if you have that problem. Any cast off kitchen spray bottle will do for this.

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A novice gardener on newly cultivated, stoney ground.
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Ruby
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Kerry

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that reassurance. I've topped up the rhubarb layer with mowed grass. Do the mulched areas turn into a smelly slush much like the compost heap?

I have a more intense dislike of the aphids than the slugs. The rhubarb spray has been fairly effective so far this year and humble soap.
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