Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rain Rain & More Rain (Alternate Title: How My Garden was Destroyed by Slugs)

I know that the rain is good for the soil and for the plants and for so many other things. It even can create an opportunity for beautiful pictures. However, as you fellow Portlanders know, we have been getting an absurd amount of rain. It is not only bad for my sanity, but it is literally killing my garden.
The slugs in my yard are so incredibly bad this year. For those of you lucky enough to live in a climate that doesn't support slugs, slugs are the most active in cool wet weather. Welcome to my May and June. I literally collect at least 100 slugs each day off of plants in my front garden and deliver the tasty (or not) treat to my ducks who live in the backyard. Unfortunately, my daily slug removal has not even put a dent into stopping the slug destruction happening in my yard.
We have had 2 pepper starts completely demolished (basically overnight) by these little suckers. Not to mention that every single bean seed that I have planted (about 40) except for 1 has been destroyed by slugs the moment that it poked it's head out of the earth. And, I have not had a chance to enjoy any of our strawberries as by the time they ripen, the slugs eat a hole in them. Whine, whine.
We thought that getting ducks, who enjoy eating slugs, would solve our slugs worries, but since the ducks don't forage in the front yard (as we are afraid they will run out into the road or run away) we still have to hand collect, which obviously isn't working. We have tried surrounding the base of each plant with smashed eggshells..... I see the slugs slime right over them. I am now onto encircling each plant with pennies (copper) which seems to hold a little more promise. I now need to replant all of my beans and get new peppers, so I think I will try surrounding the new plantings with pennies. I will probably be the only person to go to the bank and ask to have a $20 changed out in pennies. Sheesh. We are reluctant to try sluggo (even though it is deemed to be safe for kids and pets), as we are a bit suspicious as to its true safety (anyone know more about this?). Plus, I know the main ingredient is phosphates, which are horrible if they make it into the water supply. And with all this rain, some of them would likely end up there.
Anyways, these are my bitter ramblings of dreary days and lifeless plants. I am hoping for some sun this weekend (or at least no rain) and maybe a chance to replant the numerous seedling we have lost. And, from the looks of this morning, it appears as if I am in luck.... I already see some sunlight creeping in through the window! Pin It Now!


  1. I feel your pain! The Hollywood Farmer's Market has some great starts at great prices (Saturdays 8-1). We've been going weekly. The honey stand has a hive set up which Aoife loves to look at and then go dance to the music!

    Have you tried the copper tape? I haven't, but we just planted a bean tipi in the backyard, and I'm thinking of getting some to protect the new little shoots (which haven't emerged yet, but now I'm worried!!!)

    Enjoy the sun!

  2. I have never lived anywhere where slugs are an issue but I heard they like beer?

  3. We tried the beer last year and ddin't have much luck; they were attracted to it, but rarely actually drown themselves. I think we just had drunken slugs!
    I heard the copper tape works, but is expensive. So, I 'pennied' all of the new seeds I planted yesterday. Let's hope for the best!

  4. Oh no!!!
    How incredibly frustrating : (
    I haven't had an issue with them, so I am no help. I am sure you have tried it all, I wonder if there is a natural/herbal spray you could mix up? Wishing you some SUN!!