Mulching Your Plants In The Summer

Discussion in 'Crops & Gardens' started by Yvonne Smith, May 8, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    We have nice big strawberry plants and some berries are getting ripe; but we keep finding that part of the berry has been eaten, and Bobby suspects that it might be slugs, which seem to show up here in the spring when the ground is damper.
    I thought that putting a mulch around the bottom might help, since it not only protect the roots and helps keep the soil moisture in the ground; but it might also deter the strawberry-munchers.
    It is possible that the birds are eating the berries; but we have not seen any birds in the strawberry patch.
    We thought about getting a bag or two of mulch chips from Walmart garden center; but then I remembered that we have all of that pine-straw that we just rake up and put in the garbage.
    Apparently, pine-straw makes a perfect (and free) mulch for not only the strawberries; but also around the tomatoes and pepper plants; plus it is supposed to deter slugs since they do not like crawling over the sharp pine needles.
    So, today, I will start raking up some of the pine needles and arranging them around the berries and the tomatoes and peppers.
     
    #1
    Ken Anderson and Diane Lane like this.
  2. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    3,482
    We use pine needles between our raised beds but try to keep it out of the beds, It can really get twisted around the tines of a tiller. I think mulch gives slugs a place to hide during the day.
     
    #2
    Diane Lane likes this.
  3. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    4,020
    Ugh, yuck @Sheldon Scott I was reading @Yvonne Smith's post and thinking I need to get some mulch, then I read your reply. I haven't seen slugs in the garden, but I have seen them in the driveway, and even on the cat food plate. I definitely don't want to give them a place to rest. I'm sure if they're in the driveway, it won't be long until they're on the balcony, where my plants are.
     
    #3
  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    After reading @Sheldon Scott 's post about slugs hiding under the pine straw, I decided to do a bit more searching before going to the work of applying some around the strawberry plants.
    Most of the articles agree that the sharp needles can cut up the slug, and they don't like sharp things like the needles, plus the pine needles are acidic, and the slugs don't like that either.
    I also read that you can use egg shells, and you just let them dry and then hand crush the shells around your plants.
    Another suggestion was to use diatomaceous earth, and I have some of that; so I am going to put some in a shaker and shake that around the strawberries, too.

    Something has just been totally munching the pepper plants and all of the leaves have holes in them. I am not sure if that was also done by the slugs, or maybe a bug of some kind. Anyway, I read that a few drops of dish soap, and a pinch of cayenne and garlic will deter most bugs (as well as the slugs if they make it past the pine straw), so I made some of the bug spray and am going to spray the pepper plants with that while I am out there working.

    http://www.infobarrel.com/Easy_Methods_to_Keep_Slugs_Away_From_Garden_Plants
     
    #4
  5. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    Okay, I spent the day raking up pine needles and putting them all around the strawberries and pepper plants. I mixed up the spray with cayenne and garlic powder, and it clogged up my spray bottle in about two seconds flat.
    Took me a good ten minutes to get it cleaned out again and working right.
    Dumped out the cayenne spray stuff and made some that just had a dab of the dish soap in it, and that sprayed just fine, so I sprayed the pepper plants.
    Then I sprinkled everything with the DE powder, so now the strawberry plants and the peppers all have little white polka dots.
    Hopefully, that stops the bugs and the slugs !
    I think that the pine straw looks ugly; but if it saves the strawberries, then that is what is important.

    I have lots more pine needles; so I will be mulching around the tomatoes and roses next. It is supposed to be good for those, too.
     
    #5
  6. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    3,178
    Likes Received:
    1,749
    Just adding my 2 cents. Isn't salt suppose to be good to for slugs as well? I read that somewhere. I was going to get some mulch too but not after reading Sheldon's comment. I've worked very hard and diligent on my yards and wouldn't want to invite any unwanted visitors.
     
    #6
  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,456
    Likes Received:
    9,815
    Has anyone here tried using diatomaceous earth in their gardens? I've used it in my crawl space before, and it seemed to have kept most bugs out of there ever since. After we had some pipes leaking in the crawl space, the dampness attracted all manner of crawly things, some of which didn't go away after everything dried out. So before replacing the vapor barrier, I applied quite a lot of diatomaceous earth to the ground, and it's been bug free, as far as I can tell, ever since.

    I don't like to use poisons, so I just ordered some to use in our gardens this year. Last year, we lost our beans to the bugs or the snails, or whatever, since I never actually saw the things that were eating holes in the leaves. Although it didn't seem to hurt the potato crop, there were some holes in the leaves of the potato plants as well. So I'll wet spray some of it onto the leaves this year, and leave a ring of it around the edge of the raised garden.
     
    #7
  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    6,958
    Diatomaceous earth (DE) was one of the things that I put on our strawberries and peppers yesterday, I put it in a shaker container, and then just sprinkled it over the leaves and also on the ground around the plants. I have used it mostly in the dog beds and some sprinkled in the carpets to discourage fleas in the summer. You can also add some to their food to get rid of internal parasites.
    I just stir part of a teaspoon into a little canned dog food, and since there is no taste, the dogs don't even know that it is in there. It also adds minerals, since it comes from diatom skeletons.
    It occurred to me last night that I can add the cayenne and garlic powder to the DE shaker and then it will be mixed in with that when I sprinkle it on the plants and the ground around them.
    We are supposed to have storms coming in; so I will be putting some more DE on the plants after the storms pass on through here.
    Here is the Wolf Creek webpage. They have an interesting section that explains all of the uses of DE and how much it has helped both people and pets.

    http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html
     
    #8
    Ken Anderson likes this.

Share This Page