Keeping Slugs from Eating my Cucumber Transplants

I’ve never had a problem with slugs. That’s because the Indian Runner Ducks roamed the property and ate everyone they found. They were helped by free-range chickens, guinea fowl and turkeys throughout the years.

This summer, however, I have no ducks (the fox broke into the cage and killed the two remaining ducks), no guinea fowl (sold them due to their over-protection of my truck), no turkeys (didn’t get any this year) or free-range chickens.

The lone hen, Ida, I have is about 4 years old, maybe 5. I bought her about 20 months ago. Although I was led to believe she (and the others that came with her) were only a year and a half old, after they were on the property for a few days, I could see they were much old. They were more like 3 1/2 years old, possibly 4.

When I sold the mixed-breed, mixed-aged flock last fall, so I wouldn’t have to feed unproductive birds, I kept Ida because she laid an egg almost every day. She often lays about 4 out of 7 days, but sometimes she goes two weeks without laying. She had been separated from the flock she arrived with because they picked on her. I went out one day to find a huge chuck of meat gouged out of her back. I nursed her back to health, and from then on, she’s been a loner. I knew if she had gone for sale with the rest of the chickens, she might be put in the same pen with them, and she’d be killed. So I kept her.

Borax in the garden to defend against slugsIda is still alive and laying sporadically. She free-ranges when I’m outside all day, but she spends most of her days in the coop, so the local fox won’t snatch her.

The three chicks I bought in the spring are still growing, and I don’t want them to free-range just yet as they get used to their new living arrangements.

That leaves the snail and slug population in my yard to expand unchecked. This has created a small problem in the garden. I had planted several cucumber transplants only to find them eaten the next morning. The slugs usually consume one complete transplant a night.

Hearing that Borax helped kill ants and knowing slugs absorb substances into their slimy bodies, I wondered if circling my transplants with a thin layer of Borax powder would defend them against pests.

The answer is yes. A week after applying the Borax, my transplants are still alive and appear untouched by slugs. The new transplants don’t have any holes on the leaves, indicating nothing is getting past the Borax.

Since Borax is a powder, the rain will wash it away. After the storm predicted for tonight passes, I’ll have to create fresh circles around the transplants. For me, it’s worth the trouble if it’s going to mean I’ll enjoy fresh cucumbers from the garden in late summer.

One thought on “Keeping Slugs from Eating my Cucumber Transplants

  1. Pingback: 6 Genius Uses for Borax In The Garden - Digging In The Garden

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