This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Friday, 17 June 2011

Slugs love Irish Guinness

I'm not too sure Guinness beer would be too happy... however I poured the dark stuff and served it to my garden slugs. And they loved it!
Serving Guinness to slugs is a one time occurrence - next time it'll be cheap beer!

Bottom Left: Some slug damage appearing on plants in the veg box.
Guinness poured... looks like a pint glass but its a shallow plastic container set down into the soil. It began to rain after I put these in and I was worried if it would work. Then it rained the next two days.
When I went out a few days later I found quite a few slugs drowned in both beer containers. I was surprised how many slugs came from that little veg box.

Beer trap at bottom left of photo.

Sticks /bamboo canes are for cat proofing purposes.
Managed to get my cabbage and broccoli planted and hopefully no little white butterflies will get to them. I hope my little cage withstands the weather!
A store bought onion was sprouting in the fridge so I stuck it in a pot to see what would happen. Its growing. I wonder if it will be ok to eat? Hmm.
Coriander grown from seed. I was using it rightly, in spaghetti,  chili, sauces etc. The young leaves really added superb flavour. Coriander is said to be good for stomach complaints and colds.

I assume once coriander is flowering there's no more harvesting? (I have so much to learn)
Since hardening off (getting them used to being outside and bringing them in at night for a week) and planting my courgettes, cucumber and beans outside, they've gone into a huff. They are not happy with the wind and rain we have been getting. This courgette plant was damaged at the base by gales so I have staked it to keep it from getting battered.

One of the cucumbers I've moved back indoors and it's perking up. When will summer arrive (and stay)?


  1. Summer's here - I'll send it your way! :) I'm surprised the beer worked with it raining! Just goes to show you how far a slug'll go for a decent brewsky!

  2. Kelli, your ingenuity has certainly been put to the test! You should perhaps look out for slug-traps that have roofs on them to stop the rain diluting the beer (like the ones Kalipso from Busy Bee wrote about?)
    Re the Coriander: you could leave it to produce seeds, which you can then dry for culinary use.

  3. Hi Kelli, love the use of the beer. Here in Australia it is best to grow coriander in winter as it shoots to seed too quickly when our weather warms up. Our winters are approximately 10-16 degrees celcius (max) and it summer it can be anything from 18-40 degrees (hot). Love the little shade cloth area in your photo.

  4. Last year many of our shop-bought onions for eating sprouted leaves. Planted them and they did gave me many onions!

  5. Guinness is my pick-me-up treat. When I had my children and was breast feeding them, my doctor prescribed me a nightly glass of Guinness to boost my iron levels and as a general tonic. Best medicine I've ever had!
    Things are not happy being outside here either. Just rain and wind and more rain and wind.

  6. We seem to be missing most of the rain but summer isn't here either. Our courgettes are not enjoying the outdoors. I think it's because we are still having rather cool night time temperatures. The dry weather does have one benefit it is thankfully keeping our slugs at bay.

  7. they are looking so good!! looking forward to having a guiness or ten in a week or so when we reach ireland! will have to do th ebeer traps back home, the slugs, caterpillars and snails destroyed our brassica.

  8. So you did try Guinness--and it worked. The cheap stuff will do just as well. When we traveled in Ireland, since I don't drink, I didn't try the dark ale; however, the college students acquired quite a taste for it. I am glad that you getting rid of your slugs.

  9. Hooray for slug killing! Bravo on getting some results despite the rain :) I am having the same trouble with my bush beans and cucumbers. A fellow regional gardener suggested I try another variety that was working better for her..but after a week on holiday, I've come back to peek at the garden and the beans are surviving. I'm with ya though, sunshine would help!

    P.S. I will be needing to trim back my hostas...I could send you a bit? Let me know :)

  10. Great garden! It is winter in New Zealand now and fortunately I can still pants things in Auckland, but they grow really slowly... and we have lots of slugs! They ate most of my cavolo nero seedlings, I was so sad... I tried beer before, the problem is that there never seem to beer left-over in this house, if my husband opens a bottle he finish it. If I told him about Guinness he would say "what a pity!!!" yep, must get some cheap beer, so he wouldn't want to drink it all, and it wouldn't be a waste!

    I'll follow you now, and dream of spring :-)


  11. Party time for slugs. Maybe slugs in your part of the country prefer a native beer....(Guinness). I just can't imagine a party there with say, Bud Light!
    Your garden is looking really good, though!

  12. I don't drink the stuff, but i would certainly buy a can if it killed a few slugs!

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