Trowel and Error

Trowel and Error

By Sharon Lovejoy

We have a yearly invasion of slugs in my garden. These aren't your typical slugs, but the “great grays” that infest the northwest. At their full growth they can reach up to 8 inches in length, although I have witnessed a few that were closer to a foot long. These little beasties of the night can leave a vegetable or flower garden leafless and slimy in a few short hours.

To solve the slug problem, I flipped open Sharon Lovejoy's “Trowel and Error” (2002). I have quite a few garden solutions books on my shelves but I like to check this one first because it often contains an original take on the problem, plus I like Lovejoy's writing style.


She advised setting out grapefruit and melon rinds to attract the slimy slugs. It worked like a charm and didn't require me wasting good beer to build slug traps (a common method advised by extension offices). Within a few short days my plants began growing back their foliage and there were much fewer slugs traveling in my beds under cover of night.


There are more than 700 of these tips in the book. Find organic and low-cost ways to manage plant diseases – including viruses, get rid of pests, make your own fertilizer blends or just simplify planting and harvest. These tips are organic friendly, a must in our personal food garden, and usually low cost or free. This is perfect, since most gardeners I know are frugal, do it yourself bunch of people.