Thursday, 1 May 2014

Re Evaluating Mulching

Re Evaluating Mulching

I have got into the habit of mulching all bare soil on my beds but I have noticed my Jerusalem Artichokes, Raspberries and Edible Loopins are not growing.

After digging down into the soil looking for new shoots on the Artichokes and Raspberries I can see that the shoots did grow but were eaten by slugs. In fact, under the mulch there are many many slugs.

I'm afraid that the raspberries and artichokes have put all their energy into producing new shoots, which get eaten, and are now probably going to fail.

I think in future I may have to leave off the much until the shoots are big and strong and then mulch.

20 raspberry canes have failed to produce new shoots which will massively reduce our fruit production.

This weekends job will have to be removing all the mulch and hoping that there is still time for the plants to try and throw up some new shoots. Also adding little cups of beer for the slugs to drink, and fall into will be employed!


  1. How disappointing and frustrating for you. However it may only be a temporary problem as in time nature may bring things into better balance and diminish the problem itself.

    I have used absolutely masses and masses of mulch over the years and never had a problem with slugs eating Jerusalem artichokes and raspberries (even when there were more slugs about).

    We have a (very small) pond with frogs and toads which eat slugs and I have seen a blackbird eating one. I am not sure if these creatures are why the slug population has gone down in the garden but it certainly has over time. Hopefully your problem will not persist for ever.

    1. I have absolutely thousands of slugs and slug eggs under the mulch. I'm sure you are right that things will balance out but for now the slugs are winning. All sunflowers I put out to harden have been munched too and they were still in pots.

      I have a large ish pond (18ft long) with newts now and I know there are hundreds of frogs about (at least there were that many in the autumn and there are certainly some around as I have seen them.

      I have bought some beer to put out for the slugs but so far each can has been emptied before I put some out for the slugs...still have a few attempts left!

      Anyway, we'll just have to see how we go :)