The Banana Slug lives in Heaven


There are readers of TheGardenLady blog who tell me that “shh, it is a secret”: but they have found Heaven and it is in California. From looking at the photos below, I think they are correct.

The other weekend these Heaven-dwellers hiked to a favorite spot in the Redwood forest where they not only got to see their favorite slug- the banana slug.  The Pacific banana slug is the second-largest species of terrestrial slug in the world, growing up to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long.  Banana slugs can move at 61⁄2 inches (17 cm) per minute. But they also got to see their favorite salamanders.

Do TheGardenLady readers agree that these Californians may have found the door to Heaven?







Two Knock Out Rose Problems

Sawfly by Mean and Pinchy

TheGardenLady received two questions from two people who were having problems with knock out roses.  Here is the first question.

I am very upset with my knock out roses. They have small green worms covering the leafs and eating holes in them. They also get on the perennial hibiscus. Is there anything I can use to get rid of the pest without using pesticides.

Here is an answer to this problem from the Knock Out Rose people:

Sounds like Rose slug or sawfly – they usually hang out on the underside of the foliage. You may want to try hand picking them off as you see them or try spraying a horticultural oil or a soap and water solution to suffocate the worms.

Here is the second question.

This is the second year for my roses. I have just had a few blooms to open but I have noticeable problems with them. Most of the leaves have very small holes and it seems like the blooms are smaller and ligher in color than last year’s. The leave problem is also on my older roses. I have treated them once with a spray of 1 tsp. each of baking soda, insecticical soap and horticultural oil in a qt. of water. I do not see any insects on either side of the leaves. Can you tell what the problem may be and how to help fix it?

Here is an answer to this problem from the Knock Out Rose people:

It sounds like your roses may be affected by rose slug or sawfly. The larvae is small and typically green in color (they usually hang out on the underside of the foliage; and are sometimes very hard to detect) They are usually a problem in early spring. It sounds like the treatment you are using is appropriate & it should work to help control the problem.


TheGardenLady Loves Readers’ Comments

Comments by miss miah

TheGardenLady does not really like her blog to be about her personal thoughts unless they pertain to something that relates to an issue she is writing about. The premise of the blog is to discuss or help people with gardening issues, ideas and suggestions. Also, there is the hope that readers will share in these discussions.

But please allow TheGardenLady to get personal when she writes how much she loves when people write in comments.

I enjoyed hearing from  the person who wrote about the importance of the honeybee and how long they have lived in this country.

The honeybee history is very much the history of the first settlers to the US.  See here.

I agree on the importance of the honeybee. Every day I love to examine the pollinators on the plants in my garden hoping to find healthy honey bees returning. Today I was so happy to find two honey bees happily gathering the nectar and pollen.

Mostly I see other pollinators that I encourage and hope that gardeners will encourage to their gardens. When we make our garden environments good, clean and safe all the pollinators will be healthy and do their jobs. This GardenLady hopes that honeybees will make a full recovery. There is no question that we need them and miss them.

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Protecting Marigolds from Snails and Slugs

Marigolds avec Snail by MosaicMarj

TheGardenLady received a question from Lou about protecting marigolds from snails and slugs.

Marigolds love dry hot weather. If they are happy, they self seed and thrive, as those in my garden do. I haven’t planted them for a few years and they are coming up all over the place.

That being said, slugs and snails do love them. But garden snails and slugs enjoy wet or damp dark places where they can hide then come out in the dark night to eat.  See here.  You wouldn’t see them unless you went out at night with a flashlight. If you have a lot of snails and slugs, you can lose all your marigolds.

So, the first thing you want to do is clean up any and all the debris that is around the plants so that there is no place for the snails and slugs to hide and for air to circulate to dry the environment where the plants are. You really don’t want mulch to retain moisture around the base of the marigolds. This is more difficult when your marigolds are in planters that are tightly packed with flowers and when you create a planting environment with different kinds of plants that need different types of care. The marigolds don’t want or need a lot of watering as some other plants might need. Marigolds like dryness. Snails and slugs like damp soft soil and darkness.

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Snail and Slug Problems

Slug: Translucence by LongInt57
Slug: Translucence by LongInt57

TheGardenLady received this question from Jeanne.

I am living in Japan and have several plants on my porch that have what looks like snail or slug meanderings on the leaves. The plants are dying. I do not know how to treat them. I have only seen ants in the vicinity, no other bugs.  Any ideas?

Slug by Sally XIII
Slug by Sally XIII

Snails and slugs are found around the world. I would imagine that in Japan, especially parts of Japan that are high in humidity, snails and slugs would be a fairly common problem.

Japanese Garden slug by Shootages
Japanese Garden slug by Shootages

To tell if you have snail and slug problems, that slime on the leaves of plants or on the soil or in areas where the slugs would be crawling- for example, on your porch is the evidence.

The leaves on your plants could have irregular holes in them. Slugs can strip a young plant bare or even eat it down to the ground.

If you do have slugs you will see them crawling on your plant leaves in the evening after dark. Go out with a flashlight after 10pm or any time before dawn. This is the time when slugs feed. Using a flashlight look under the leaves of the plants to see if you can find the slugs. It is recommended that one wears gloves to do this. Pick the slugs off by hand and drop them into a jar with (stale) beer where they will drown. Some sources says that chopsticks work well for picking off the slugs.

A combination of 2/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of household ammonia is another safe and natural way to get rid of garden slugs. Ammonia is safe to spray on the soil, but may not be safe to use on all garden plants. To be certain it will not kill your plants, spray a small inconspicuous area, and wait three days to see if the plant was adversely affected. If the plant was not affected, give that particular type of plant a complete misting of ammonia and water. It is the easiest way to reach slugs beneath leaves and in the nooks and crannies of plants.

Clean up debris and weeds around any plants because that is where the slugs hide in the fall. Cut off any branches of plants that touch the floor or ground so that slugs can’t crawl up the plant easily. In the spring cultivate the soil around the plant if you can to destroy the eggs. Consider placing copper flashing, copper tape, or copper mesh around the perimeter of the individual plants.

There are many excellent sites for getting rid of slugs.   See here and here.
There are many slug baits sold. Iron phosphate is one effective snail/slug control and the snail baits containing it does not contain ingredients that could harm kids, pets, wildlife, or beneficial insects.  TheGardenLady would imagine that you could find products for getting rid of snails in the Japanese nursery or hardware stores near you.  See here.