Home made nematodes- beating the Marsden and Colne Valley slugs!

Gardening in Marsden and the Colne Valley is hard enough with our unique microclimate- but the slugs here are really something else!! I would go as far to call them super-slugs and last year’s mild winter has made the problem particularly bad this year! At Ginkgo Garden Design we don’t want to stop including hostas in our planting plans- we would much rather beat the slugs.


So you will be pleased to know that I have a solution that really works- it is not, however for the faint-hearted so if it is not in your nature to treat slugs badly then please stop reading now.

Ginkgo Garden Design
Lindsay Haycock

The book 50 Ways to Kill a Slug offers some amusing ideas such as ‘spinning a slug smoothie’ and catapulting them off a cliff. It mentions shop bought nematodes which do work but are expensive and I would venture to add not as satisfying as making your own for free.


In order to make our own nematodes- which is basically a slug disease that we can water liberally throughout our garden, we need as many living slugs as possible. All slugs contain a small number of nematodes and by putting a lot of them in a humid, confined space, the nematodes will flourish and multiply.


So if you would like your hostas to look like this:


ginkgo garden design
healthy hosta








…and not this….

ginkgo garden design
slug damaged hosta












Here is what to do:

Gather your equipment: you will need a bucket sized container with a lid and possibly a brick or stone to put on top for good measure (don’t want any slug escapees!).


A sieve or colander exclusively for this purpose.


Gloves with which to gather slugs.


Optional nose clip for pong protection.


Put a well of water in the container and a few leaves for your slugs last meal. The leaves also serve as an island to keep the slugs alive. Cunningly collect as many slugs as possible and place them in the container. You can keep adding slugs whenever you find them.

After 2 or 3 weeks the nematodes will have killed the slugs so simply sieve the liquid into your watering can, put the gunk back into to container with some more fresh leaves to start again, fill up the watering can with water and spread slug disease throughout your garden.

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