Last year I had a reasonably slug free hosta experience but my little minis are raised up on a stand avoiding the ground loving slug.
I was chatting with Stephen aka The Bonsai Baker (also known to blog once a year 😉 ) He adopted the use of a home-made garlic spray this year and is raving about the results. He got the recipe from Ian Scroggy up at Bali Hai Nursery here in Northern Ireland. Stephen says that it smelly to make but it’s only for a few hours but the results are amazing. He uses the ice cube tray method and sprays once a month which works for him. Just don’t get the cubes mixed up when you go to add ice to your drink! Anyway, below is Bali Hai’s recipe for them. Give it a go, I am.
The Garlic Recipe
Get two large Garlic bulbs place in a plastic bag get either a roller pin or hammer and crush the garlic the bag helps to hold the small crushed pieces together. Once finely crushed add contents to two pints of boiling water let it boil for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic looks like it is blanched. Let it cool best to do this outside it does smell a bit. As soon as it is cooled get an old pair of stockings and place them over the saucepan and drain off the liquid into a jar the stockings help to filter out the small garlic pieces. Now you have a concentrated liquid of garlic. With this liquid put two tablespoons into your watering can about two gallon size or 10 litres and with a fine spray rose on your watering can water this over the leaves of your hostas best to do it in later afternoon after the strong midday sun has passed over. Spray your plants every 14 days during active growth ie from the first shoots starting to emerge to late August-September. You can also pour your garlic concentrate into ice cube holders and freeze it that way it cuts down on the smell and just use 2 ice cubes to 10 litres of water.
Try making your own garlic spray and just do one or two plants to start with so as you can see the difference with the Hostas that you sprayed and ones you left alone. Within a month you will see a good difference. I know the smell puts people off making their own but it is worth it I can assure you. Make sure when spraying the plants that the leaves are dry so as the spray will stay on the leaves and the liquid will dry on thus giving the protection. I only spray every 14 days but weekly would be even better. “Garlic Barrier” also do a granule form that you can mix in with the compost I tried this on 100 pots of Hostas but did not get the same results as I got from the liquid sprays but this was only a small scale trial it might work for you and there is hardly any smell of the granules.