Slugs seem to find their way into every garden, eating through everything and anything. From brassicas to lettuces, they’re all at risk. But what about runner beans. Do slugs eat bean plants or are they safe?
Unfortunately, slugs do eat bean plants and can drastically reduce the yield of your bean plants.
Slugs will focus on the leaves on the plants which does mean some beans will still form. However, these beans will likely be stunted in growth and the overall yields of your plants will be drastically reduced.
However, you can take some precautions so that your bean plants remain safe from damage.
How Do You Protect Bean Plants from Slugs?
As you well know, slugs can be persistent, and one of the hard parts of dealing with them is their nocturnal nature. Slugs come out at nighttime, and it becomes difficult to track them down.
However, there are some ways you can protect your bean plants from slugs:
If you only have a few slugs lurking in your garden, handpicking them from your plants can be quite effective. However, this method is time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.
You will need to go out into your garden during the evening or early morning as this is when slugs are more likely to come out. Slugs also tend to hide underneath pot plants, under vegetation or any mulch you may have.
You can then remove the slugs, one by one, and once you think you have collected enough, dispose of them.
An effective way to dispose of the slugs is to immerse them in soapy water. Unfortunately, you will need to continue handpicking slugs every day for at least a week to see effective results.
One of the most effective ways to keep your bean plants safe is to use copper. The copper works by reacting with the slug slime and giving them a jolt. The slugs then know to stay away from plants.
Copper comes in different forms, which you can use in your garden. You can use copper tape to create a barrier. However, in the case of bean plants, it would be best if you used copper mesh or copper bands.
You need to ensure that you do not place the copper band deep under the soil; otherwise, the moisture will cause it to become useless. Make sure there is no space between the barrier; otherwise, slugs will sneak their way in.
Perhaps one of the most effective methods is traps. You can get your hands on some beer traps. Or, better yet, you can make your own. It is quite easy to make a beer trap, and you only need a yoghurt container and some beer.
You can start by making a hole in the container big enough for slugs to get in. Next, you can fill the container with beer. The slugs will be attracted to the beer and get inside the container. As a result, the slugs will drown.
If you don’t fancy making your own then you can pick up ready-made traps from your local DIY or hardware shop or simply online.
If you do not wish to use beer traps, there are other ways you can trap slugs. For instance, you can place citrus rinds in your garden overnight. The slugs will be attracted to the rinds when you check in the morning, and you can collect and get rid of them.
Using garlic against slugs is a preventative approach to keeping slugs out. Garlic has a strong smell that slugs do not like. You can take some fresh garlic, crush it to release the smell and place them around your bean plants.
You can also make a spray out of garlic. You only need to boil some garlic in water to create the spray. Garlic is quite good for plants as it prevents fungus. You do not need to worry about any damage that could happen.
If you do not have any garlic, you can instead use garlic powder. You can sprinkle the garlic powder on the soil to keep slugs away. However, it is quite common for rain or wind to remove the garlic powder so you will need to reapply it.
Unfortunately, one of the common ways of dealing with slugs is to use slug pellets. But when we say you can use slug pellets to deter slugs from bean plants, we’re not talking about the chemical-laden variety.
Many people do not know, but you can get organic slug pellets instead of the traditional ones.
The organic pellets are made from sheep’s wool, and the texture makes the slugs uncomfortable. The wool is also reported to absorb the slime and dehydrate the slugs.
Don’t Use Slug Pellets
When you realise how slug pellets work and the damage they can do, you realise just how bad they are for the environment and other wildlife in the garden so avoid using them.
Unfortunately, like most plants, bean plants are also susceptible to slug attacks. It can be difficult to know if slugs are causing damage because they come out during the night. However, you can still tell because slugs leave slimy trails behind.
You can get rid of slugs using different methods. You can handpick the slugs from your bean plants, use copper tape or mesh, trap them, or use organic slug pellets.