Healthy Garden

I found salamanders in the yard the other day and I love salamanders because I know that mean my garden is healthy. I believe they are good luck too.



I have also been perplexed because I have slugs. Big slugs! I also have little slugs and the point is I have a lot of slugs. We live in a forested area and for this country girl; I am in heaven with our little slice of nature surrounding our home. The problem with the slugs is they eat things. The plants that I lovingly nurture or the fresh splashes of color in the annuals I like to plant are targets for these voracious creatures.


When our resident peacock, lovingly called Bird Brains was alive, he controlled the slug and also the spider population naturally and very effectively. I miss that old bird! He was at least 43 years old when he finally passed from this earth a few years ago. We know this fact because the neighbor across the street had a picture with him from 1967. The construction of the major freeway was enough to impede progress of any others from the zoo where we think he may have come from. I didn’t know how lucky we were to have built in pest control when he was on the job.


I turned to social media for advice on how to control slugs but not harm the salamanders or anything else. I didn’t want to use slug bait but they were munching away and I was feeling desperate.


The responses were entertaining, so I will share;


*”Put a few pie pans full of beer around your garden. Works like a charm.” So, I asked, but, will the salamanders get drunk too? Apparently, *“Salamanders shouldn’t go for the beer”. And, *“It’s the slugs that sit on the couch that go for beer”.
Then I found out, *“I’ve read to get rid of salamanders you have to remove their food source”. So of course I asked, what they eat and found out, *“ Insects, spiders, worms and slugs too and they’re supposed to be good for your garden because they eat the bugs that will destroy it”. Now I knew I definitely didn’t want to kill my salamanders! Maybe I should try, *“broken egg shells in your garden for the slugs”.


I agreed that it was a, *“beautiful day to be in the garden!”, but that did not help my dilemma.


I had previously, *“poured table salt on them”, but then I felt bad. Thankfully next was, *“regular table salt isn’t good in the garden. If you used a spreader with Epsom salts, you’ll be doubly blessed. Epsom salts sprinkled around is death to slugs and brings healthy nutrients to your garden”.


I had forgotten, *“Copper strips”.


The squeamish added, “I say get rid of the salamanders too! Creepy! Anything that crawls! I can’t believe we used to pick them up as kids!!!”


Who knew about, “Hazelnut shells”? Now my sister informs me the filbert shells (as we used to call them as kids but are the same thing) work because slugs don’t like to have their soft bellies scratched!


My niece reassured me, *“Salamanders are a great sign for a healthy back yard! And the fact that you are finding them now shows that spring is on its way. I’ve heard beer is a good method for the slugs”.


Slugs must be lushes because, *“I think my dad set beer traps but let me ask him”.


Thankfully I was given an article on Organic Snail and Slug Control. My realization is, it looks like I need to get a chicken! With the advice of, *“Ducks are awesome but messy too. Also buy three because being alone is never fun”.
I love my friends and have been greatly entertained by their problem solving. I guess I’ll have to take the last advice to *”buy a duck”.