Scottish Rock Garden Club Forum

Cultivation => Cultivation Problems => Topic started by: Tristan_He on March 23, 2021, 11:01:56 AM

Title: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Tristan_He on March 23, 2021, 11:01:56 AM
Hi there, has anybody else tried this? I've been experimenting with it this spring and it seems to be quite effective (I know other things like coffee grounds are supposed to work as well, but I'm not convinced by these and supplies are patchy). So far I've used it on slug prone plants in the garden such as Fritillaria and Phyteuma, and it seems to prevent damage, even when something has started to be chewed (so I know the slugs have 'found' it). I've bought a large tub!

With the removal of metaldehyde slug pellets this is a welcome alternative and much greener - I'm not interested in killing slugs, only in stopping them eating my plants. It allegedly also breaks down slowly and acts as a feed as well.
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Gail on March 23, 2021, 01:17:37 PM
I've not tried it, as sadly I have a somewhat cynical nature and assumed the idea was promoted by wool producers with excess product on their hands but actually there is an interesting review here which indicates perhaps I should hold my cynicism...

I was amused to see that he has only tried virgin sheep wool and wonder if the wool from sexually experienced sheep is less effective? Is controlling slugs the gardeners equivalent of taming unicorns??
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Leena on March 23, 2021, 05:07:59 PM
How interesting, I didn't know wool could prevent slugs and snails (more a problem for me than slugs). I can easily get my hands on wool, but I haven't heard of pellets here.
When I read the link Gail posted, it says there that wool is good only until it gets wet, but pellets should work even after rain.
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Tristan_He on March 25, 2021, 01:08:06 PM
Leena you can get pellets via eBay - some sellers will post to Finland.
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Leena on March 26, 2021, 05:18:16 PM
Thanks Tristan, but I think it would become too expensive with all the customs and such now:(.
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: MarcR on April 04, 2022, 06:33:31 AM
Virgin [unwashed] wool will indeed work because the lanolin dehydrates them; so, they will avoid it.   If you dig a shallow trench [2-2.5 inches deep and as wide as a narrow trowel ] around a plant just beyond the rootball,  bend wire coat hangers into a U shape with one side of the U elongated by 6-8 inches and with the top of the long side bent  toward the short side the width of the trench. A piece of old garden hose as long as the circumference of the trench should be drilled at intervals and the bent tabs of the coathangers inserted in the holes. Line the trench with heavy guage aluminum foil with enough extending beyond the top to wrap around the hose after the hangers are inserted in the trench. The flange thus created will shield the wool from rain and overhead watering.
Title: Re: Sheep Wool Slug Guard
Post by: Vinny 123 on April 04, 2022, 09:05:17 AM
There are always rave reviews and as many derogatory ones for any of the alternatives to slug pellets.

I encircled some raised beds with copper wire and that had no effect. I never tried adding a battery, which was an added version after simple copper wire/tape was found to be ineffective.

So far as I was aware, the first version of wool offered for slug control was dags, not clean wool.

As to comments about just making money for sheep farmers - UK wool, from commercial meat flocks, which is the vast majority, has no value anyway, hence the experiments with wool growth inhibitors to put a weak spot in the fibres, so that the wool is shed as it snaps at the weak spots. The industry has been searching for uses other than use as a simple fibre for many years - I use one MO supplier who sends frozen/chilled product wrapped in sheets of wool in tubes of very thin plastic.
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