‘Brilliant for wildlife’: The plant to put in your garden to attract birds to eat slugs

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Slugs are irritating, eating plants with no concern for the gardener’s plight. However, a BBC Gardener’s World presenter recommended a native hedge.

Gardener Mark Lane is a big advocate for planting a native hedge in your garden.

It is one of the best hands-off methods to kill slugs by introducing predators, something the expert has discussed with Express.co.uk. 

He told Express.co.uk: “If you’ve got room for a native hedge in your garden, your really, really should plant a native hedge.

“They are brilliant for wildlife. They’ll attract butterflies, moths, birds, and all the beneficial insects into your garden.”

Birds are one of the best creatures to entice into your garden to get rid of slugs.

Birds such as song thrushes and robins will snack on your slugs.

What type of hedges is available to gardeners?

Mark said: “Mixed hedges are great because you get things like wild roses.”

Mark also recommended berberis, knowns commonly as barberry.

“You’ve got things like berberis, which have really beautiful sort of red dots of colour.”

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What is a native hedge?

Native hedges are hedges that have developed naturally over thousands of years in the UK.

They include Hornbeam, Beech, Box, and Yew. The great thing about native hedges is they can be planted in any most soil.

They offer protections for wildlife, and also provide privacy to your garden.

Hedges will also provide shelter for your plants, helping them to grow or giving you a space to grow more delicate plants.

How to plant a native hedge

Before planting the hedge, remove weeds and stones from the patch and turn the area over. Add some mulch to enrich the soil. Don’t plant in waterlogged soil.

Plant your bare root saplings in a staggered double row, with each one half a foot apart – or to whatever size you are expecting them to grow.

Then water them in and add mulch.

Mark also detailed a clever trick to kill slugs involving lager. 

Slugs are attracted to the sugar in beer, and so it can be used to lay a trap for the creatures.

Fill a plastic cup with a cheap layer and bury it in the ground with a 2cm lip around the outside.

Leave this overnight, and in the morning you should find a cup full of slugs drowned in the beer.

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