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  • 2 Aug 2015

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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Honeysuckle and slugs


 To the Editor:

An unlikely pair: the first is a threat, the second a pest, and we can deal with both up to a point. 

Probably everyone knows the pretty blossoms, then berries, of wild honeysuckle. It's in bloom now, paired red berries follow. Originally an imported garden shrub, it is now rapidly taking over in open areas and woods, shading out native plants. Birds love the berries and their droppings spread the seeds far and wide. (I've been told they're not good for birds.)
Please, if you can, do be aggressive in pulling out the shrubs (easy when smaller), cut off at ground or, if neither is possible for you, pick off berries and put in trash, not compost, of course. Every bit you do saves more of our native species.
Slugs in garden? With all the rain, they're coming on strong, cut off young plants like cucumbers at the base. Get 'em drunk -- they love beer! Put about two inches of the cheapest beer you can find (they're not fussy) into about a four- to five-inch glass dish or custard cup and put dishes amongst plants. You don't need many. They'll "slime" up, over and into the dish, get drunk and drown -- happy, I presume. Once I got about 40 in two days. No need to change beer daily. As I said, they're not fussy.
Judy Larson DiMario



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