As the warmer months arrive, you might be keeping an eye on your garden or vegetable patch in the hopes your flowers or food will thrive in the conditions.

While the weather might start to be more on your side, you might come across some slugs that are trying to eat the new leaves of your plants or food.

If you’re getting tired of seeing holes bitten through your lettuce leaves, there are ways to prevent slugs from making their way onto your garden and it doesn’t have to cause them harm.

Oxford Mail: Slugs like to feed on leaves including lettuce and cabbage leavesSlugs like to feed on leaves including lettuce and cabbage leaves (Image: Canva)

How to get rid of slugs without causing harm to them

A YouTube user, Luke from the channel MIgardener, has shared tips for fellow gardeners to try.

Within the video, Luke talks educated viewers about the way slugs live to help them understand natural ways to keep them off the garden.

Here are the five tips he shares with fellow gardeners.

Keep mulch area far enough away from plants

If you use a lot of mulch, which are sticks that hold moisture, slugs will be attracted to the area and it’s somewhere they can survive.

Rain or dew can keep mulch moist and therefore provide a good space for slugs to live but by making the area dry, it becomes less appealing to slugs and more difficult for them to move around.

Luke says you’ll need to keep mulch far enough away from your plants to create a drier space so slugs aren’t attracted to your plants or vegetables.

Oxford Mail: Slugs like areas with lots of moistureSlugs like areas with lots of moisture (Image: Canva)

However, rain can make the dry barrier wet again so gardeners will need to be mindful that slugs may find their way back to the plants.

Sand is a dry material that can be used to create a dry barrier for slugs.

Luke recommends using about 0.5 to 1 inches of sand around your plants and says that gardeners should continue to mulch but make sure they do it about 3-4 inches away from their plants.

When the sand is dry, slugs will find it difficult to climb onto the sand and gain access to your plants.

Reduce the amount of mulch you use

Luke says that by reducing the amount of mulch you use in your garden, you can help prevent slugs from getting onto plants.

Increase your spacing

If you grow plants close to one another their leaves can trap moisture and create an environment for slugs to enjoy.

Slugs can survive under the leaves and Luke suggests spacing your plants out when you start to grow them in the early Spring when conditions are damp.

Prune your plants up

Avoid having leaves touching the mulch or soil as they can act as more mulch and hold moisture which is ideal for slugs.

This can be done for plants with bigger leaves like cabbages and broccoli.

If your lettuce has leaves that grow lower, Luke advises that you trim the lower leaves and allow them to grow upwards instead.

Oxford Mail: Pruning your plants up could help keep slugs aways from the leavesPruning your plants up could help keep slugs aways from the leaves (Image: Canva)

This will allow for good airflow underneath the plants.

Luke says that since slugs breathe through their skin and like to have wetter conditions, making the area around your plants drier, will help to deter them away from your plants.

Control the food source

Slugs like to feed on tender greens, so growing these foods such as cabbages at a different part of the year or a different part of the garden will help keep the slugs away as their food source will be reduced, Luke suggests.

You can also grow vegetables like lettuce or radishes in containers, in a different part of the garden or in a raised bed, making it hard for slugs to access them.

What did a garden expert say about slugs in the garden?

Gardening Expert at Hayes Garden World, Angela Slater, has shared some tips for gardeners who need help with keeping slugs away from their garden.

Slater said putting coarse grit around your plants will keep slugs away as they don't like the feel of the grit on their soft underbelly.

Bran can also be used around plants but it must be reapplied after it has rained. The dry bran sticks to their moist underbelly and soaks up the moisture and prevents them from sliding around.

Oxford Mail: A gardening expert has shared some more tips to help prevent slugs getting to plantsA gardening expert has shared some more tips to help prevent slugs getting to plants (Image: Canva)

Slater also suggests making a beer trap or leaving upturned half orange skins to attract the slugs. Once they are around your plants, you can move the slugs away.

It's important that you don't put too much beer down so the slug drowns. You should take the slugs a long way from your garden as they're said to have a homing instinct.

At night, gardeners could also remove slugs by going out to find them with a torch and moving them away from their garden.

Copper tape can also be applied around plant pots to deter slugs. A slug's slime and the copper react, giving the slug a faint electrical current when it tries to cross.

While Slater hasn't tried this next tip, she says adding crushed beech leaves to your plants could help prevent slugs from reaching the plants.

She hasn't tried it herself but says other gardeners swear by it. It's thought that they don't like the strong tannin that the beech leaves contain.