Slugs and spuds

If you grow potatoes on the plot you may be familiar with the sluggy spud. It’s generally soil dwelling ‘keel’ slugs that carry out the mining and tunnelling with potatoes lifted in late summer and autumn worst affected.

Strewing wildlife unfriendly slug pellets isn’t a solution, while the much touted parasitic nematodes are expensive to buy and must be applied several times to be effective. A better way to minimise damage is to grow potato varieties that are slug resistant.

One of the best is the second early Kestrel. For a later maturing maincrop, the King Edward like Carolus is a good bet. The flavoursome Charlotte also has good slug resistance. In contrast, some varieties are especially susceptible. The widely available Maris Piper is a martyr to molluscs. The popular Cara and Pentland Crown are also very vulnerable.