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Jun 13, 2011
Something’s eating the peppers
Erin Etheridge  Burpee Home Gardens Guest Blogger

So it’s officially been a month, and the container garden is off to a fantastic start. I haven’t gone nuts and overwatered, for one thing, even though this scorching early-June heat tempts my ability to refrain from drowning my plants.

One snafu: Something is eating my pepper plant leaves. Here’s a photo of my assaulted peppers.

I did some research and learned that Japanese beetles are one common culprit, but I haven’t seen any of those. I’ve also read that slugs loooooove pepper plants. So the other day when I was moving the containers, so Noah could mow, I saw what appeared to be an enormous glob of snot lounging under one of the pepper containers, I knew I’d found my culprit.

Dr. Internet, Horticulturist, suggested that the best way to remove slugs is to launch a nighttime covert operation that requires sneaking up and catching the slugs unawares, then picking them off by hand. Um, no thanks. My policy is to do my best to ignore the fact that something slimy and gross is waging war against my garden. Hand-to-hand combat is the opposite of that.

The next best suggestion I found was to scatter coffee grounds around the base of the plant to discourage slugs from making their way up. (Apparently they aren’t coffee enthusiasts — yet another reason to dislike them, besides the whole looks-like-a-head-cold-incarnate thing.)

So I’ve been spreading coffee grounds around regularly because, luckily, Noah makes coffee every morning. I think it’s helping, actually. The plants are at least thriving, and I believe they’ve gotten bigger. Also, several teensy weensy adorable baby peppers have begun to blossom from the plant’s spent flowers.

The best part, though? Seeing my son’s surprised and delighted face as we search for new “matoes” as they ripen on the vine.

Reader Comments (4)
You can also put out a small bowl of beer near the plant. Slugs love it, fall in and drown. Very satisfying. :)
Monday, June 13, 2011 | Nancy
I also use the beer for the slugs. I use either a tuna or cat food cans Submerge the can about halfway into the ground and the fill with a little beer. Then, I use store bought pallets for my potted plants.
Monday, June 13, 2011 | Mary Ann
Putting straw on the base should also helps, but if the coffee works, I wouldn't bother putting straw there too :)

My parents used to (say 15 years back) pay me 1 ct per slug to get them out of the garden, we got évery slug out of the garden.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Arjan
What is eating just the tops of my pepper plants not the leaves
Monday, May 18, 2020 | Frank
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