FOR a really good garden sport when June evenings are soft and scented and the waning light begins to drain the colour from the flowers, I would recommend a slug-hunt. Each competitor is provided with a 21b. jam jar half full of disinfectant. and a trowel. Territory must be allotted beforehand and there must be no poaching. Begin on the grass. You may not see them at first but it is astonishing h o w success breeds success and how lynx-eyed one soon becomes. Keep your score. If there is a week of the right sort of weather you will get a surprising number: large brown slugs, inch-long lawn eaters. and the little black ones that feed underground in your potato patch; these last are best hunted for with a metal skewer. One summer during the war, in a half-acre garden. my own score was over 5,000 slugs.
This age-old method of eliminating the unpleasantest of all garden pests is more effective than the modern use of poisons, and there is no risk in it to birds or dogs or cats. Also, it can become so absorbing that I have known ardent slughunters who would wait impatiently for the dusk and then go to collect their equipment with the zest of a tennis-player fetching his racquet.
Having rid your lawns of a large portion of their slugs, give them extra attention through the summer months. Rolling is no longer necessary, but they should be mown at least once a week and given a dressing of fertilizer (after a good shower) every two or three weeks.