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Copper Tape

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Copper Tape

Post  miinva on 9/12/2010, 4:02 pm

I've read about using copper to deter slugs and someone recently mentioned it in a post, but I have no idea where to get it. Any suggestions?

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  boffer on 9/12/2010, 4:17 pm

$$$ !~!

Copper flashing comes in rolls like foil, in different sizes. I don't know if HD or Lowes will have it; lumber yards that cater more to contractors should have it.

'Plumbers Tape' comes in a roll like ribbon; it has holes in it. It comes in copper, galvanized, and plastic. Available at HD and Lowes in the plumbing dept.

I don't know if bare copper wire would work. Available in the electrical dept.

Somebody glued pennies to the top edge of the box, all the way around.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  Chopper on 9/12/2010, 7:53 pm

How much copper is in pennies these days? I think they are mostly zinc. Not sure if that would affect the desired outcome or not.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  LaFee on 9/13/2010, 1:28 am

According to Wikipedia, copper pennies have only 2.5% copper....they're basically just copper-plated.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  erbarnett on 9/13/2010, 9:09 pm

You can buy copper slug tape from Gardener's Supply Company for 8.50 for 13 feet. It is 1 and 1/4 inches deep. Two and 1/2 inches is recommended for slug protection on your SFG frames. It really works, according to the agricultural extension agents. The copper needs to be cleaned every now and then with vinegar to remove the tarnish so the copper can continue to work.

Bug-Geta pellets will also kill slugs and snails. The trick is to scatter the poison pellets about ten feet AWAY FROM your SFG. The snails are attracted to the pellets and will all be killed. Putting them very close to the SFG will only attract them to the SFG. If you do not like to put out poison, then put wooden planks several feet AWAY FROM your SFG. Then in the morning turn the board over, scrape the slugs off with a putty knife, and step on them. Bingo, they are gone.


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Re: Copper Tape

Post  sceleste54 on 9/13/2010, 10:57 pm

Salt "melts" slugs...interferes with their slime coat. Based on that sprinkling a band of salt around the outside borders of the SFG might just repel them.. bounce

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  Megan on 9/13/2010, 11:01 pm

Do you really want to salt your soil? That is how past armies destroyed the cropland of their enemies. Shocked Granted, if your boxes have bottoms it may not matter, but it seems unfortunate.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  LaFee on 9/14/2010, 12:39 am

Or...have yourself a family of hedgehogs, who have a voracious appetite for snails and slugs.

And don't throw beer parties for frat-boy slugs -- they just drink it, not drown in it.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  acara on 9/14/2010, 6:20 am

@sceleste54 wrote:Salt "melts" slugs...interferes with their slime coat. Based on that sprinkling a band of salt around the outside borders of the SFG might just repel them.. bounce

Same thing I've seen done & use around my SFG box and other veggie containers. .....cheap/easy/non-poisonous to pets.

Clean out a fabric softener bottle (or anything with a "easy-pour" spout). Fill the container with a 50/50 mix of white pepper and Kosher or rock salt. Pour an outline around the outside perimeter garden box as soon as you set up the container & re-line weekly. Keep the line at least 12" away from the box/growing media.

Slugs won't come near the salt......cats/dogs won't come near the white pepper (more than once).

I'd be concerned on using solid copper or copper flashed products around my plants. They use copper rod to kill unwanted/problem trees (derivative of the old drive copper nails in a tree to kill it) and buried copper wire mesh has been used in lanscaping & agg enginerering to manage/control root growth for the last 20 years.

May not hurt to use the copper flashing above ground though..... dunno thinking

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  erbarnett on 9/15/2010, 2:28 pm

The copper slug tape from Gardener's Supply is very thin. I put it on the outside of the frames (not the inside) and very near the top of the frame. Any slug or snail that tries to climb the frame to enter the box is immediately repelled and sent the opposite direction. This small amount of copper could not possibly affect the vegetables. Gardener's Supply is a reputable company and would not sell a product that would harm someone. It is safe to use.

Also, be sure to keep the grass short around your frames. Slugs can ascend a blade of grass and drop down into or crawl into the frames. I can't stand those nasty looking things. Believe it or not, they are beneficial to gardens in the long run. They chew on and digest plant matter and helps it decompose into compost.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  LaFee on 9/15/2010, 4:46 pm

Given the plethora of copper garden products found on the internet (garden ornaments, downspout chains, liquid copper for use as a fungicide) that are sold in the US, it's hard to believe that it's wildly toxic...the feral lawyers would have had the suppliers and manufacturers for lunch a long time ago.

There are even dozens of pages that discuss copper *deficiency* as a reasonably common plant problem (attention SFGers: ESPECIALLY in gardens with a high amount of composted soil, as the available copper becomes chemically bound into the mix and is then unavailable for the plants).

It would take a whole lotta copper to leach out enough to cause a serious problem.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  boffer on 9/15/2010, 4:59 pm

Not to mention that the "new and improved" pressure treated wood is protected predominantly by a copper chemical product.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  acara on 9/15/2010, 6:59 pm

Coppers (elemental and most derivatives) at concentrations above 200 ppm, it actually stops photosynthesis in plants. For humans, any intake above 10 mg/day for extended periods will cause liver/kidney damage

In Ag, aquaculture and aquatic plant grow tanks, copper derivatives have always been "use it for what you need it for and get it out", due to the accumulated toxicity in almost any pourous material and the fact that it can only be removed by foam fractionation (protein skimming). I don't suppose it's a whole lot different in the "dry" world.

I've personally seen several large plant/fish kills in commercial ponds from the customer not allowing the wait-in period on new copper pipe, flashing, and statues/decorations ...and at/below tested levels of 2 ppm. The problem is that the toxicity of copper is affected by pH ..... so a couple of ppm at one level may be fine, but with a pH change, it can be toxic to plants and peeps.

Not taking asking anyone take my word for it ... look it up on any PIP, IRIS or MSDS. Most states also have it listed in their enviromental fact sheets under Copper Health Information Study (states have to publish this because of copper water piping).

The Forestry Department (US and Canada) also publishes some good material on the use of chemicals to control plant & root growth in container stock and open landscape design, as does the Architectural Landscape Design Association.

At a minimum, I'd suggest letting the copper weather first, or test your soil every once in a while, since a SFG container is a semi-closed loop enviroment, filled with all kinds of pourous/absorbent material, by design.

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  martha on 9/17/2010, 2:33 pm

well, who knew they actually had a purpose!

So the idea of preventing them from crawling into the SFG boxes, but letting them live, seems like the right idea.

I agree with Megan about the salt - not getting it into the surrounding soil seems like a good idea. And I hear the concerns about copper, but I also like the idea of putting it around the upper outside edge of the boxes. (Could be pretty as well as functional.)

What I want to know, Boffer, is - did the pennies work?

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Copper.....

Post  trustinhart on 9/18/2010, 6:02 pm

Acara, would copper be useful to kill the algae in a vinyl swimming pool. If so, should it be aged?

TIA

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Re: Copper Tape

Post  acara on 9/18/2010, 7:05 pm

I''m not really qualified to give any pool advice.

Guts tell me thats not a good idea though, based on how hard copper is to get out of water.

Pool forum? owners manual? Pinch-A-Penny? I dunno

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Re: Copper Tape

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