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Expert gardener shares centuries-old hack for keeping slugs away from your plants: 'The Victorians used to do this'

"You can collect them in the morning."

Slug trap, Hack for keeping slugs away from plants

Photo Credit: @huwsgarden / Tiktok

Slugs can decimate the plants in your garden, so one smart gardener found a way to trap them with the one leaf he didn't need: rhubarb.

TikToker Huw Richards (@huwsgarden) shared this tip in a video from early June. 

"You can make a zero-waste slug trap out of a rhubarb leaf," he says in the video, then demonstrates the incredibly simple method: "zero-waste slug trap using rhubarb leaves."

@huwsgarden Zero-Waste slug trap using rhubarb leaves - apparently the Victorians used to do this too! Best placed late afternoon/early evening, and you can use it multiple times before throwing on the compost bin 🌱🌱 #zerowaste #gardening #gardeningtips #natural #vegetablegardening #pestcontrol ♬ original sound - Huw Richards

The scoop

First, Richards picks a piece of rhubarb, breaking it off at the stem. He then separates the stem from the leaf and sets it aside to eat.

The large leaf gets placed upside down where it will keep slugs away from his garden: at the base of another plant, around the outside of a planter, or in any open stretch of soil in the garden bed.

The next morning, Richards turns the leaves over to reveal slugs stuck to the underside, where they're easy to remove. "Eviction time!" the video's caption reads. "Reuse leaf as often as you like, and compost it when you're done."

"Apparently the Victorians used to do this too!" Richards adds in the video description. "Best placed late afternoon/early evening."

How it's helping

This incredible hack is the smartest way to use a piece of garden waste you'd normally just discard. While rhubarb stems are delicious, the leaves are poisonous, and too many will make a human sick, Healthline reports

Given that rhubarb leaves are inedible, attentive gardeners might wonder if they're safe to compost. But don't fear — the Chicago Botanic Garden confirms that they are.

With this completely free hack, you can increase the yield of your entire vegetable garden by getting rid of slugs. Better yet, it uses no pesticides, so it's safe for you and the local wildlife. It's also fast, simple, and clean, making it a money-saving strategy with no drawbacks.

What everyone's saying

Commenters were full of helpful suggestions for gardeners who didn't want to use rhubarb leaves.

"If you are into orange juice: place the empty halves on the ground," said one user. "Snails'll hide under and you can collect them in the morning."

Another commenter said, "Damp terracotta works too."

"I use beer," said a third user. "It's very effective."

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