STEPS TO CONTROL SNAILS AND SLUGS IN YOUR GARDEN NATURALLY
Now that we are in our new house a few weeks, I have had a chance to survey our new garden. While removing some rocks and pots I have found huge numbers of snails. It is a bit strange after the hot summer to see them all, but these lucky few have found some great damp hiding places. They may not be a problem now, but in a few weeks as I start to plant out my veggie patch I can see all my work will be in vain if I don’t do something about removing the snails close by.
So to control them and to keep my garden plants safe, I have gather a few eco-friendly tips that I will be using to remove these little pests from my garden.
An oldie, but a goodie - Beer in a saucer. I tend to hollow out an area in the garden to allow the saucer/small bowl sit and then fill to the brim each evening with beer. Ensure the rim of the saucer/bowl is level with the ground. The snails and slugs are attracted to the beer, but in their drunkenness fall into the saucer or bowl, and drown in a beer bliss. Next morning, if you have chooks, you can give them a feed. Strategically place a few of these around the edges of the garden.
Vaseline – This is ideal for your pots or edging for your vegie patches (particularly if made of colourbond or corrugated steel). Place a layer of Vaseline on the edge. It makes it difficult for the snails to get a grip. It won’t kill them, but it may put them off crossing the barrier. I know some people sprinkle chilli on top of the Vaseline, which will have an unpleasant affect.
Ground Coffee – snails and slugs don’t like crossing over the granules. It makes a great mulch which composts down. Sprinkle it near the base of the plants. You can make a spray with the granules, but I have found this to be less affective with very young plants or seedlings.
Mulch – wood mulch is great and it is uncomfortable for the slugs to travels across. Just take care when deciding which mulch to use and where you are applying it. Some timber mulches don’t break down quickly, depriving the soil of nitrogen. The bacteria in the soil use up the available nitrogen in the soil to aid in decomposition of the mulch above, but this depletes the nitrogen from your plants that you are trying to protect. Look for organic pine chips as they break down quicker.
Orange halves – similar to the beer trap above this attracts the snails and slugs. Also, it deters cats, so ideal for boundaries.
Salt – this might be a job for the kids. Head out to the garden in the evening when it is dark and search for them with a torch light. Then sprinkle salt over them.
Egg shells - Sprinkle some egg shells around the base of your plants. The texture is too much for the snails to handle.
Grow some rosemary, lemon balm or mint near your plants at threat. I have never purposely set out to do this, but I have been told it works. I can say I have never remember seeing snails near my rosemary.
Remember snails and slugs love dark, damp areas. So to avoid a population explosion, remove any unwanted pieces of timber, rocks or pots. At least keep them away from your vegie patch.
Although most gardeners consider them a pest, they provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, earthworms, insects and they are part of the natural balance. If we upset that balance by removing them completely from our garden, we can do a lot of harm to the environment. This is why I would suggest to give these methods a try, rather than spraying with chemical slug killer.
Love to hear your suggestions. Please feel free to comment.
Have fun being earthly passionate in your garden.
Attracta & the team