Don't let snails and slugs ruin your garden
Preventing Snail Garden Damage
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Natural Vegetable Garden Pest Control
The Slug Patrol
Preventing Snail Garden Damage
Last year snails had their way with my garden. It seemed like I spent the whole summer trying to control them. I like to stay as close to organic as I can, but if I need to use pesticide this year, I will. Can anyone tell me how to keep snails from eating every leaf in my garden?
Save Your Eggshells
I used to have a big snail problem in my garden, but not anymore. I save my eggshells in a baggie, smash them to small pieces with a rolling pin or jar bottom, and then liberally spread them all around the plants up to the base of each. The eggshell pieces are sharp and the snails will not go on them at all due to being stuck and cut. You would be surprised how eggshells build up from your meals once you start saving them. I save them in canning jars as I smash them, and by spring, I have an ample supply available.
Preventing Snail Garden Damage with Epsom Salt
Try using plain Epsom Salt (no water) around your garden and/or specific plants. This is good for the plants, but bad for the snails or slugs, which mostly come out at night to feed.
It would also be a good idea to do a web search on the topic and see what other ideas you get. Keeping your garden organic is a wonderful idea, but you do face problems with controlling the critters that want to eat from your plants.
Try securing a length of copper wire around the perimeter of your garden bed. The soft underbelly of the snail gets a small shock when it starts to cross the copper. Not liking that very well, they back up and retreat. I had one friend who laid out pennies inside her pots for the same purpose.
Lure Them with Beer
You can put a partially covered dish nearby with beer in it. That will lure and kill snails. You can also put diatomaceous earth around your plants. Its microscopic sharp edges deter the soft skinned snails and slugs and scratch any exoskeletons of other insects.
Two Step Approach to Preventing Snail Garden Damage
Get a half dozen two liter plastic soft drink bottles. Cut the spout off, leaving a hole in the top of the bottle about 2" diameter. Buy a box of slug bait. Put one cup slug bait in each bottle and shake to get the slug bait to the bottom of the bottle. Lay each bottle on its side in the areas of worst slug infestation. You need very little slug poison this way as the rain doesn't dissolve it, and the poison doesn't get into the earth. Instead, it stays nice and dry in the bottle. The slugs crawl in, eat the bait, crawl out, and expire. You will get them under control this way quickly and cheaply.
At night you can take a large box of salt and walk all your sidewalks and patios with a flash light. You will see slugs on the paving, particularly if the paving is damp. Sprinkle salt on each slug and they will die immediately.
Keep Them Away with Used Coffee Grounds and Salt
A few years ago, I had a snail problem on my hostas. The solution that worked for me was a mixture of used coffee grounds with a bit of table salt mixed in. It really controls snails and slugs as well. I sprinkle it on just after the hostas start to grow. That way, any young snails or slugs get dehydrated and die. I usually mix two parts used coffee with one part table salt. Both are organic and improve the soil as well.
This solution should solve your snail problem for good. Just apply every spring around any plants you would like to keep snail or slug free.
Find Helpful Info on Preventing Snail Garden Damage Online
You'll find a great web page on how to get rid of snails and slugs in the garden without having to resort to using pesticides here.
The methods I have tried that work well are putting out beer traps at night and spreading diatomaceous earth around the plants in my garden, especially under the shady plants like hostas. As a bonus, it is not harmful to people or pets.
Take the Next Step:
- Visit the TDS library for more on preventing garden pests.
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.