Puppydog tails, and slugs and snails….

We have a pest problem at the garden. Not if you are a slug, or a snail, mind you. Even the resident magpies can’t keep up.

I’ve planted numerous seeds and seedlings (patiently waiting 6 or 7 weeks for my carrots to pop up their first leaves, then….) only to have them eaten overnight. It’s devastating to spend all that time nuturing seeds, only for them to become the next gastropod meal. I guess I haven’t taken enough care, though.

Green Harvest have a good info sheet on organic slug and snail control. Options include using inverted orange or grapefuit halves (once you’ve squeezed them), sawdust, eggshells, wood  ash, beer traps.Then there’s commercial products like copper bands or spray and environmentally friendly pellets and organic garlic sprays.

I’ve tried some of these, but without success. They also suggest going out on a night mission to capture/kill these nocturnal pests. The chilly central Victorian nights at the moment makes this one a challenge though.

At the least, we need a garden-wide assault on them; solo gardeners won’t be able to tackle the problem, though they may encourage the soft-bodied beasts over to the neighbour’s plot!

I’m interested in any ideas on how to tackle ’em – perhaps a communal night hunt? Or a group purchase/making of some friendly detterent?

the common snail

slug with eggs (lots!)

4 thoughts on “Puppydog tails, and slugs and snails….

  1. Mary says:

    Let’s do it! Official sunset tomorrow night is 5.12pm. Suggested best time for handpicking snails is 2 hours after sunset. I’ll be at the garden at 7.30pm tomorrow, Sat 2nd. If anyone can join me rug up, bring torches & containers. A feast awaits any interested chooks!

    • saide Gray says:

      Sounds like fun – a snail and slug hunt – to make a better gardening future! Hooray! Shall bring hat, gloves, scarf and coat with container and torch …. may even see a nocturnal friendly tuan or sugar glider! from Saide

  2. janet barker says:

    Well, we needed stronger torches for a start, but a hundred or more slugs are no longer feasting on our plants…I’m mixing garlic, chill and the dead bodies with some water and soap and see if it works as a deterent. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. We’ll leave wood ash in the shed to put around seedlings and think about other strategies. The torch one works, but it’ll take more than one night’s reco.

  3. Ilze says:

    You could try spreading used coffee grounds around your seedlings. The snails and slugs don’t like caffeine. Alternatively you could spray the earth around the seedlings with a percolated coffee…

    He is some info about it – http://www.plantea.com/slug-baits-coffee.htm

    We have had the same problems and since putting the coffee grounds around our seedlings they seem to be improving.

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