Slugs and snails – part 1
Slugs and snails serve a really useful purpose in the eco-chain and are only “pests” when they’re in the wrong place – your vegetable and flower beds. Voracious eaters they will decimate your tender seedlings and munch on your established plants too.
So here are our top 5, eco-friendly ways to deal with our slimy friends:
Use bronze tools
We’re bound to say this, but the proof is in the pudding and our bronze tools are well known for deterring slugs and snails.
Apparently 20% of gardeners throw snails over the garden fence. However, this time-honoured and un-neighbourly tactic is less effective than you might imagine, unless you can throw them more than 20m. Any less than this and they can find their way back – presumably hungry after a long slither. It’s a good way if you’re worried about having to kill them and have somewhere to take them.
Go out at night, preferably after some rain, with a torch (a head torch is best as it leaves you with both hands free). You’ll be amazed or appalled at just how many slugs and snails there are. Pick them up and drop them in a bucket with a lid. Either dispatch them or relocate them.
Make a beer trap
Sink a container of cheap beer into the ground, loosely covered to keep the rain out. A slate resting on stones works well. Snails will sniff the beer, follow the scent, fall in, drink and drown.
Frogs, toads, hedgehogs and birds will all happily feast on slugs and snails. Create good habitats and these predators will prove willing helpers. Hens and ducks work too but need to be managed to prevent them doing as much damage. Slug pellets are the enemy of natural predators.
Next episode to follow soon……