Win a Fight Against Garden Snails!

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As the cold weather keeps us confined to the house, our thoughts go to our plans for the warm weather. Spring is a wonderful time of year. It is a time for new growth, new plans and fresh projects. One of the best things to do in spring is to get out into the garden and start planting. Start a vegetable garden, establish a flower bed, or a wonderful herb garden. When planning for these things it is important to be prepared for any prospective problems. One such problem is snails. These are one of the inevitable problems encountered when gardening. How many times have we started a vegetable garden with seedlings only to get up one morning to find a only few stalks remaining after they had been mauled by a tribe of hungry snails? This can be prevented by some clever tricks and a solid plan. homify has done the research and found the best information you need to have a snail free garden.

Introduce Predators

Another way to prevent an attack and remove snails from your garden is to introduce a predator. There are many snail predators. These include; beetles, mites, other snails, mice, reptiles and birds. Many of these options such as mice and certain reptiles may present a problem of their own. A better predator alternative is ducks or hens. Ducks are a wonderful predator for garden snails. The Indian Runner duck has proven a successful predator for snails in the past. These ducks naturally have a preference for molluscs over vegetables. Be sure that you use a net around strawberries and other tastier produce as ducks may be tempted to feed on these. Hens are another good option for snail removal. The smaller breeds of hens are more successful as snail predators. Hens will clear the ground of slugs and snails but will also consume vegetation, so be sure to protect plants. This garden was designed by Cherry Mills Garden Design.

​Why are Snails Dangerous to Your Plants?

Snails can turn a healthy successful garden into a wasteland. Although how can they do this?   Snails and slugs are one of the most common pests in our garden. Snails have enormous appetites and are able to consume an entire garden plant in less than 24 hours. If you have spent a day carefully planting the new seedlings for a vegetable garden, a tribe of snails could wipe out the entire crop in a single evening. Snails and slugs can also reproduce rapidly. This means that if a single infestation is not taken care of, it may result in further and more severe infestations at a later date. One way to remove an infestation is to remove their homes. Many snails will establish their homes under nearby rocks, logs or other decorations. First, remove these items to prevent a potential attack.

​Lay Down Grit

One way to stop snails from getting to your plants is to create a barrier. This barrier will be more successful if it is made of something that snails will not cross. One substance that snails do not like, and will not cross is gritty substances. This is good news for your plants. Simply place a layer of gritty substance such as crushed eggshells, sharp sand or gravel around the edges of your plants to prevent an attack from snails. Snails have delicate slime glands on the underside of their bodies. When they move over gritty substances such as the crushed eggshells, sharp sand or gravel this will clog their glands or irritate their delicate undersides. This will prevent and attack on your precious plants.

​Set Out Traps

Another clever way to stop snails from attacking your plants is to set traps. These traps should be placed around the garden in strategic positions, where the most snail activity has been. There are several baits you can use in your snail traps. One popular trap is the stale beer trap. Snails love beer, they will be attracted to the scent of the beer will enter the traps and drown. There are other baits that you can use to attract snails. Grape juice is another great bait, as is a tea made out of yeast, honey and water. This works in the same way as the stale beer. The snails are initially attracted to the sweet and tasty beverage, but are soon enveloped in it and drown.

​Barriers

As mentioned above, barriers are a great way of preventing snails and slugs from entering your precious garden. A grit barrier is a wonderful way to stop snails, although there are other materials that work just as well, or perhaps better. Cedar bark is a great option. Cedar bark will not only prevent snails from entering your garden, it also looks natural and attractive as a ground covering. The rough surface of the bark will irritate and dehydrate slugs and prevent an attack. Certain herbs will also deter snails. Herbs such as rosemary, lemon balm, wormwood and mint will repel snails. These herbs can also be used as a mulch placed on the garden to deter snails from entering. Another wonderful snail barrier is oat bran. Oat bran will kill snails when ingested. Sprinkle oat bran around the garden to remove snails and slugs. This garden was designed by Garden Studio Allium.

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Ditchling cottage garden

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In certain circumstances snails and slugs may become a serious problem. You may have had this problem for quite some time. You may have tried the above solutions, but have not found success. In these situations it may be time to try something a bit more serious. For these situations it may be beneficial to try copper wire. Copper wire has proven to be a very successful weapon against snails. Attach copper wire around the base of a plant container or around a thick plant stem. As snails have acidic slim they will receive a shock if they touch the copper wire. This shock will not be strong enough to kill them, but will deter them from climbing any further. This may not be a very economical or practical solution, so should be used in extreme circumstances.

Once you have done the hard work of creating a wonderful garden, the last thing you want  is for snails and slugs to destroy your wonderful work. There are many ways that you can protect your garden from an infestation of snails and slugs. It is always better to prevent an infestation of snails than to eradicate the infestation. To prevent snails, consider using barriers to stop them getting to your plants, set traps or introduce friendly predators. These are just a few clever tricks to get rid of snails in your garden. For more gardening advice see Createan Ecological Garden for your Home.

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