It is that time of the year again, and as I take an early morning walk in the dark between the home and office, I am starting to hear the family crunch of snails being trodden under foot, or what is worse the squelch of slugs being squashed!
I know they are part of nature and the great creation, and that they also do some good – decomposing, recycling and fertilising at about the same rate as earthworms, but they are a lot more destructive, especially the slugs that happily eat live plant leaves, fruits, vegetables, grass, fungi, even bulbs, while snails in general prefer decaying material. Regardless, its best that you don’t let them eat their way through your garden at this time of the year. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Beer! I know it may seem like a waste of the good golden stuff, but they like it as much as we do (the smell more than the taste), and in large amounts it’s as good for them as it is us! Get a shallow dish or container, bury it in the ground so the top of the container is at ground level, pour in the beer and get up in the morning to see it full of drowned snails. What a way to go! You will need to empty and refill the containers for the best results.
Scatter used coffee grounds around the garden beds, snails do not like the texture or acidity, and it deters them rather than kills them.
Or do the same with sawdust, as they don't like that either.
You can also use rolled oats! Unlike the above two, snails love eating rolled outs, but they are not good for them and expand inside their guts. You can guess the rest!
Or just go to the local nursery or hardware store and get some eco and pet friendly bait and sprinkle that around.
So a few options for you to choose from, with varying degrees of impact on the snails and slugs, depending on how you feel about them. It’s all a part of the gardening experience!