When I say the ‘great snail battle’ it really does feel like an almighty battle, especially this time of year.
Autumn is notoriously a bad time in the garden when it comes to slugs and snails. This is mainly because the weather is moist and thus it is much easier for them to get around the garden.
Autumn approaching also means that slugs and snails are getting ready to hibernate. And this means that are looking to stock up on food for winter by eating our plants.
Only last weekend I went out to my garden and discovered at least 10 or 12 snails munching away on what was a beautiful hosta the day before.
Needless to say after their overnight feast, the snails left very little of my hosta behind them!
How do I protect my garden from snails and slugs?
At this time of year customers that call into the CountryLife Garden Centre always ask ‘how do I protect my plants from slugs and snails’. But often it is too late to do much because the customer is coming in after the fact. The key to good slug and snail control is getting in early and stopping them in their tracks before they even reach your plants.
Slug control tricks
A very popular method to control slugs and snails at the moment is by using a beer trap. These simply involve burying a shop bought trap in the ground and placing a small layer of beer in it.
The slugs and snails are attracted to smell of the beer and when they reach the trap, fall in and drown. In the past in my own garden I have even made my own beer traps using a saucer or jam jar and found they worked have worked well too.
Slug control products
Slug pellets are a well-known method of control that are known to work. However some gardeners do worry about using slug pellets, especially if they own pets or have lots of birds in the garden.
For gardeners with these concerns I recommend looking at organic slug pellets called Neudorff Sluggo that you can get now in our CountryLife stores.
These pellets are just as affective at controlling slugs and snails but they don’t cause harm to anyone else. Even if a bird eats a slug that been killed by the organic pellets, the bird won’t be affected. Organic pellets are also a better option to consider if you have young kids playing out in your garden.
Compassionate Control of Slugs
While slugs can cause damage to plants they are scavengers and eat decaying vegetation so they are also an important part of your garden’s ecosystem.
Protecting your plants from slugs without killing the slugs and snails is possible using barrier products like copper tape, gels or wool pellets. Slug Gone is a natural product made from sheep’s wool that creates a surface mat that slugs don’t like to cross.
Tips and tricks for keeping snails out of the house
Some customers in the past few weeks have come in with an issue of snails getting in the backdoor. There could be because your flowerbed or shrubbery is very close to the door. Give around the door a good tidy up and clear back any plants that may be housing the slugs and snails.
Finding snails and slugs are getting in the front door?
Place a strip of copper tape at the foot of your door and the slugs won’t travel over it. Copper irritates slugs and snails when they come in contact with it and thus won’t move over it making it a great barrier to prevent them coming into the house.
We’re here to help
If you need any help with managing any pests in your garden talk to any of our horticulturists in store. We’d love to help.