Snail war

Bean seedlings protected from snails and slugs by a copper collar

Bean seedlings protected from snails and slugs by a copper collar

Snails, snails and more snails. Our winter and spring have been very wet and as a result snail numbers increased dramatically. In my garden I used to find them in every dark corner and under every leaf. Every time I planted out a seed or seedling the fresh, succulent green leaves would provide supper for a snail. Even quite well established plants were disappearing under the onslaught. I had to do something. Over time I tried every recommended remedy, each with only limited success but finally I came up with a combination of solutions that seems to be keeping the numbers under control and protecting vulnerable plants. These tactics also work for slugs. This is the story of my private war waged, often under cover of darkness, on snails. Read more

Coffee in the garden

Article and photos by Penny Woodward

SnailsUsually when someone suggests coffee in the garden, they mean a cup of good strong brewed coffee in a lovely quiet spot in the garden. Bliss. But not me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee, but when I talk about coffee and gardens I’m referring to its many other uses, from controlling snails to adding nutrients to the soil.

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Copper tape repels snails?

As I’ve mentioned in other posts and articles, for some time now I have been using copper tape to protect seedlings from snail and slug attack. Recently I received an email from a reader saying that he had tried it and it didn’t work. But I knew it worked well in my garden because all my seedlings were surviving even though my garden is still full of snails. But I hadn’t actually put a snail near the tape and watched what happened. So I did. The snail started to head over the copper tape, and then suddenly reared back, twisted around and made its way back down the pot. The theory is that it gives them a small ‘electric’ like shock. I was interested to see that once a snail had ventured onto the tape and received this shock, that they wouldn’t go onto the tape again. I then decided I should film it so that you could all see what happens. So I found some new snails and the rest is on the film. Thanks Dan for help with filming and editing, some bits have been sped up for effect as, well, snails can be a bit sluggish!

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