Alison’s Garden–Snails. Seriously Hate it.

Right up in the Top 5 on my “Hate It List” has got to be snails in my garden!  I hate ’em!  Hate them.  Seriously.  I have been pulling them out of my planters by the dozens and searching for them under my strawberries, lilies, zucchini and just about everything else, too.  They majorly diminished the bloom count my irises this year.  I could do without them.  Hand down my most hated mollusk. 

In June I could easily pull over 300 of them off of my perennials in one day.  I was hoping that after handpicking them and plunging them into soapy water to kill them I’d have them under control.  The trick seems to be to 1.  Use gloves!  They’re slimy and gross.  2.  Look for the most damaged leaves first because that’s probably where they’ve been chowing down and there will likely be a jackpot of snails!  3.  Pluck them off quickly (don’t waste too much time) and plan to do each plant twice.  Once the majority of the snails were removed others tended to slime their way up to the tip of the leaves!  4.  Do it again tomorrow! 

I have heard that some people use beer traps (I’ve read they should be about 1/2″ deep and dug into the soil), however, I did not find a single snail in my beer trap.  I wonder what kind of beer they like?!

I ended up buying strips of copper tape which they don’t like to slime their way across as well as a product called Sluggo that I picked up at Gardener’s Supply Co. and so far it does seem to keep them at bay, but you do need to reapply it and keep an eye out for snails that manage to make their way onto the leaves.  I am not big of adding anything to my garden other than compost, but I had to do something about these snails!

2 comments

  • Pam

    August 2, 2010 at 8:57pm ·

    Oh Alison! I love snails, not in my garden though. When I was in grade school, I brought a snail back with me from California. “Henry” was my pet for many years. He was soooo cute. I fed him goldfish food from my finger; he had pink lips. Then one day I couldn’t find him…. A few days later I found him in a spider web under my dresser. I was soooo sad, I cried for days!!!

  • alison

    August 3, 2010 at 3:21pm ·

    Pam, That is so sweet and so sad all at once!

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