Snails and slugs have eaten my Delphiniums again! They have also munched some of my vegetables and it’s quite a problem!
We garden without chemicals in the old house garden. We have pets but we also have a resident hedgehog as well as slow worms, bats, pond life and birds. We want to encourage this wildlife and using chemicals is not an option. I also think that if you have young children you should think very carefully about using chemicals.
So how do we deal with slugs and snails?
1. Encourage wildlife that eat them! Make homes for hedgehogs, leave a wild patch, make homes for insects and make a hole in your fence so that hedgehogs can get in and out. See my post on how to create a wildlife garden Here
2. Make sure your plants are as healthy as they can be. Use mulch, make your own compost and water your plants regularly (using water from your water butt of course!)
3. Make raised beds surrounded by gravel to make it trickier for the snails and slugs to reach your vegetables in the first place.
4. Make beer traps. Basically put some beer into a jar or pot. It needs to be deep enough so they can’t get out. Put this amongst your vegetables. The snails and slugs like the yeast in the beer and will choose this over your plants. Tip the snails and slugs in the compost bin.
5. Use crushed egg shells or crushed pistachio nuts around the base of your plants. They don’t like it all over them when they move.
6. Use coffee grounds, sawdust, ash or sand around the base of your delicate plants. I’ve actually never found these work but some people swear by them!
7. Put out strips of cardboard at night and in the morning, you will find the snails and slugs underneath and you can pop them into the compost, cardboard and all.
8. Smear petroleum jelly around the base of plants in pots. The snails and slugs can’t cross the jelly to reach your plants.
9. Plant “sacrifice” plants such as lettuces. In other words, the snails and slugs will eat these instead.
10. If in doubt, go out! I go out in the early evening (with a torch…..🤔) And pick off the slugs and snails. I then put them where the hedgehogs live or straight into the compost bin.
I hope this post was useful to you!
OH THE JOYS OF LIVING IN THE OLD HOUSE IN THE SHIRES
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.