1000 Flowers for the Planet - #354 Use Natural Snail and Slug Reppellent
Reducing the number of snails and slugs in your garden will be a good start to looking after your precious seedlings and plants. A good step towards this would be to eliminate any rubbish lying around. Get rid of old logs, empty plant pots and general rubbish where snails and slugs like to retire after a night out eating your plants. This will also create a nicer garden, so it’s a win/win. If you have chooks, let them loose to chase after the snails, moving them around different spots in the garden to find their snacks. No chooks? You might have to get out there yourself, after dark, with a torch and pick them up before they reach their dinner. Drop them into a bucket of soapy water to drown. In Australia the snails that eat our plants are accidental imports from Europe, not native snails, so don’t feel too badly about killing them. Other methods for killing the snails include a saucer of salt water or diluted beer in a jar buried to the rim.
Repelling or keeping them away from your plants can be done without chemicals by surrounding seedlings and small plants with crushed eggshells, wood shavings, wood ash or sawdust. Unfortunately these are only effective when dry. However, it has been proven that copper works as a very effective repellent to snails and slugs, is non-toxic, last a long time so obviously reusable and is safe to use around pets. A product called Copper Barrier Tape is available with which to make your own copper rings around your precious plants. Escar-Go is another product that seems to be an environmentally friendly slug and snail repellent that contains copper, and can be sprayed around tree bases, letterboxes, or even around plants, which covers those tricky areas where a copper ring may not be suitable. I can’t find all the ingredients in this product but it seems better than a lot of other options with lots of chemicals in them. Use it sparingly and try some of the natural remedies for your solution. Being natural means not using chemicals, which would then be washed into the soil and eventually into the water system where they damage all living creatures.