Right that’s it, now it’s Snail War. They may be soft, stripey and kinda cute sometimes but no-one dines for free at Chez MTP. The six cabbage plants I put in have been mercilessly munched into oblivion by slimey invertibrates. Something has to be done. They have to die, that much is clear, but by which weapon? Should I go for the Rocket Launcher (slug pellets), the Uzi (midnight salt raids), the Grenade (beer traps loaded with John Smiths) or the Shotgun (a line of broken shells).
Pellets, I decided, were not in line with my organic leanings, while the thought of midnight salt raids made me want to vomit (I still don’t like killing things). In the end I decided it had to be a two-pronged attack of beer plus a barrier of broken shells. It seems to be working on first inspection. Anyone got any other ideas on how I can win the Snail War?
Bran is supposed to be another good one. Snails love it, munch it all up and then die (i think I even read somewhere that they explode, but I could be wrong).
They are pretty though, aren’t they? We also have those gorgeous golden striped ones as well as bog standard browny-grey ones. you can see I end up spending a lot of time looking at snails on account of picking up so many of the damn things!!
Darn it – the little blighters have broken my shell defences and the rain has watered down the beer!
Bran you say? Is that the stuff you get from health food shops (not Bran Flakes). Where do you suggest I put it? Around the plants?
Yes, I think that you’re supposed to use it as a tempting barrier, so around the plants, but not too close, perhaps around the edge of the beds? I’ve never actually tried it, though I did buy a great big enormous bag of bran (Sainsbury’s own – I couldn’t believe they sold it and it was dirt cheap) which is still sitting in the cupboard unders the stairs. Not sure how well it will cope with rain either…
A watering of coffee (drinking strength – any stronger and the plants don’t like it) is also supposed to get rid of slugs in the soil. I think someone on A4A swears by it. I think I also read that it’s illegal, so I’m not actually recommending it you understand.
Thanks – I’ll do anything to save my lettuce seedlings that are just poking their heads out.
I found this idea on a website called http://www.gardenadvice.co.uk
Black plastic bag method
If you have a slug attack in one area in your garden this is a quick method to reduce the numbers . Take one black bin liner place on the ground in between your tender plants, then place two lettuce in it which are well past their sale by date. Finally add two cups of breakfast bran and pour a cup full of beer (bitter is best) over the lettuce. Leave over night with the top open and check in the morning, the slugs should have climbed into the bag over night and as the sun raises in the morning taken shelter in the bottom of the bag, ready to be removed from your garden.
I have traps made of 1 pint plastic milk bottles which keep the bran/ beer out of the rain and beneficial creatures out. You make a hole in the bottle that the slugs/ snails can climb in through, then bury the bottle so that the hole is clear of the soil (and hence things which don’t climb don’t get in). The bran/beer goes into the bottle to a level lower than the hole, then you put the lid back on to keep the rain out.
If you use bran there’s no evidence of it working – they munch and wander off and die somewhere else (allegedly) as it sucks the moisture out of them or something. The beer traps will have corpses in. Empty them while they’re still fresh or it’s iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiicky!
What a range of weapons. I’m definitely trying both the black bag and the beer traps – when I’ve tried beer traps before they’ve always been open and never worked, but these sound good.
I think I might be losing my sqeamishness about killing them!
Ha…. Monty says it’s National Slug Awareness Week…
Bran – I have never actually known this to kill slugs, but they certainly love it. They seem to be able to sniff it for miles.
In my experience, it’s best used to lure them away from something, and toward something else- either a pot/binliner or whatever to do morning collections, or your beer traps. They like the beer, but they can ‘smell’? the bran from further away.
I get up very early and collect ’em. Then, under cover of darkness i throw them over the wall to the vilest neighbour that anyone could have. I haven’t had snails for over a year but i was very thorough!
good site :) Whish you good luck!
I use Nematodes, I find I get 6 to 8 weeks protection from one application, and they are not expensive