Though fascinating creatures, slugs and brown garden snails are NOT friends with gardeners. We once had a strawberry bed that we felt was producing berries JUST for the slimy night-time visitors. It was a long time before I planted strawberries again as I associated them with slugs. Don’t let snails and slugs keep you from planting your favorites – they’re controllable.
There are many different ways to keep the slimy ones out of your garden. One way is to repel them by placing things around your plants that they don’t like.
Physical Barriers are “keep out” signs they seldom cross. Be aware that any snails or slugs caught INSIDE your barrier will decimate your plants at double speed since they are confined to one plant.
- copper – A reliable method for decades, copper interacts with snail slime to give them a shock. You can buy copper strips and copper tape, but the price of copper is rising, so these are getting more expensive. An alternative is to hot glue pennies around garden borders, but only use pennies minted prior to 1982, as they were made with 95% copper. After that, pennies were minted out of mostly zinc and only 2.5% copper.
- egg shells – crush up some egg shells and ring snail popular plants with them. the sharp edges will help keep them away.
- wood ash – snails and slugs won’t cross a line of wood ash as it dries them out. You will need to replace on a regular basis, especially in rainy areas.
- unattractive plants – at least to the snails. They do not enjoy strongly scented plants like lavendar and rosemary.
This is the gentle approach to keeping out the slimy ones. If you’re into more permanent and deadly solutions, stay tuned – more to come tomorrow.