Friday, February 7, 2014

Attack of the killer snails

Over the summer I have had terrible trouble with snails and/or slugs eating all my vegetable seedlings.  I lost 3 courgette plants in one night!  Needless to say I felt the need to do something about them and starting seeking out options.

Of course there are commercial baits but I would prefer to be as chemical free as possible while still managing to salvage some vegetables.  I also have chooks that free range around the garden so I would prefer not to have pellets scattered round if I can avoid it.

Some ideas I have heard of:
- Cut an orange and leave in the garden.  Slugs love them and for whatever reason get stuck to them.  I tried this and got one slug.  Does this mean it doesn't work?  Well I'm not sure really.  It obviously got one but if I thought I was going to have loads of protein for my chooks I was mistaken.  I also seemed to create a fantastic home for ants.  On to plan B.

- Go out at night with a torch and a bucket of salty water to drown snails.  I haven't tried this because I have a 10 week old baby and if I am not feeding him at night I am in bed.

- Sprinkle coffee grounds around plants.  I like this idea as the coffee grounds will break down and condition the soil so it is a double whammy.  I'm collecting some coffee grounds from home but will also ask at my local café. 

I am going to try a comparison between commercial pellets and the coffee grounds and see if there is a marked difference.  This is sprouting broccoli on the left and Kale on the right with coffee sludge poured around the seedlings.  Lets see what happens.

What other solutions have you heard of and/or tried?  I would love to hear.

On a brighter note my tomatoes seem to be taking off and now starting to ripen.. Fantastic.  I have some Sweet 100 which are great for school lunches, and a tasty morsel on the way past the glasshouse, Money Maker and Black Krim.  Here's hoping for a good crop this year.


  1. Thanks so much for your comment/advice on my chicken post. Really appreciate it. Will try calling her in tomorrow night. She is still out there, I can see and hear her. Having a good read through your posts, you should definitely check out the Garden Share Collective. Have a great weekend! Elaina xo

  2. I go out in the early morning to do a snail patrol. I collect them and then give them to the chooks. It doesn't work as well for Slaters though, they are too small and too many...I really don't like the slaters and we lose a lot to them...


    1. Thanks Barb. Must have a check when I got out to feed the chooks in the morning. I hadn't considered slaters doing the damage. Was just blaming slugs and snails.