Saturday, April 7, 2012

Green Finger Tips - Snails n Slugs

Snails n Slugs in the garden

Snails n Slugs are regarded by most gardeners as a pest. They belong to the Mollusc family.

Snails n slugs are eaten by frogs, ducks and chickens and a variety of other insects. Encourage frogs and other snail n slug eating creatures, including ground beetles, centipedes and wild birds, to your garden to help control them.

Hand picking Snails

You can collect up the snails and give them to friends who have ducks or chickens. They will be only too happy for the extra nutrition.

Snail n slug destruction

Snails n slugs can be extremely destructive for plants in your organic garden. In the picture above you can see how they have turned the bean leaf into a skeleton. Amazingly though, the beans were undamaged.

Other Snail n Slug remedies

Besides natural predators and domestic ones, a variety of methods can be used to deter snails n slugs. Eggshells are reputed to cut their underbellies. Any sharp mulch like crushed nut husks, coffee grounds, hair and sawdust are meant to repel them. Plants recommended to keep snails n slugs away include basil, beans (haha), corn, chard, fennel, grapes, ginger, parsley, pumpkins, rhubarb and sage. A bowl of beer is also said to attract them and they drown in the beer. Alternatively, pouring salt on them dehydrates them.

Eating Snails

Snails are considered a gastronomical delicacy by some. If you have the stomach for it, you can collect your snails, keep them in a flour for a week till their stomachs are cleansed and cook them and serve with garlic butter.

Making peace with Snails n Slugs

I tend to admire these slow moving creatures, and allow them space in the garden to do their job. Natural predators will abound when snails n slugs are near, keeping the balance in the garden. If they do get out of hand, I handpick them and send them to a better place.

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