Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Slugs and snails – where many a gardener fails

Slugs and snails are going about the rather serious business of eating to live. They have no awareness of human aesthetic and culinary needs. Standing on them, dehydrating them in salt or poisoning them is cruel punishment. You may even wrongly convict one of the many species that eat only rotting vegetation.

Frogs, toads, magpies, hedgehogs and ground beetles are natural predators. They can be encouraged, e.g. by providing a garden pond and dense planting. If you poison a slug or snail, quite ironically, you poison these natural predators.

Try hand-picking slugs and snails on mild, damp evenings and putting them on the compost heap to feast on kitchen waste. Leaving out upturned citrus fruit halves overnight makes this process more manageable. Use copper or grease bands and sharp grit around pots. Plant out sturdy young plants rather than vulnerable seedlings. Avoid planting slug and snail food plants!

Infecting them with nematode worms is an unpleasant but natural method where culling is deemed essential.

NB. Google may serve up ads for 'slug killers' due to the presence of the word 'slug' in this post.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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