Food growing tips from the Community Garden Makers project - top 5 slug and snail busting plants.

05 October 2014

Learn about slugs and snails and how to beat them in your garden.

Have you ever spent a fortune on plants for the garden then discovered the remnants after a slug or snail attack?  Read on to learn some facts about slugs and snails and my top five favourite tips for beating them.

Interesting slug & snail facts

  • 5% of the slug population is above ground at any one time. The other 95% are underground digesting your seedlings, laying eggs and feeding on roots and seed sprouts.
  • A slug can lay 20 – 100 eggs several times a year.
  • Slug eggs can lay dormant in the soil for years and then hatch when conditions are right.
  • Slugs are active whenever the temperature is above 5oC.
  • A cubic metre of garden on average will contain up to 200 slugs.
  • Slugs and snails are hermaphrodites – they have the reproductive organs of both males and females.
  • Snails are nocturnal. They don’t like the brightness of sunlight, which is why you will find them out on cloudy days.

If you want to know even more about slugs and snails you can visit Snail World and Slug Off.

There are various ways of trying to control slugs & snails which include:

  • Introduce predators such as hedgehogs, ground beetles, ducks and chickens.
  • Sprinkle bran in a circle around your plants (they seem to love it but end up bloated and dehydrated, making it hard for them to return underground and becoming easy pickings for birds).
  • Biological methods such as Nemaslug which introduce nematodes (microscopic multicellular animals) into the soil and which kill slugs and snails.
  • Grow plants that slugs and snails won’t go near.

I prefer the last option and always include certain plants in garden areas to avoid the nightmare of slug and snail attacks.  My top 5 slug- and snail-busting plants are:

 

Astrantia  (Masterwort)

Astrantia Masterwort

 

Aquilegia  (Columbine)

Aquilegia

 

Lavandula  (Lavender)

Lavendar

 

Sedums  (Stone crop)

Sedums stone crop

 

Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)

Hardy geranium

 

As you can see from the images above, they’re also great looking plants so, for me, it’s a win-win situation!  

How do you keep snails and slugs away? I’d love to hear about your top tips in the comment box below.

 



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