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.
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:
Sedums (Stone crop)
Hardy Geranium (Cranesbill)
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.