THERE anything else I can do about the snail problem in my garden?
I use snail pellets, I squash, I try to keep everything weedfree,
but there are copious numbers of snails. We've only been here two
years. Would part of the problem be still emerging snails from eggs
laid previous to our living here? I'm beginning to feel desperate.
They are even in the heads of cabbage and broccoli when I cut them.
a snail problem to be as bad as you describe I tend to think there's
somewhere nearby that is the source of the problem, such as stacks
of old rubbish, timber or the likes, that's harbouring masses of
snails, which come out at night or when the weather is wet. Old
weatherboard homes or garden sheds can also have masses of snails
sheltering in their nooks and crannies close to ground level.
If you keep applying
bait on a regular basis you should reduce the problem, especially
if you can find and apply bait near the source of the problem.
There are several other
things you can do in the garden to help protect your plants. Don't
leave lots of compost or other organic material on the soil surface.
It just provides hiding places for them. Cultivate the soil regularly
to bury all organic material. If you do want to mulch, use sand,
sawdust or granulated bark, all of which slugs and snails dislike
travelling over. You could even try sprinkling sand around particularly
precious plants to provide a barrier over which snails are reluctant
Control nearby vegetation
so there's no long grass or such like where they can shelter. And
remember, slugs and snails are at their worst when the weather is
cool and damp - usually spring and autumn - so that's when you can
knock the population down with timely applications of bait.
Gardener, Issue 151, 2004, Page 26
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.