Slug and Snail Warfare

I discovered a few years ago that nothing makes you feel like a prolific gardener like a perfectly formed, beautiful head of lettuce.  And nothing can obliterate all those feelings of goodwill like coming out the next day to find that same lettuce ravaged and full of holes.

As much as I love the idea of living in peace with all of earth’s creatures, when it comes to my garden, I get to the place where I feel the need to participate more fully in the process of Darwinism.

Used to be you’d just lay out some snail bait/poison and that would get the job done. And although now there are some more traditional approaches that are organic, such as Safer products, I’d rather not introduce any foreign substance into my garden that will sink into the soil.  And so unfortunately for me, organic often means mechanical.

One option is to fill yogurt or jar lids with beer; the snails will dive in and not be able to get out and then drown (admittedly, not an ideal death, but that’s what they get for their lack of moderation).  Another idea is to take some broken eggshells and form a barrier around the perimeter of your vegetables.  Some would say that when slugs try to cross a band of eggshells they tear their delicate outer lining and quickly die, I imagine by exsanguination or dehydration.  However I prefer to think that when they are confronted with this same barrier, they weigh out their options, deem it impassable and simply choose another route-hopefully towards the Hostas.

Now I hesitate to share this with you because I’m not sure it’s going to work, but when I was reviewing my options and considering my responsibilities of good stewardship, I thought that attaching a layer of sandpaper around the base of the raised bed may get the job done without any bloodshed.  I’m sure if it was that easy, someone else would have thought of it before now, but who knows.  Maybe it will work.

And what’s really important is that it gave my husband an excuse to buy a staple gun.

This entry was posted in gardening, organic, urban farming and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Slug and Snail Warfare

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