Thursday, August 26, 2010

Snail Trail

Oh Wow, I've hit on a topic that generates serious interest.  Snails and Slugs.  Isn't it always the way of things? The least sexy subject is possibly the most important.

Peter . I use my thumb and pointer after rain with a torch then put them on the ground and use my shoe . It works and no dust to inhale or pellets for the animals  Laurie  

Laurie sums up the general feeling and I've a suspicion that he finds this therapeutic.  John (vegie plot King) had a detailed and valuable contribution as usual.  Snails are like annual weeds, they lay eggs that wait for favourable conditions to hatch.  Favourable?  I don't have detail but I guess Spring rain is pretty good so John's suggestion is to set baits early and catch the babies as they hatch.  John also suggested a salt solution poured over the plants in the afternoon, then washed off next morning.  I have concerns about using salt in the garden, rotten stuff accumulates in the soil.

I did find that Kendon Chemicals produce a spray on snail repellent Escargo (gotta love the name).  Escargo is not listed on their web site, but I'm told it is effective and long lasting so long as the area sprayed doesn't get too wet.  If you followed the link to the non chemical snail controls last week you may have noticed that gastropods don't like copper (pic above).  Copper is the active ingredient of Escargo which is available in 1l spray bottles at quality garden centres (Thanks Rob). Please keep in mind this is a chemical solution and should be treated with care.  A couple of readers pointed out experiences that show Multiguard is not quite as environmentally friendly as promoted.

However, not everyone agrees:

I was at a funeral last week of a lady I have known for some time. During the Eulogy by her daughter her love of snails was mentioned, not that she loved them in her garden, but she didn't like to kill them. So when they gardened she would gather all she could find in a bucket and then take it down to the park at the end of the street and empty them there.

Segue. Chooks are a terrific way to control all manner of garden pests as long as you're prepared to put up with their own destruction or manage the process (our chooks have massacred our back yard over winter).  If you would like some chooks, here's your chance.  Visit Gippsland Chook Rescue they are offering as many 'girls' as you like for a flat fee of $10.00.  Offer is open until Tuesday only!

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