Something's Been Eating My Sage!
Do the leaves on your plants look as if some beastie has been nibbling? You may have slugs or snails. I noticed that my Sage has become a meal for snails or slugs, which I know lurk during the day in my garden, then dig into my plants at night.
They also love my Hostas. A friend of mine gave me some beautiful Hostas from her garden, which are very precious to me. I notice that they too are being eaten, so I've researched some ways to organically control these pests. These methods are also good for veggie gardens where slugs and snails like to feast.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
DE is readily available from your local nursery. It's a very fine dust of diaton skeletons. These are made of silicon and very sharp to a slug or snail, and even ants. The snail or slug will get miniscule cuts as they slither their way through the dust. It may not kill them but it will deter them!
How to use: Sprinkle the dust around base of plants, and on leaves.
*DO NOT INHALE*
Egg shells not only deter slugs and snails, they also act as a fertilizer. They are especially beneficial to fast growing plants like fennel, peppers, green beans and tomatoes. They deter slugs and snails in much the same way as DE.
How to use:
- Rinse shells thoroughly and air dry
- Place in bag and crush
- Spread crushed shells around bases of plants
Make a Beer Trap
This method seems to be favoured by people I've talked to and in books I've read. The critters fall into the beer and drown - cruel, I know, but it's them or your plants.
How to use:
Bury a recycled pie plate, plastic container in soil so that the brim is level with the soil. Some people just place a saucer in their gardens. Fill with beer to near to top of container. Check trap daily to dispose of pests and refill with beer.
Studies have shown that slugs and snails get an electric shock when in contact with copper. You could try Doff Copper Slug Tape - 4m - Protects Approx 12 x 5 inch pots.
How to use: You can purchase copper backed paper and staple it to 3" wide boards, placed as a border around your garden.
I'd love to hear about your methods to control slugs and snails - what did you do and did it work. Or if you have general feedback on the content of The Bloomin' Blog, feel free to leave a comment.
And if the are non of these work, you may find a solution in 29 Ways to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs in Your Garden
The Truth About Organic Gardening, by Jeff Gillman
The Organic Gardeners Handbook of Natural Insect and Disease Control, by Barbara W. Ellis and Fern Marshall Bradley
To buy these books, click on the Indigo Chapters.ca link to the right.