What to do against snails in the vegetable garden
Nothing is more annoying than hard work in the vegetable garden and the harvest is still gone. She is responsible for some crop failures: the voracious snail. Slimy she seeks her way from one treat to another and sometimes eats away tons of vegetables. In addition to the native nudibranch, the Spanish slug came into the local gardens around 50 years ago. It is very flexible and can travel up to 15 meters a day. In addition, it is more resistant to the weather and native animals often disdain it because of their bitter taste. No short-term measures help against these greedy animals. Snails can only be kept out of the garden with difficulty and long term. There are several methods.
One of the most effective repellents is slug pellets - a poison bait with the active ingredients metaldehyde, methiocarb or ferric phosphate. Here are various preparations in the trade, some of which are even approved for organic farming. Metaldehyde destroys the body tissues of the animals, but does not cause any damage to the environment. However, dog owners should be careful - the animals are sensitive to high quantities. Ferric phosphate destroys the intestine of the snails and they die without further food. Again, there are no other damages of nature. Methiocarb, on the other hand, is a neurotoxin that also has other effects. Here, the vegetable gardener has to study exactly the instructions - for some fruits there is a temporary ban on consumption.
The approval of such products has already expired for small and home gardens. Slug pellets should be used in spring, depending on the instructions. This already fights the first generation of voracious snails. The animals are increasingly taking it up, as there is not much greenery to choose from. The preparation is not very rainproof. On wet days, the bait must be regularly sprinkled.
Slug Fences and Barriers
Those who do not like the chemical products can resort to mechanical methods. In the vegetable garden, the appearance is secondary, the benefits and the harvest are in the foreground. Therefore, there are no aesthetic reasons not to set up fences here. Especially popular snail feed such as lettuce, kohlrabi, radishes and carrots should be fenced. There are different models, whether made of concrete, plastic, wire or even with electricity - it is important that the fence is so high that snails can not overcome it. Of course, there are no loopholes, so conscientious and complete positioning is essential.
Attention overhanging plants: Snails can also overcome the fences on them. Those who tend to use natural barriers can build them from lime, softwood sawdust, or rock flour - snails may not cross them. However, these barriers only work as long as it does not rain. Lime permanently changes the ph value of the soil. Sometimes it is enough to build only dry paths around the flower beds. These avoid the snails. Ash and wood shavings can also be of help here.
Beer traps and baits
Beer traps are recommended in many guidebooks to combat snails. But this is not a good way to remove the greedy animals from the garden. Because the attraction is so strong that even the relatives come over from the neighboring garden. The neighbors like it, the gardener himself has the work and ultimately even more snails. Because beer traps must be refilled again and again and few snails really die in them. Other entangled plants such as tagetes and mustard concentrate the animals on one area, but do not let them die.
But the more efficient the regular collection of snails is. Anyone who consistently removes the animals from the plants by hand or a special snail tongs will in the long run have fewer of them in the vegetable garden. Helpful can be laid out boards. Snails are nocturnal. During the day they usually hide under them, so that there heaped animals can be collected. The collected animals should not be abandoned, then they will destroy the biological balance elsewhere. The quickest way to kill a snail is to cut it.
Even as a precaution, something can be done to prevent a possible snail plague. Anyone who digs up the garden in the fall takes care of it. Because the animals lay their eggs in the cavities. Even when creating the vegetable garden can also be thought of shelters for the natural enemies of. Hedgehogs and toads like many natural shelters and have snails on their menu.
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