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snails, slugs and hosta's

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Question from Jennifer Dance


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how to sucessfully get rid of snails and slugs all my beautiful plants are being eaten, I do what I call snail watch at night with a torch, and sometimes pick up as many as 40 slugs I cant do I hate slugs so come on ladies and gents give me some tips please I'm all snailed out.


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  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Thu. 2nd July 2009 05:34

snails, slugs and hosta's

Reply from Marissa Zoppellini

Hi Jennifer, ha, that perennial question! There are loads of solutions and theories, here are a few for you: Encourage natural predators into the garden - birds, beetles, hedgehogs, frogs, toads - here is a link to the RSPB website on wildlife gardening: http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/wildlifegarden/.

Water in the morning rather than the evening, put out slug pubs to catch them. If you are getting really desperate, you can put alternative meals out for them, eg comfrey or lettuce leaves, as they are said to prefer the wilted leaves. Some swear by copper bands around plants which induce an unpleasant shock to the critters. Some say putting sharp materials as a barrier around plants helps but aparantly they could crawl over a razor blade if they wanted to! They could be hiding out in structures, eg wooden or loose brick edging around beds. Hope this gives you some new ideas, hopefully, you can reduce the damage and just have the odd nibble and hole to live with. All the best Marissa

  • Posted: Thu. 2nd July 2009 17:09


Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Jennifer,
Like many of us who love Hosta, I was plagued with slugs and snails in my London garden. I finally decided to stop planting them directly in the ground. I potted my favourites up and then put copper tape around the lip AND base of each pot. No more slugs and snails! I'm not sure if the tape has worked for others, but it definitely worked for me. You can purchase the tape at most garden centres and I found it best to replace it each spring - it tends to get dried out after a year. Good luck and please let me know what you decide to do, and what works.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Thu. 2nd July 2009 22:42

Natural gardening

Reply from Fi

Hi Jennifer
In truth, because I have a clay, very moist soil environment I can't grow hostas, delphiniums or any other plants that are prone to slug/snail attack. It is far easier to choose plants that are strong enough to shrug them off, and combine with bird feeders, pond, gravel etc.
However, I too have my weaknesses and have a gravel and paving area which I use for the plants usually decimated by slugs - trick is to raise them on feet, and use any deterrent like copper, salt, organic pellets or even sacrificial plants!
But it is fun with the torch - I have seen pipistrelle bats doing this.

  • Posted: Thu. 2nd July 2009 23:21

slugs, snails and hostas

Reply from Sue Osmaston

Hi Jennifer
I have found nematodes to be very successful - the treatment lasts at least 6 weeks and was very effective.

  • Posted: Thu. 29th April 2010 16:01

Re: snails, slugs and hosta's

Reply from Anne-Marie Walker

I recently discovered ground coffee with crushed up egg shells works perfectly.

  • Posted: Fri. 1st June 2012 20:21