SNAILS!!! - Knowledgebase Question

Hollister, CA
Question by breez_98
May 2, 1998
I just finished planting several flowers in my cut flower garden. As our area is surounded by fleets of slugs and snails I know my flowers are doomed. It was suggested to me that I spread some snail bait, but I don't want to kill the little things, just keep them off of my flowers. Copper wire was also suggested. I was wondering how effective and expensive this is. Or if you have any other good ideas to keep control of the little guys without killing them.


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Answer from NGA
May 2, 1998

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Not many gardeners feel as protective about snails as you do! You can try to deter them by putting a barrier around your plants. Copper strips are expensive, but effective. You can also use crushed egg shells or diatomaceous earth around the stems of your plants. If you can sprinkle dry soil around the stems, that will deter them, too. Another way to lower the population is to go out at night with a flashlight and harvest any snails you see. If you eliminate hiding places in your garden, they may go elsewhere to feast. Remove any plant debris that might provide moisture and shade for the critters. You can set up a trap by inverting a terra-cotta flower pot in your garden, propping it up with a stone so the snails will crawl under and into it. In the morning, remove the collection of snails that you find hiding in the trap. Good luck with your project!

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