Monday, July 15, 2013

Gibby's Garden Diary Entry #7: Snail Alert!

July 15, 2013

When it comes to the usual pests in my garden, I’ve never had a problem with snails until now. Heck, I’ve hardly ever seen them sans the beach until this season. Not only have I been spotting snails in their tiny orange shells sticking to my weed bucket and popping up in the rows of my garden, but I’ve noticed quite a few while out walking the dogs.

I wondered why the sudden influx of snails. Could it be the heavy rains and intense humidity on the odd day of sunshine? Is there something different about my gardens that these snails are attracted too? I did a little reading in one of my go to garden books, Rodale Organic Gardening Basics, “Pests” and found that snails, much like slugs, are attracted to decaying plant matter and love to feed on young plants.

I do have a thick layer of mulch hay in two of my gardens and several inches of leaves in another used to prevent weeds and to keep the ground moist. While I will not forgo my mulch, it drastically reduces the amount of time I spend weeding, I have found a quick, cheap and organic solution to help control these slimy trailed garden pests - beer traps.

I’ve used beer traps to control the slug population in my gardens for quite a few years now, and I’ve been happy with the results. I’ve doubled my efforts and put out more beer traps where I’ve noticed the highest population of snails. I’ve attracted quite a few so far, and make sure to hand pick all snails that I see when weeding.

Snails and slugs are attracted to the yeast in beer, which if you’re like me, you always have an odd can or two in the fridge. I set out my traps in a shady spot slightly away from the garden if possible. Intense sun leads to mold in the traps causing them to need to be changed more often, and placing the traps outside of the garden lures the snails out rather than in.

If you’d like to know how to easily make your own snail and slug beer traps, click on over to my post, How to Make Your Own Slug Traps, to find out how.

What pests have you noticed in your garden this year?

View all Gibby's Garden Diary Entries

Gibby's Garden Diary entry #6 - Plant List (previous entry)

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