Sometimes team snail suddenly appears out of nowhere. How come? Snails love mild and humid weather. So if it has rained, you will see them slithering around everywhere. Especially when it is dark, they like to eat leaves. Lots of leaves!
The slimy critters are mainly there to break down garden waste, which makes snails very useful. Would you rather not have them touch your beautiful plants and/or crops? Then the following five tips come in handy.
Tip 1: Substrate
Snails cannot move well on dry and rough soil. If you sprinkle cocoa shells, egg shells, tree bark or something similar around your plants, snails will no longer come close to your plants.
You could also regularly ‘loosen’ the soil by hoeing it, which dries out the top layer of the soil and makes it rough.
Tip 2: Fragrant plants
Most know that snails love large leaves, such as lettuce or cabbage, but did you know that they don’t like strongly scented greens? Therefore, it is best to place plants such as lavender, geraniums and violets or herbs such as sage, thyme, garlic and mint close to vulnerable plants and crops.
Tip 3: Garden waste
Snails eat old leaves and other garden waste. Very handy! A compost heap is a perfect place for snails to nest. It is often humid, dark and there is a lot of food here. But pay attention to the location of such a mound, because before you know it they will also eat your healthy plants.
It is important to keep the rest of the garden as ‘clean’ as possible. So always remove all dead leaves, branches and flowers and throw it in a closed organic waste bin or on the compost heap.
Tip 4: Water in the morning
Since snails mainly emerge at night and love moist places, it’s a good idea to water your plants in the morning. If you do this, the soil will be dry as soon as night falls, making your garden less attractive to the nocturnal animals.
Tip 5: Natural enemies
As friendly as they look, snails also have natural enemies. These include hedgehogs, birds, frogs and shrews. How do you ensure that more insects, birds and other buzzers find their way to your garden? Click here.
Header photo: Elena Gurova