Welcome to my website where I gather information about plant pests and pathogens preying on gardens in my local area in Melbourne. I want to live in harmoney with nature and so I use exclusion techniques and natural predators to protect my edible and ornamental plants instead of using poisonous chemicals...................John Ashworth 27th July 2015.
Slugs and Snails
Latest Update 2ndAugust 2017.
Slugs and Snails
Binomial name: Cornu Aspersum.
Why Slugs and Snails are a Pest.
make their homes in established plant foliage or well hidden and
difficult to reach places where the environment is shady and
Although they can live on the tough foliage of establish plants, they like to forage for more succulent food.
This is when they do the most damage, as they will totally destroy recently planted seedlings and young plants.
impossible to eradicate slugs and snails from your garden as they are
great travelers. They will migrate from your neighbour's garden to
sample the delights you are offering.
is not to worry too much about their presence, but to exclude them from areas where they do most damage.
that, I do embark on sorties against snails when conditions are right. In
my garden this means early morning after overnight rain, when the slugs
and snails are on their way home after a few hours foraging on my
lawn. They are slow moving easy targets and I simply drown them in a bucket of soapy water.
In my vegetable garden, I rely on exclusion measures. I grow all my fruit, vegetables and herbs in raised Ecobeds these days and I use self adhesive copper tape to keep the molluscs out. I run the tape around the beds about 300mm off the ground.
grow my herbs in a (drip line irrigated) 300mm high raised bed, and run
the copper tape around the bed at 250mm above ground level.
tape is a
very effective barrier to slugs and snails. They get a slight shock
when they come into contact with it, and quickly retreat to
less hostile surroundings.
When I first established my Ecobeds, I cleaned up each bed using low hazard iron chelate based snail bait, but when I started growing my vegetables in them, I would occasionally find a few juvenile snails on my plants.
I think they gain entry as eggs in homemade compost, but were easily removed using a few low hazard iron chelate snail baits.
These baits are not approved for use in organic gardens, so I
used the bare minimum to get the job done. They quickly break down and
are claimed to disperse as beneficial plant nutrients in the soil.
Since then I have introduced hot composting methods which, because of the high temperatures (55C to 65C) involved, eliminate pests in the compost I use.
Slugs and snails are no longer a problem in my vegetable garden.