I love a hard day's work in the garden and the pure joy of watching my garden flourish, however when all of that hard work is undone by pesky snails or slugs feasting upon my beautifully manicured display of all of my favourite plants it is the height of frustration! Those slimy critters can absolutely destroy your healthy plants within a day leaving your garden looking less than inviting.
As with most things I am always trying to find the most sustainable and natural solution. I found out that traditional slug repellent contains a chemical called metaldehyde which is toxic, harmful to wildlife, children and the environment. Even for adults, it can cause significant harm which is why alternative methods are becoming much more favourable and has compelled me to find a healthier alternative.
There are solutions that are natural, safe and effective. I’ve put together my top tips for controlling snails and slugs naturally:
How to protect your plants from snails
Lay down natural grit; egg shells or seashells are a great eco friendly option, snails don’t like to travel over rough ground, so laying down natural grit will protect your beautiful plants from damage. I personally love using beautiful crushed oyster shells as a pot dressing under my plants. When sprinkled around the base these shells are a marvellous natural deterrent and are full of micronutrients, they can even help with soil structure and drainage.
How to prevent snails in your garden
The most common way to repel snails and slugs from your garden is to use a repellent, instead of reaching for your usual traditional option try a natural repellent, a non-toxic safe option that will deter slugs and snails from lunching on your prize plants in a much gentler and equally effective way. Our slug and snail repellent uses the active principle of the fresh and aromatic Pine essential oil (Pinus Sylvestris) which is a brilliant biodegradable deterrent. As an alternative you can use pine needles, your old christmas tree conifers or even garlic cloves safe in the knowledge you are also protecting the planet.
How to prevent slugs and snails naturally
Another option is to create an environment that snails and slugs hate, there are certain plants that will put them off their supper and cause them to retreat; Plant Alchemilla mollis (lady’s mantle), Anemone x hybrida (Japanese anemone), aquilegias, bergenia, Dicentra spectabilis, foxgloves and salvias. Or create a tasty distraction by planting a sacrificial row of plants they love, to act as a distraction from your most loved plants.
There are so many more organic and environmentally friendly possibilities, and I know you will have your suggestions. If you try or have tried any of these do let me know what you think.