Updated: Jan 9
Are your leaves full of holes and your seedlings devastated by gastropods? Here are some ecological tips to remedy the situation.
If snails and slugs are very interesting for nature, they are much less interesting for our crops. Indeed, which gardener never had the bad surprise to discover his lettuces, cabbages and other fruits and vegetables ravaged by these gastropods? Fortunately, there are simple and natural solutions to get rid of them without killing them:
#1 Create natural barriers
Thanks to their mucus, snails and slugs can adhere to any surface, as long as it is not too sticky, drying or rough, as this could damage their thin and fragile skin.
Therefore, to keep them away from your garden, you can put ash, fine sand, sawdust, or wood chips around your plants. But beware of preconceived ideas, if eggshells are very effective, they can unfortunately injure gastropods, especially if they are not well crushed.
#2 Scent your garden
Snails and slugs cannot stand strong odors, like garlic. So, to keep them away without endangering them, you can mix a little water and some cloves in a spray bottle. Then, diffuse this preparation at the foot of your crops.
A practical and useful tip: remember to repeat the operation several times a week, or even every day, because the smell disappears very quickly, especially in bad weather.
#3 Grow scented plants
Some plants have the virtue of repelling gastropods by their smell. This is the case with begonia, wormwood, borage, nasturtium, chervil, blackcurrant, or geranium, as explained by our colleagues from 20 Minutes. On the contrary, some plants have the power to attract them, like the marigold. So, why not plant them far from your vegetable garden?
You can also grow aromatic herbs that, in addition to keeping slugs and snails away, will be perfect for your dishes. This is the case with parsley, thyme, rosemary, fennel and sage.
#4 Two precious allies: caffeine and seaweed
Against snails, slugs, but also ants, don't hesitate to put dried coffee grounds at the foot of your plants. However, don't be too heavy-handed, because it could harm your crops.
You can do the same with seaweed. Indeed, their high salt content has the effect of repelling gastropods, as explained by the media Rentokil. Therefore, don't hesitate to place some around your plants to keep pests away from your garden.
#5 Attracting small predators
Don't hesitate to attract hedgehogs and birds, which are precious allies of our gardens. In fact, in addition to promoting biodiversity (which is essential in this day and age), you will fight against undesirable pests in an ecological and natural way.
Moreover, chickens are also known to keep away gastropods. So, this may be the perfect opportunity to adopt one.