"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Friday, 19 August 2011

Will the snails cop(per) it this season?

I read in the gardening book that RMan bought me for my birthday that one can use copper pot scourers to deter snails.  I have tried coffee grounds, crushed egg shells and empty loo roll holders - with varying degrees of success - they have to be replenished / replaced every time you have a good downpour, or the watering is too severe - and how many eggs do you / can you eat in a week...?.

But I thought - "Why not try this?"  So I purchased some scourers and stretched them open...
... and I placed them over my seedling trays.  I spied a snail nearby, so I thought, "I wonder what will happen..."?

When he made contact with the copper, he slithered about 2 cms (1 ") before...
... he beat a hasty path for the safety of the potting soil mix.
Reaching the other side, he had no option but to go up and onto the copper again...
...it took him ages to get round to the stick - he looked pretty uncomfortable travelling on the copper.  I could almost hear him sigh with relief when he found the marker stick...
I can almost hear him thinking, "Do I really have to go back down there...?"
No, he didn't.  I got tired of him taking so long to make up his mind so I swiped him off the stick, plopped him on to the paving, and, yes, my foot accidentally squashed him...

Ah well, I have to wait and see if any of my seedlings get munched.  I'll let you know.

Reckon it could be another good eco-friendly form of pest control :)


  1. (grinning) Can't wait to see how this works! You're "bling-ing" out your plants.

    I'd feel like a mad scientist..."Whaaa Ha Ha...come to me little slugs. Let me zap you with my bling.

  2. Interesting. I am surprised he went on the copper to begin with. Keep us posted.

  3. Tanya - LOL - the outcome will be interesting.

    Tami - Anything to make my plants feel at home and therefore super productive :)

    Jane - Well, it had no choice - I shoved it down on the copper LOL

  4. I have yet to find any effective eco- friendly deterrent to these pests, other that harvesting by hand. One good thing though -they have taken up living in my post box devouring all the junk mail- now if I could only find a use for snail poo!

  5. I had good luck with traps when I lived in humid North Carolina. Haven't had a problem with that kind of beastie since I moved to arid west Texas. Found a good collection of ideas at this organic gardening site.


  6. I know salt melts slugs. Sprinkle some on one and watch it. Perhaps set the trays in something where you can sprinkle salt around them. If it works like it does on slugs they'd never be able to get to the trays to climb in to them. They would melt first.

  7. Garden Girl - I'm going to try this as seedling protection, but once the plants are all "grown up" (a.k.a. chard / spinach, etc) I'll probably try Diatomaceous earth.

    Julianne - Thanks, I'll check out the site :)

    tffn - The only problem with salt is it melts when you irrigate / it rains and / or you have to be out there when the nails are active (all night)LOL

  8. What happened with this experiment?

    1. DCavalla - Welcome, and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. The snail / copper experiment worked, to a point. I think perhaps the snails coated the copper with enough mucous to make the copper ineffective. Also, the copper I used wasn't pure, as it rusted pretty quickly.

      The beer trap works best :)


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day and removes the "loneliness' of sitting at my screen blogging supposedly to myself ;)