hunting snails

Only a (very cross) Gardener…

Would don welly boots and waterproofs and go out after dark, in the rain  on a snail  hunt!

hunting snails

hunting snails

I am generally not a very aggressive person, but sometimes my blood just boils. It is not only the money that the plants cost, it is also the time and effort to plant and grow them.  Mostly,though, it is the dashed hopes of how that particular plant would have looked when in full flower,  creating a wonderful montage of colour with its equally carefully chosen neighbours. (Not!)

hunting snails

hunting snails

Last year I made a real effort to decrease the numbers of our resident snail population. I tried not to let the fallen tree leaves lie too long as that is supposed to encourage snails. I also hunted out their hiding places and removed them (the snails that is, not the hiding places). I hit it lucky when I found their favourite sleeping and, by the looks of things, mating place.  This was behind a large euonymous shrub that was growing up the house wall. I think it must have been a warm spot as it was against the kitchen wall.

Euonymus growing up front wall

Euonymus growing up front wall

I have heard of all sorts of ways to kill snails, but honestly, none of them appeal to me.  You can drown them in beer, feed them coffee granules so they have a heart attack or use salt to dehydrate them.  Then there are all sorts of chemicals that are probably pretty bad for any wildlife that subsequently eats the departed snails.

Clearly the best way is to somehow persuade a thrush to take up residence on your patch, or to build a pond as I believe frogs and toads are rather partial to a bit of slug stew.

On the other hand you could just chuck them over your fence and let your neighbour deal with them!  According to a BBC survey, 22% of gardeners admit to doing this. You know who you are!  We are not so bad in Scotland as only 14% of us admit to it – but maybe we are just a tad less honest!

I guess by now many of you are wondering how I get rid of my slugs – or maybe not?   Well, I am going to tell you anyway:  I just put on my biggest and heaviest welly boots and squash them. Please don’t think I am a bad person – I don’t enjoy it; I just happen to think it is the kindest way.

Of course if you are a really nice person then the only option left to you is to grow plants that the slugs and snails don’t like. You will soon learn what they are, but this list should have something for everyone, apart from the snails, of course!  (courtesy of Gardeners World).

  • Aquilegias
  • Astilbes
  • Astrantias
  • Begonias
  • Crocosmias
  • Euphorbias
  • Ferns
  • Fuchsias
  • Grasses
  • Hardy geraniums
  • Hellebores
  • Hydrangeas
  • Japanese anemones
  • Lady’s mantle
  • Lavenders
  • Lilium henryi
  • Pelargoniums
  • Penstemons
  • Roses
  • Sedums

Please join in with my ‘Only a Gardener’ meme.

I am sure there must be many things that only a gardener would do or get excited about…..
It can be anything from a whole post to a few words or even just a picture.

I will try to publish on  1st of each month – the same day as April fool’s day, but I think this could run for the first week of the month so it doesn’t clash with  other end/start of month memes.

Just add a tag ‘Only a Gardener’ to your post so it can be found easily and add your link in a comment to this page.
If you don’t have a blog then please do let me know of the crazy things you do by adding a comment to this post.  I would love to hear from you.



17 thoughts on “Only a (very cross) Gardener…

  1. Hi Annette – how funny, I was thinking of posting on the same topic – the little blighters have clearly just reached tipping point!
    Like you, I tend to squash snails under foot (or throw them into the road to let them play with the traffic). However I have more trouble disposing of slugs as they don’t squish so effectively!

    • I can’t do the slugs either, but don’t think I have so many thankfully. I think I am winning as I have managed to grow pansies this year for the first time and have one and a half delphinium growing well too.

  2. One and a half delphiniums…?!! I like the hand in front of the face picture – I am staying incognito too! Perishing blighters – I might be taking action myself this year…

  3. Dont be cross Annette, just share them with your neighbours, I must admit I have done it in the past, their name was actually Cross, sorry Dave. I had all of those snail hardy plants which you mention. I never thought of it before is the Lilium henryi one of the only Lilies which the snails dislike?

    • I guess you can own up to it now that you are far away in Cheshire! I suppose it works two ways – it is equally likely that you get them thrown into your garden too.
      As for the Lilium henryi – I have no idea why Gardener’s World listed just that plant in italics and why just that one rather than other Liliums. Their article didn’t give any clues.
      I haven’t grown many lilies so can’t really comment.

  4. Slugs are sickening to kill, but snails have to be scrunched. It is the black side of gardening but someone has to do it.. Squashing lily beetles with your fingers is vile too. We love animals and wild life but unfortunately our love of plants makes ruthless killers of us. A non- gardener would be horrified at the business-like way that we go about it.
    By the way, it is no use throwing the snails next door, they come back.

  5. I leave my slugs and snails to the thrushes and blackbirds that live in the garden, I love it when I hear tap,tap,tap of a snail shell on a stone! The blackbirds and hedgehogs gobble all the slugs, thank goodness, so we don’t have much of a problem. Lily beetles get knocked onto a white tissue and then I stamp on them!

    • You are so lucky to have thrushes and hedgehogs. We do have lots of blackbirds, but I have never seen one eat a snail or a slug. The song thrush has such a beautiful song.

  6. my mom is the one who hunts the snails in our garden. to effectively kill them, she collects them in a bucket and takes them to a hard surface. there she dumps them onto the flagstones and squishes them dead und her shoe.

Please leave a comment - I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s