Help. We are under attack from dark forces. When I started drafting this blog post, things in the veggie patch were going so well. The wet winter had nourished our clay soil, while the late spring/ early summer sun was encouraging things to bloom. Seedlings sprouted. Fruit plumped. Flowers blossomed. Peas climbed to the sky up the pyramid I’d lovingly constructed from coppiced hazel and string saved from vegetable boxes. But then the rain returned. And with the resurgence of the non-stop Thames Valley drizzle came the mollusc menace.
So far the snails have eaten fledgling French beans, courgettes, tomatoes and marigolds. They’ve taken a good chomp out of most of the leaves on the broad beans and sweetcorn. Even ornamental plants are not safe, it appears, as they have stripped the leaves on my brand new lupins and the phlox I bought back from my beloved Dungeness.
But what can we do? Being rather organically minded, a bit of a pacifist hippy plus concerned about cats, hedgehogs and small people that roam our garden, I am resistant to reaching for the pellets. Last year I tried copper tape, to no great effect. The Aussie has bravely offered to donate some of his beer stash to make some traps, though I’m not fond of the idea of drowning the poor slithery guys, however delicious a substance it may be in. Part of me wonders if I should just let them be? Is this not nature is action after all? Maybe I should just live and let live? Maybe I could negotiate with their shelled leader about them beating a hasty retreat to next door’s rather neglected patch of land and leaving my treasured veggie patch alone? All I know is that we are not going to get anywhere near my ‘Good Life’ dream with these fellas around.
Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with slugs and snails? I’d really love to hear them. Help me, you’re my only hope.
In the Ground:
Salad Leaves (California Mix)
In The Growhouse:
Half eaten marigolds
Purple Sprouting Broccoli