Slugs and snails and puppy dogs’tails

So. Slugs and snails. Well, there’s not much to say, really. I think I am losing the battle.

I tried the nasty pellets, but wasn’t too happy about it. I am not super green, etc, but if you can avoid using nasty stuff, why not try ?

So I purchased copper tape for the pots and some “large” copper rings for the delphiniums and other plants which are in the ground.  Copper deters slugs and snails as it produces a slight electric shock when in contact with their mucus.

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Then, I read that 90% of slugs live underground – what would stop them from creeping inside the ring from underneath ? I had to find something else.

I discovered nematodes. They are microscopic parasitic worms and some of them will infest slugs. They come as a fine powder that you mix with water and apply to your soil with a watering can. The worms can provide you with up to 6 weeks of protection (which could well mean one week). Nevertheless, I felt super clever, super green, one step ahead of the molluscs. I followed the instructions as well as I could. I would no longer stay awake at night worrying about slugs !

And then, I discovered that most of my plants are eaten by snails. Big snails. And nematodes don’t work on them.

Things got worse when I found one enormous snail hiding under one of the blue hydrangea’s leaves. The blue (now turning pink because of our hard water) hydrangea is in a pot on which copper tape has been applied. (Yes, I know, I bought a plant that was forced, it is evil, etc.)

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And another big snail on the delphinium which is in the middle of a copper ring (this is direct provocation, right ?), with no leaves overhanging or forming a bridge which the pest could use to sail inside the ring. Right. OK. Stay calm. Maybe, I need to clean the copper on which the rain has splattered some earth.

Anyway, I resorted to ecoterrorism again, using blue pellets. I try to use them sparingly, but still, not very satisfying. What I feel, is that I could probably get in control of slugs and snails if I was consistent and determined. But I am lazy and easily discouraged. Oh well.

I also found loads of aphids on the red climbing rose today. And I am wondering whether I should spray them, fearing that they might infest other plants, or leave them be (the climbing rose is far from the house), hoping for ladybirds to visit my garden. The truth is, I should wear some gloves, be brave, and crush them. But that is disgusting. I think I might actually hate aphids more than cockroaches. Anybody who has read Les Fourmis by Bernard Werber understands me. OK, it is not good literature, but is entertaining, and made me consider ants (and aphids) differently.

On a rather better note, I noticed that some shoots are coming from the Anémones de Caen little “bulbs” I planted some time ago, thinking they would never work as they like good drainage, and I have clay. OK, shoots don’t mean I will get any flowers, but it is still good news. Better than my lilies of the valley, which never showed up. 🙂 Let’s not sin against Hope.

And hopeful I certainly am, for I have planted a 50 p climbing rose from Poundland today. I don’t expect much of it, but I like to give everything its chance (providing they are not pests) (or weeds).

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