Meet my new nemesis for the coming gardening season.
Yes my friends that is a cup of snails. I picked them up in about 60 seconds out in my front yard, and there were still plenty more sliding across the dirt in an attempt to escape my grasp. While I still feel too much pity for them to squish them outright, I have become totally immune to the grossness of picking up giant handfuls of them with my bare hands. They are then loving transported with great care to our chicken coop, where the massacre ensues. Oh yes dear friends, a massacre. The next morning I couldn't even find the plastic cup.
I am currently only using hand picking in my battle against the snails, but when the plants go in the ground in the front yard I may need to get more aggressive. I read an article recently by Organic Gardening on tips to keep slugs from eating your plants and I think many of the recommendations are still applicable to snails. I was suprised to learn that Sluggo isn't a poison in the traditional sense and so it perfectly acceptable for an organic garden. Another option is diatomaceous earth sprinkled around your plants which is the option that Jeff and I are going to try first. A little D.E. sprinkled in your chicken coop will also keep mites down, just make sure it's food grade (not D.E. intended for pools) because they will also eat it. A final option they list is the beer trap. Just fill a small bowl with beer and place it flush with the ground. Apparently slugs favorite is Bud. I tried guiness (it's all I had) and apparently snails don't like that because they didn't go near it! These are just a few of the tips, you can check out the full article here for the rest of their recommendations.