Snails are one of the biggest enemies in the vegetable garden . They eat through the young shoots of plants, heads of lettuce and can even destroy entire flower beds overnight. But how can you fight these pests? Here are the best plants and home remedies that drive away slugs and keep them at bay from flower and vegetable beds.
Table of contents
- What helps against snails in the garden?
- With plants drive away the snails
- Drive away snails with home remedies
- These tricks also help against snails
What helps against slugs in the garden?
Although they are hardly visible during the day, the hungry slugs can cause great damage under the cover of darkness. Nevertheless, you should try to fight the pests in an environmentally friendly and humane way, because after all, they are living creatures.
So what natural means and measures really help against the plague of slugs in the garden? For example, you can use different plants that keep the snails away and plant them around the vegetable beds. There are also some home remedies, such as coffee grounds or beer, that prove helpful in the fight against the voracious enemies. If these don’t work, you can also use a few tricks to keep the slugs away from your plants.
Use plants to drive away the slugs
Among the most effective and natural remedies for slugs in the garden are plants and herbs that have a specific smell. Rough-leaved and silver-leaved plants can also not suffer the pests. If you plant such species in the vegetable or flower bed, they will be protected from the pests. So what plants, flowers and herbs repel slugs? Below we list the most effective of them.
Since snails do not like plants with a strong taste and intense smell, most herbs are good against the plague of snails. An exception is basil, which these little animals love to eat. Rosemary, for example, has small thick leaves that are of no interest to the slug, and its specific aroma certainly keeps them at bay.
If you plant thyme around your vegetable patch, you can avoid the uninvited guests. Even a single thyme plant in a pot can protect against slugs in your raised bed.
Who does not like the smell of lavender? Obviously, the slugs. Therefore, you can protect your vegetable patch from the pests by placing lavender between affected plants and crops.
Garlic has a specific smell that drives away not only people. Slugs also do not like it, so you can use the medicinal plant to protect the rest of the vegetable plants in the bed. Garlic is also a good neighbor to strawberries.
Just like garlic, the strongly aromatic onion in the vegetable patch is not a beloved food for slugs. If you plant them next to the heads of lettuce, slugs will not come to visit.
If you plant chives in the vegetable bed with lettuce or cucumbers, then slugs quickly seek the distance. Because the scent that this plant spreads, the little animals do not like at all.
Herbs like sage prove to be very effective against slugs. Neither the spicy taste of the leaves nor the strong aromatic scent pleases the pests, so they tend to avoid this medicinal plant.
Lemon balm has a delightful fragrance that can drive away slugs. This herbaceous plant grows very quickly and should be cut regularly to prevent it from spreading all over the garden.
Why build ugly slug fences when you can chase slugs away from the bed with pretty flowers? Nasturtiums form beautiful flowers, but their scent and slightly bitter taste deter slugs. A full win!
What other plants repel slugs?
The plants and herbs listed above are among the most popular species that repel slugs. Here is a list of other plants that are not usually attacked by garden enemies.
- Autumn anemones
And some vegetables such as:
Driving away snails with home remedies
In the fight against stubborn snails, you can also use environmentally friendly home remedies. Although home remedies do not always prove effective, it is worth trying them if you want to drive away slugs naturally.
Set beer traps
Did you know that snails are very fond of beer? The yeast and alcohol contained in it attract the unloved pests, so you can use the drink for the so-called beer traps. Just dig a hole near the plants that are attacked by the pests. Bury a cup or other container in this hole so that the top of the container is level with the top of the soil. Pour the beer in it and the slugs will be attracted immediately. When this happens, they fall into the container and drown. Be sure to use a container that is deep enough so they can’t just crawl back out.
Still pay attention to the fact that in many cases the beer traps can also attract the slugs from the neighbor’s garden, which in the end can only increase the problem.
Citrus traps as an alternative
If you don’t want to kill the slugs, you can set a trap where they will only accumulate. Then you can set them out in the open. Don’t worry – they won’t find their way back to the garden.
Citrus traps, for example, are a good alternative to the deadly beer traps in the garden. To do this, save your lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit peels to scatter upside down around the vegetable beds before dark. In the morning, you’ll probably find that a good portion of your slug population has found its way to these treats. Collect them and move the slugs and slugs to a location away from your garden.
Drive away slugs with eggshells
Broken eggshells have sharp edges that hurt slugs and slugs when they try to crawl over them. So if you have some eggshells left over from breakfast, you can break them into small pieces and sprinkle them around your plants or the edge of your garden beds. The eggshells will eventually decompose and add nutrients to the soil, which is an added benefit. However, this method does not work against some stubborn slug species.
Make your own natural slug repellent spray
You can make a homemade slug repellent by mixing garlic and water in a spray bottle or pouring cold coffee into a spray bottle. Then spray your plants and the area around them to deter slugs. However, don’t spray the coffee directly on the slugs or you could kill them.
Do coffee grounds help against slugs?
Burnt coffee grounds are an effective remedy against mosquitoes and other insects. However, can it help against the unwelcome snails? In principle, yes, because coffee grounds are poisonous to snails. For this reason, it is most likely that the animals will avoid a bed where you have spread coffee grounds.
These tricks also help against snails
If the above methods don’t do anything for you, here are a few more tricks to drive away the voracious slugs and keep them away from your flowers and vegetable plants.
Encourage known slug enemies
Just as slugs love to eat your lettuce, there are animals for whom slugs are a real treat. So if you attract animals like hedgehogs, toads and some birds to your garden, they will take care of the slugs. To do this, provide several natural shelters such as birdhouses, birdbaths and piles of garden waste and leaves for hedgehogs.
Put protective rings around affected plants
If you want to drive away the slugs from a vegetable patch, you can put a barrier around it. Protective rings made of sawdust or lime, for example, prove to be very effective in keeping the pests away. To create a protective ring, you can also use the home remedies mentioned above, such as eggshells and coffee grounds.
The natural salts that form when copper oxidizes also have a repellent effect. Uncoated copper sheet, tape and mesh are all suitable options for installation around any area that needs protection.
Water beds properly
Slugs like moisture because it helps them move around. Therefore, you must always allow the soil around plants you want to protect to dry before watering. Since slugs forage mainly at night, you should still avoid watering in the evening. Rather, water the plants in the morning and not every day. You should also avoid mulching the beds, as the mulch keeps the soil moist, creating a comfortable environment for the pests.
Drive away snails with a snail fence
If you are looking for a practical solution to the problem, you can install a slug fence around the vegetable bed. Such fences made of metal or plastic can be found in specialized stores. They have a special edge that distracts the snail. However, if the plants have overhanging shoots, the snails can overcome such a fence.
Plant marigolds outside the garden.
Marigolds are a mainstay in the world of natural pest control methods. They are usually planted near the garden to repel a variety of pests. However, slugs are attracted to marigolds, so plant them away from the garden to keep beds slug-free.
Instead of driving the slugs away, you can try collecting the critters and then releasing them away from the garden. For this, traps like the citrus trap mentioned above are a simple yet effective way. Alternatively, you can place a damp bag with some lettuce leaves in the middle of the garden in the evening so that the slugs collect there. In the morning, throw them over the fence (but not into the neighbor’s garden). Simple, quick and environmentally friendly.