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Dealing with slugs and snails
I’ve just been outside picking strawberries. Despite the colder nights my plants are still fruiting away and I hope they’ll have enough energy left to fruit again at the right time next year.
None of the fruits have been damaged by birds – perhaps because the birds don’t expect the strawberries to be there, or maybe there are plenty of other fruits to get their beaks around.
The same can’t be said of the molluscs, which are out in force, enjoying the unusually mild and moist conditions. The slugs and snails are attacking my fruit, but are investing the most energy in munching my overwintering brassicas and winter lettuce.
We even found a slug sliming its way across the kitchen floor, having stowed away in some apples we had brought inside to put through the fruit press. I suppose I should just be pleased it crawled out before the apples were turned into juice.
My slug visitor has thrown me into mollusc mania. I’m collecting slugs, snails and their eggs, and feeding them to the chickens.
In theory you can still apply the biological control nematode at the end of October. Even though it’s still mild, I’m not going to risk a late application, fond as I am of using this method to control slugs. It could be a waste of money if the temperature goes down.
Constant patrols are the best solution right now – it’s amazing how many slugs and snails you can find in half an hour. Whilst kids collect football cards, I am addicted to mollusc collecting. And the extra protein must be good for the hens.
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