I found a snail and a slug in our spinach bed yesterday. My son was thrilled to play with these two critters while my husband and I worked in the plot. He made them a little home of sticks, rocks and leaves. I heard him say, “I cracked snaily’s shell by accident!” My heart sank. He was upset at first, but our new hose attachment distracted him. Later, I learned how damaging snails can be to newly planted seedlings. “Snaily” had to go. We just transplanted our tomato, peppers and eggplant seedlings to our garden plot!
Here are a few facts about snails from the Good Bug Bad Bug book. Snails attack young seedlings, lettuce, ripening strawberries, tomatoes and peppers. They will not eat plants with fragrant foliage or fuzzy leaves. To prevent snails and slugs in your garden….keep it clear of garden debris where they can hide and eat decaying plant matter, water garden in the morning to allow foliage to dry before night fall, and remove snails by hand and place them in a jar of soapy water. To protect seedlings from slugs, place pieces of window screening around seedling base (snails detest rough surfaces). Ducks, moles, shrews, garter snakes, frogs, toads and turtles eat snails.
This is the first time we’ve noticed a snail in our garden plot. Did all the recent rain make our plot more attractive to snails? Have you seen snails in your garden?