Snails and slugs in the garden

In the fall, when the hours of sunshine decrease with temperatures and the rains persist, very suitable conditions are given for the activity of snails and slugs, which can affect various crops in the orchard and plants in the gardens.

Nevertheless, with an agroecological approach, several strategies and techniques can be implemented to reduce its harmful effects.

Agroecological approach to slug and snail control

– Preserving the natural enemies of snails and slugs, such as toads and frogs, turtles, beetles, chickens, ducks and birds, helps regulate snail and slug populations.

– Use drip irrigation and water early in the morning. In this way, the wetlands where slugs and snails stay are restricted.

– Combine plants that repel these molluscs, with aromatic plants such as rosemary, lavender, mustard, sage or ornamental plants (geraniums, queen taco).

– Likewise, there are plants that snails and slugs use as shelter or prefer as food (sansiveria, love bonds, succulents, Swiss chard, beets) so it is beneficial to observe them. It is also worth checking the shady and moist places around the orchard, where they usually take refuge during the day. Soil should be removed in these places as this is where they are most likely to lay their eggs. eggs, which will cause them to dry out and is more than just controlling this population.

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– When the attack is severe, barriers and traps can be put in place to reduce the harmful effects. One option is to attract them to certain places and then collect them manually, this is possible with beer or a mixture of water, sugar and yeast in a container buried at ground level and covered with an object to keep it in the shade during the day. You can also soak a cloth in beer or milk and then pick up any snails and slugs that have been attracted to it. Check daily, early in the morning or at night. Potato peels or half-buried orange peels also attract snails and slugs, so they can be collected in these places.

– Another strategy is to use barriers that prevent access to crop plants, such as wrapping crops with copper tape during the season when they are most active. It is also possible to sprinkle ashes, sand, diatomaceous earth or eggshell powder around the cultivated plants. This will work as long as they stay dry, once this barrier gets wet it loses its effect.

– Repel with homemade preparations, such as a macerate of 4 crushed garlic cloves in a liter of boiling water. Leave to stand for a whole day, filter and dilute this preparation in a liter of water. Apply by spraying on the attacked plants.

Get to know slugs and snails

It is essential to recognize the role of these molluscs in the orchard-garden ecosystem, since they are part of the food chain of other species (birds, reptiles) and their movement also contributes to life in the soil, therefore their presence at high levels population balance is important.

Analía GOPAR , Omar Alejandro MELIS , Marcelo Ruben REAL ORTELLADO , Edition: Espace Communication EEE INTA Anguil

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