Around beds or individual plants. They work best in greenhouses or under cloches. Any slugs and snails already within the perimeter of the barrier will obviously need to be removed before it becomes effective. Also remember that slugs and snails can crawl up a neighboring unprotected plant and cross over above the barrier if the leaves are touching:

  • Bare soil in dry weather. Water plants early morning only or use underground irrigation pipes eg: "leaky hose"
  • Fresh dry soot, soot mixed with sharp cinders, fresh dry ashes, fresh dry lime or dry ground chalk. Renew after rain.
  • Sharp sand or grit.
  • Crushed egg shells or calcified seaweed.
  • Holly leaves, thorny rose clippings. Rosa rugosa stems are excellent.
  • Pine needles - recommended to mulch strawberries.
  • Young thistles - frequently replaced.
  • Chopped hair, including human hair.
  • Cotton wool tied around individual stems.
  • Dry straw, saw dust, shredded bark.
  • Oak leaves - they dislike the tannin.
  • Pine bark chips or black peat.Cocoa shell mulch - effective but expensive.
  • Aromatic herbal mulch: mint, tansy, lemon balm etc. frequently replaced.
  • Diatomite (microscopic sea floor algae with siliceous covering).
  • Fresh green leaves - sacrificial.
  • Large clear lemonade or water bottles, without top or bottom, as cloche or 10cm high collar. But sometimes they get inside! A smear of grease is suggested for the upper outer rim.
  • An unbroken smear of vaseline around the rim of flower pots or containers.
  • Unwashed waxed milk cartons, without top or bottom. Slugs eat the milk & wax first!
  • Plastic lawn edging or similar plastic sheet around plot.
  • Thin metal edging, the upper edge bent outward & slightly down.Snails can't cross.
  • Wide copper bands around beds, foil around plant stems, table legs etc. Can be reused. Metals including iron & aluminium are often toxic to slugs.
  • Paint or spray week beer on your weeds, so slugs eat them, not your prize plants !

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If you have any comments, suggestions or tips please email Matthew