Hello Robert (a.k.a. Xtremehort)
By adding hostas I was obviously offering 4-star Michelin cuisine, and my garden was rapidly being overtaken by snails and their extended slug families. So I decided to dig up all my hostas and put them in large clay pots. That solved the problem for a short time.
I hope this might help some of your readers with their snail problems. Happy gardening and thanks for all your grand advice.
I've recently moved from the cool, humid gardening of Scotland to the arid, sun-scorched earth of southern Nevada. What an adventure - complete opposites in the gardening world.
I discovered your blog while searching for help with plants and I'm enjoying reading your posts and learning a lot about gardening issues here in the desert. And I spotted your older post on snail problems and thought your readers might like to know what I tried.
I discovered hostas one day, while exploring a big gardening exhibition, and decided I had to have these fabulous plants in my garden. So I bought several varieties, took them home and had fun planting them out.
Big mistake. It was like putting up a neon sign saying, "Free Caviar Here Guys" as snails descended on my garden. Now I should add that I hadn't seen many snails up to this point. So how the heck did they know I had planted hostas? Overnight they stripped a few of my young plants to almost bare stalks so war was declared.
As we had a variety of pets at that time, and a resident hedgehog under the shed, I wanted to avoid using anything that could be toxic.
I had tried several of the suggestions you mention in your blog, but without much success. I also tried using:
- crushed egg shells and coffee grounds mix - limited success.
- crushed garlic and coffee grounds - again limited success. (But this works well around the base of roses and keeps the bug population down)
- chunks of orange and lemon peel
- pieces of slightly crushed-up aluminum foil around the plant
- cocoa bark mulch
But none of these proved to be good long-term solutions.
Then I discovered the perfect answer, after chatting to friends who were gardeners.
It worked 100%. I smeared Castrol multi-purpose chassis grease, about 2 inches up from the base of each pot. They couldn't go through it. And if you apply a thick layer, it lasts for ages.
For added protection, I also sat the pots on sharp gravel. At last my hostas started to thrive and look beautiful.
Until one day I noticed familiar munching marks on a few leaves. That's when I discovered that snails are clever little blighters. And not easily deterred. They were dropping onto the hostas from overhanging plants. After a bit of relocation and plant pot checking to catch the ones that were hiding, I solved that problem too. I'd finally won the war.