Alfalfa meal is high in nitrogen and other natural bacteria and makes an
excellent snail barrier while feeding your plants at the same time. Sprinkle around base
of plant, do not water for 24 hrs.
Mix a liquid by placing into panty hose, make a tea bag out of it, soak in filtered water over night.
The use of Kelp or any dried seaweed in your plan to control snails is highly
recommended. Kelp will provide the soil with a great many trace minerals; all essential in
maintaining a balanced soil. Kelp will also reduce the snail population by raising the
salt level too high for them, yet is tolerated by the plants and soil. Use various
different types of seaweed. Different parts of the world produce seaweed that is rich in
different trace minerals, so the various kinds of seaweed complement each other. See
chapter on Making your own organic sprays for more information on seaweed.
Superseaweed (or your own liquid seaweed blend) will be useful here as it is a
blend from around the world. Spray the soil and plants with the Superseaweed once or twice
a week to make certain that you have all the trace minerals that your soil and plants
need. IF you live near the ocean you can collect your own seaweed, but you must allow it
to dry properly, separating the salt for later use. You should test the seaweed as well as
the salt for toxins, because the ocean is getting more polluted. Also ask for test results
on any seaweed product on the market today.
Mulch is a highly recommended form of snail control. Its effectiveness depends
upon the type of mulch you are using. I recommend alternating between pine needles, kelp,
rock dust, various types of leaves, compost (makes a good mulch too if made with bark
chips), greensand (too expensive as a mulch but I added it here because you should add a
thin layer once per year), flour (yes, regular flour makes a great mulch barrier!),
bone-blood meal (a thin layer once per year will do it), and any other assortment of
available mulches. The more varied the mulch the greater the success. Look around in your
area for free available mulch. The easiest available mulch is old horse manure which is at
least 9 months old and has no smell at all. This makes a great mulch to use provided you
use assorted organic fertilizers as well as plenty of peat moss or pine needles to keep
the PH down to around 6.5, depending on what you are growing. You can spray the mulch with
coffee or sprinkle coffee grounds into the mulch, to control the snails.
FLOUR or CLAY
Flour or clay can be used also as a barrier. Sprinkle a small amount around the plant at night.
A Bio-Dynamic Snail Barrier
Old time Bio dynamic farmers use old Horse manure mixed with clay and seaweed
painted as a barrier around trees. To do this add enough old horse manure to « fill a
bucket. Add 1 or 2 lbs clay or flour, lb coffee, 2 lbs
powdered seaweed. Add enough water to make into a paste. Paint onto tree trunks.
Copper bands wrapped around the trunk of a tree or plant also comprise a good, non-toxic
form of snail and slug control. Copper clips and barriers can be used in your garden by
fastening them to raised beds4. There are many companies which sell these strips for your
garden use or you can make your own from throw away parts.
Natural Snail Predators
There are many natural snail predators. Birds love to eat snails which are a
very important part of their diet. Beetles prey on snails, slugs and other insects. Toads
are especially fond of snails and slugs. A Pond can be a good tool in attracting toads to
your area. Many snakes and lizards love snails and slugs.
Decollate snails are a very effective natural predator against the brown
garden snail. This snail is smaller and has a shell that looks like a seashell. This snail
prefers decayed vegetation and small snails are its favorite diet. Larger snails will have
to be hand picked. When using decollate snails be careful in using any other methods
described above as they will effect these snails also. Use only as a last resor t5.
IPM Snail Control Dust
1 lb Rock Dust 1 lb Dia-earth,
1 lb Kelp meal
1 lb Alfalfa Meal
1 lb Fresh unused Organic Coffee Grounds
Blend together. Use as a dust or around base of plants. See Chapter on Rock Dust for more
information. While DE is good for animals, it is hazardous to snails. When handling,
avoid breathing it in and getting into eyes as it is rather harsh and if this occurs, wash
out your eyes immediately with copious amounts of water.
1 Any natural liquid seaweed will also work
here. 2 Be careful using Tangelfoot as this can cause damage to the trunk of the tree. 3 To
use as a dust don't add the water! 4 Copper has long been used to control snails and
slugs. Some believe that the copper provides a slight electric charge that keeps them off
while others believe that its the cooper that is toxic to them. You choice. I use copper
sulfate at 1 drop per gallon to provide some control against them Use only in small amount
as this can damage plants and other insects as well. 5 Check with your state for laws
concerning these predators before ordering!