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Hibernating snails


by Pippa Greenwood

The temperatures are dropping and the hill opposite where I live is a magical mix of golden, yellow, orange and bronze, as all the trees, largely oak and beech, are showing their autumn colours.


Hibernating snailsThe temperatures are dropping and the hill opposite where I live is a magical mix of golden, yellow, orange and bronze, as all the trees, largely oak and beech, are showing their autumn colours.

It is a sight that is a pleasure to see, even though I am sad to see the back of summer (what summer?!!). But there is something else I am pleased about, in a perverse, time-saving sort of a way.

Snails - not the small ones or the medium sized ones, just the large vegetable and ornamental plant-munching sort - are disappearing. They have started to slow down and go off for their winter hibernation (presumably so that they can save energy ready to attack my plants again next spring with an increased fervour!).

Now I may be a fool, but not fool enough to be tricked into forgetting them, oh no! For it is from now that any gardener who would prefer to reduce (dramatically) the damage done by these horrible little critters, grabs a bucket and goes off on a collecting spree.

Snails love to group together to while away the winter months, and if you find one you can be sure there will be a lot more in that protected hiding place too. Check under loose flaps of bark, behind stacked spare paving slabs, around unused flower pots, around the back of planters and pots... and even in gaps and holes in walls. They will be there... and the pickings will be rich!

I wonder what the greatest number ever found in one place is...



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Gardeners' World Web User 30/11/2007 at 12:09

...but what do you do with them after you've collected them? I can stomp on one snail but get squeamish about mass murder!

Gardeners' World Web User 01/12/2007 at 12:09

What a good idea to have a snail hunt. As soon as it stops raining I shall be out there with a pail of salt water.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/12/2007 at 11:40

Wow, havn't checked the bird boxes yet!! And talking of birds, they are one possible method of green-disposal!

Gardeners' World Web User 04/12/2007 at 21:31

Also, did you know that apparently all British snail are edible? (revenge or what)

Gardeners' World Web User 05/12/2007 at 15:56

Are they really edible?? I have got lots in my small garden. Does anyone have a recipe for cooking snails?

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