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I went to check on my veg patch at the bottom of my garden this wet afternoon and on the way back happen to notice a snail cresting the edge of a hosta leaf.
OH NO YOU DON'T, I snatched it off to save that hosta for another day but promptly found several more on the shrub next door and a whole handful on the sedums at the top end of my garden. Suffice to say, my garden is now twenty snails less and this is the only sure-fire way to keep them off.
Rinse and repeat at frequent intervals throughout the growing seasons
We use a product called Slug Rings at work. They are rings of solid copper that can also link together to make larger circles. The copper generates small amounts of electricity which the slugs can't stand. They go around the the base of the clump. Make sure no other plants and touching the hostas otherwise the slugs and snails will absail in!
Also try hiding some bran nearby that can't get wet, the slugs will feast and then it will expand causing death. Then the hedgehogs can eat them.
Ferric phosphate slug pellets are also an option. But avoid metal aldehyde at all costs.
Until yesterday I was thrilled with hubby's idea, laid old copper pipe around perimeter of hostas in garden. But they had grown and leaves fell outside barrier so the the devils have now climbed in and chomped them. Prior to that I had put blue pellets down. Tried "friendly" pellets, but they dissolve on wet soil. For a while pestachio nut shells kept them off, course texture & salt, but as soon as salt washed off they weren't effective.
Others I have are in pots with copper tape around pots on patio, so far so good. I'd abandoned Hosta a few year ago because of faffing about with slugs but decided to have another go, as much as I like them, especially the large leaved bluish one, don't know if I'll bother next year. I've enough monitoring lily beetles.
p.s. I think the devils just love blue pellets, staple diet, doesn't stop them one bit. I don't put many down. So not overly attracting them.
I moved all my hostas into pots and these now make a collection and display on my patio which is north facing and in shade during hottest part of the day. I use lots of pellets from as soon as they show and this keeps them looking good. Pellets in pots like this do no harm to anything else.
Copper pipe and tape work well. Slugs are in the soil too and can enter from the inside.
Hostas in pots are excellent ....they actually look better in pots I think but they also add lushness to the garden planting. I remember pellets made from Methiocarb and these were better than metaldehyde but were they a health issue?
Pellets lightly scattered on warm misty or dry evenings work very well....not too many....but nighttime vigils with a torch are the best way
We have large snails here rather than slugs so quite easy to pick up and dispose of. My sandpaper taped round tops of pots seemed to work very well and kept them out. I experimented with removing it and there were snails in the next day. I have variegated hostas (usually more susceptible) in pots topped with sharp grit and they are looking great. The only one in the ground just now is the tough old blue ridged one- sieboldiana elegans. They don't really touch it.
I asked about garlic as a greenfly repellent in one topic, and John Harding sent me this answer, pointing out it was versus slugs not greenfly. I'm going to give it a go - if it works, please give John full credit .....
".....There was a lady on TV a while ago who specialises in Hostas - not a slug to be seen anywhere and all the Hostas were perfect. "What's the secret" the presenter asked. She took a bulb of garlic and mashed it up & mixed it with water (I think it was about a gallon (5 Litres)). She then used that as her concentrate and added a little to a 2 litre sprayer, topped up with water and sprayed her plants. Slugs and snails hated it she said. If you use this method though remember to strain the concentrate before mixing as the tiny bits could block the sprayer jet or clog the filter if it has one. Don't know what the dilution would need to be for aphids though [I've not heard of the method being used to deter them]. John H ,,,"
I hope it isn't really bad protocol to quote other people's answers! Good luck though.
I have already commented on MY most efficient slug and snail deterent.
1] crushing snails and when dry place around the pot of hosta and other snail attracting plants.
2]keep a bucket or any container of water near vulnerable plants, collect snails and slugs and drop into water, ensuring they cannot climb out.
3] homeopathic remedy of toasted snail!
Collecting snails and drowning them is the best of all and you should notice a reduction in snails and slugs anyway as they will not be breeding!
Place pots of Hostas on a copper tray filled with water and also spray plants with the garlic solution - works a treat!
I think that there is a hosta that is nearly slug proof called something like elephant ears - does anyone know if that is true?
Sum and Substance is said to be slug/snail proof, but it's not really. As my screen-name suggests, I'm a bit of a fan of Hostas. I have about 200 and I don't use any repellants like pellets or copper, but what I do have is a small pond with toads which eat them and I also feed the birds, some of which are partial to slugs/ snails too, especially thrushes and blackbirds. These two don't tend to feed at bird tables / hanging feeders but prefer ground forraging. I use suet based bird food ( seed based food germinates in the soil ) and the birds happily rummage around munching on the treats and also any slugs / snails that come to view. Hedgehogs do a wonderful job too.
There was a hosta grower featured on the covergae of the Malvern show one spring. She says she goes out on Valentine's Day - because it's easy to remember - and sprinkles the wildlife friendly slug pellets on her hosta beds and pots. She then repeats this every week through the growing season. Just light scatterings, not a blue carpet,, and repeat after heavy rain.
I've done this too and it works for me. I have a pond for frogs and toads and I feed the birds so they come and eat pests but I still need the pellets.
Use ALL the above preventative measures and you'll be successful. I was also told by a specialist grower that the thick and ridged Hostas are less attractive to slugs and snails. He advised that pellets attract these molluscs, so only one or two should be placed some way from the plants. When preparing the garlic method, crush 2 bulbs, add them to 2 pints of water and boil for 3 minutes until they're blanched. Cool the liquid and blitz in a liquidiser, store in a screw top jar. One tablespoon of solution to a gallon of water should be sprayed on the open leaves of Hostas every 14 days or afer a storm in the late afternoon. Bear in mind that this garlic solution requires to be made fresh each year.