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Una Dunnett's Garlic Wash recipe for Hostas:Crush two bulbs of garlic, then
steam or boil them in two pints of water for three to four minutes until they're blanched. Strain mixture and make back up to two pints. Leave it to cool, then mix one tablespoon into a gallon (3.8l) of water, and sprinkle on to hosta leaves in dry weather. Re-apply after it has rained. Good luck, Kate
The damage certainly looks as if it's being caused by slugs and snails, but I'm wondering if it could possibly be something else.
I've smeared vaseline round the rim of the pot, to about 3 or 4 cms below it.
Below this I've got a 5 cm band of copper, with outward-facing anti-snail spikes.
The pot is standing on a bed of gravel, providing a 5 cm strip round the base of the pot. (I can confirm that the gravel has no deterrent effect that I can see. In fact my snails and slugs seem to quite like it).
I scattered 2 types of slug pellets (metaldehyde and iron phosphate based) as per the manufacturers instruction, in the gravel, and also actually inside the pot, on the earth.
That's a grand total of 7 different barriers the little chappies have to get through. I know this is going to stop them. You know it's going to stop them. So why is it that the slugs and snails in my garden now seem to know it? Haven't they read all the advice about protecting hostas on the internet?
Anyone got any ideas what could be devouring the hosta if it's not slugs or snails? Or is my garden infested with a new mutant breed of ex-SAS, super-intelligent, wily slugs and snails?
Re:GROWING HOSTAS I have discovered another way, and the best so far, of dis-couraging slugs and snails. Last year I got really exasperated to find new shoots being eaten to the ground overnight, only a few attracted to the slug pellets. I started throwing the snails [and a very few slugs] into an ajacent plastic box collecting rain water. I noticed quite quickly that the Hosta was growing. So...I continued collecting the snails and drowning them. Assumed other snails were aware of the dead snails and avoided plants in quite a wide area. I will try to upload a photo of the now large Hosta. Also researching for a homeopathic remedy I discovered a remedy called Helix Tosta made from toasted snail shell. I shall try that also! If anyone would like to try a free sample please email me for my address and prepare an sae with a large letter stamp.
I'm afraid I don't share your faith in the cognitive capabilities of molluscs - I think that by drowning them you were reducing the number in the area and therefore the plants were less damaged.
I choose my hostas for their slug/snail resistance, i.e. I choose varieties with tough leaves, and so far have had very little if any damage on the ones growing on the Shady Bank. I also surround the emerging spikes with coarse building sand in the spring, just to be on the safe side - that appears to be a good strategy.
More tender hostas are grown in pots on the terrace where I can keep a closer eye on marauders - I don't put their pots into other decorative pots as the gap between provides opportunity for slugs and snails to lurk.
I've not used any slug pellets of any kind in this garden, but we do have a host of birds and hedgehogs.
so far...touch wood...most of my hostas are untouched and the rest only slightly nibbled.
in pots i often find a lone slug at the base. whenever i see a "nibble" the first thing is to check under the pot and, hey, there the little blighter is.
however, i think hostas are less attacked in the open ground.
rosemary i am interested in toasted snail shell..havent tried that yet. sounds delicious. butter? marmalade?
i think the best solution to slugs etc is the personal nightly visit with torch and salt solution
So far I've been lucky too and mine are ok but then I did hose everything down with slug nematodes back in late April and I think it has done the trick.
Have also substituted my lethally toxic slug pellets (against snails) for the less harmful ferrous sulphate ones, after reading a post on here