Keeping slugs and snails away from the garden is one thing not many gardeners have not hacked yet, this is because these two are some of the most difficult pests to get rid of, especially in a fruit garden such as strawberries.
Nothing comes close to the disappointment of finding out that your strawberry fruits have been infested by slugs and snails.
Slugs and snails are often attracted to new strawberry growths, creating holes in fruits, leaves, stems, flowers, etc. These holes, give other pests the avenue to further feast on the plant.
These two creatures often feast on strawberries at night, leaving behind silvery trails of mucus on the plants and path. How do you keep slugs and snails from your strawberry plants? Although many farmers tend to settle for expensive, chemical pesticides, these are not healthy for both your fruits and their consumer.
These best ways to keep them off are by traditional/organic methods. We are aware that not many can remember how to do this; hence we have a solution for you!
How to Keep Slugs And Snails Away From Strawberry Plants
There are several ways to keep these pests from your favorite fruit; however, the safest and pocket-friendly way to keep them off is doing it the organic/traditional ways. Here are 5 tips on keeping your strawberries slug and snails free!
A lot of farmers are familiar with the use of coffee to provide useful nutrients to plants and also improve the acidity of the soil, however not many are informed about the use of coffee to deter pests, not just any pests, but particularly snails and slugs! Yes! These two pests hate caffeine and this is why they are never found close to plants such as coffee, cocoa, and tea.
According to research by the USDA, pesticides with 1 to 2% caffeine can kill slugs and snails within two days.
You can either use fresh coffee grounds, coffee at a cold temperature, or coffee grounds that have been used. We however recommend that you make use of fresh coffee grounds as used coffee grounds may not be as effective as they ought to be. Adding coffee as you may be aware not only deters these pests but also adds important nutrients to the soil.
Vinegar is known to be acidic, alongside having a strong scent. Due to the acidic nature of the vinegar, snails and slugs have no chance of surviving once they come in contact with vinegar.
Steps to use the vinegar:
- Get an empty spray bottle
- Mix some water and vinegar at the same ration inside the bottle
- Spray directly on the pests.
Not only can vinegar kill slugs and snails, but its acidity can also kill your plants. Ensure you spray carefully so it doesn’t touch your plant. If slugs and snails are found on your plant, refrain from spraying; only spray them when they are off.
Garlic has long been used as a companion plant for many other plants and this is due to its ability to deter pests and small animals. Garlic produces allicin, which is a defense compound this helps repel and kill slugs and snails.
Steps to use garlic
- Get a bulb of garlic and a liter of water
- Blend both in a blender or a food processor
- Allow it to sit for about ten minutes then
- Separate the water from the solids and pour the liquid into a spray bottle.
- Spray the pests and the environment of your strawberry plants.
Although eggshells are known for compost, compost isn’t the only way to make use of your eggshells. The use of eggshells for protection for your plants is considered the most effective way to keep these little creatures off.
Snails and slug will rather walk away than get themselves poked by the sharp edges of eggshells. Using eggshells not only protects your plant but also decomposes over time, thereby nourishing the soil.
Steps to use eggshell
- Break your eggshells into not so little pieces
- Wash them and ensure there are no egg residues left.
- Dry them for days and spread them around your plant.
5. Citrus Peels
Citrus peels work well in distracting slugs and snails from your plant; this is because strawberries aren’t the only fruits that attract them.
If you place citrus peels around your strawberry plants, they will go to feast on those, instead of your plant. When they are gathered, you can then pick them with the citrus peels and get rid of them.
Slugs and snails are major problems for strawberry gardens. If care is not taken, your months of hard work may go to these creatures, before it is even ready. Farmers and gardeners over time have searched for ways to control these creatures.
From experience, it is beneficial to make use of organic ways to get rid of them, because they are healthy, beneficial, and pocket friendly, unlike expensive chemicals.
Most organic and traditional means are also effective than chemical methods. Both slugs and snails are attracted to damp areas; we recommend that you reduce the rate of watering your plant, especially during rainy seasons.
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