Monday, March 30, 2009

Disaster averted

I discovered this gardener’s nightmare when I searched behind the greenhouse for some modular seed tray inserts, ready for sowing this season’s vegetable crop. Every cell in the inserts was crammed full of hibernating snails of every size, from infants to grandparents. In a few weeks' time these would have ravaged the very seedlings that I was about to germinate, then would have set about mating and laying eggs for the next generation of snails. Now they’ve all been transported to a local copse, to begin a new life where they belong – in the wild, away from my seedlings. So, if you’re a gardener, here’s how to conduct an early season pre-emptive strike against the snail menace: leave some old seed tray inserts (they seem to favour the 24 cells per tray size) in likely snail hibernation sites, then check them in March for sleeping snails. It could help to avoid a lot of disappointment later in the spring, after you plant out your seedlings.


  1. Great photo! You could almost sell them as trays of steamed Escargot in France..

  2. Thanks for visiting Sean. Last year I had a song thrush nesting in the garden that was skilled out hunting down snails and smashing them on the garden path. I guess that somewhere in the garden there will be other undiscovered snail hibernation sites so I'm hoping it will return this year, to take care of them.