Friday, April 21, 2006

Copper Snail Barrier

Since I practice organic gardening, I don't like to use any snail bait, and going out every night with a flashlight got old quick, so I invested in this copper barrier. I get it for .55 per sq ft, so each raised bed cost only about $13. I still haven't done them all, but I'm working on them one at a time. Now I have a use for the small left over odd and end pieces.

I left the bean seedlings out unprotected for 3 nights and they had some very minor damage. Could be snails, slugs or earwigs. Last year, I remember planting seedlings, and the next morning they would be COMPLETELY gone! Anyway, I decided to surround each seedling with the left-over copper barrier that I use all around my raised beds, to keep snails and slugs out. I figure once the beans are established, I can remove the barrier and use it to protect other seedlings that are ready to be transplanted.

I think the copper electrocutes the snails when their antenna's touch the folded over part at the top. I never see dead snails lying around (like you see with snail bait), they must just go home and rest.

But here is my favorite protection against snails:

Organic, Free Range Chickens - its good grub for them.

I had the area blocked off so the chickens wouldn't damage the new bean seedlings, but I decide to remove the barrier, so they could kick around in the soil and eat any earwigs that might be out and about.


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