the broccopalypse (& how to stop it)

You may recall my post about a month ago after we’d gone a little crazy at Bunnings and Flower Power.  I’d planted all sorts of vegies and I was looking forward to a relatively home-grown-food spring.

Well, it’s rained this week.  A lot.  And the snails freakin’ loved it.  They loved my broccoli even more.

I’m not impressed.  I’ve currently filled a small, half-lidded container with snail bait (half-lidded because Gogol is the kind of cat that I caught chomping on incense sticks this morning…), but to be honest, I’m not really thrilled to use chemical pest-control.  This is just an emergency measure until I can try a few other things.

Most of these tips are from Organic Gardening magazine and Mother Earth News (via Treehugger).

1. Beer.  I’ve tried this one before – basically it means filling some small cups or low dishes with beer (usually something kind of gross like VB or XXXX will do the trick) and setting them so that the top is just above the level of the soil.  Apparently snails love beer almost as much as they’ve loved my basil in the past, because I’ve caught quite a few using this method.  It doesn’t work quite so well if the plants being attacked are in a smallish trough.

2. Coffee grounds.  Apparently snails don’t like getting too gritty so they won’t usually crawl across the grounds to get to the plant.  Given that I drink at least 2 plunger coffees a day, this should be a pretty easy one to try.  Eggshells would work similarly, except that being allergic to eggs means that we’re unlikely to have many eggshells on hand.

3. Garlic and/or chilli spray.  I’ve heard mixed reports about the efficacy of this, given that it washes off as soon as it rains – which is usually when the snails party most hearty.

4. Ducks and/or chickens.  Nice thought in the country, or even in the ‘burbs.  But in an inner-city share-house, I suspect that the neighbours and the landlord might have a little somethin’-somethin’ to say about a chook farm.  Still, it’s apparently one of the most effective methods, so if you can do it, go nuts.

5. The most obvious -collect them.  That’s fine in summer and it’s something that I do quite frequently (one legendary evening I collected 75 snails), but snails don’t only come out on weekends and it’s usually dark out by the time I get home during winter.

Any other pro-tips? Let me know!

In the meantime, at least my snow peas (out of reach of snails) and my leeks (obviously less snail-licious) are growing beautifully:


2 thoughts on “the broccopalypse (& how to stop it)

  1. Buy some frost blanket material and cover the pot to keep out pests, it is light and lets the sun through and also water and works like a hothouse.

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