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Re: What's with the snails?

Get a chicken--they're snail eating machines.

On Jun 17, 2005, at 12:57 PM, MyTGoldens@aol.com wrote:

Hello Everyone! Long time no see me! It's Maddy Mason here, from Accord NY.
I usually pop back up in the Summer, at the height of gardening season, then
disappear to the depths of the other parts of my life for another year!

I hope this season finds all of you thriving along with your gardens! Now,
this may not apply to everyone, since we all live in such vastly different
climates and parts of the country, but here in the Northeast, or at least my
little corner of it, we are so overrun with snails that walking around sounds
like the crunching of snow, but it's the crunching of little snails!

We've lived here 5 years, and always had plenty of slugs to deal with. A few
years ago we discovered the miracle of the new organic slug killers such as
Sluggo, that use harmless iron phosphate very effectively. Well, harmless to
other wildlife, which is good! This stuff works fairly well on slugs,
although frequent applications are still necessary for good control. But where has
this explosion of snails come from? (I noticed a lot of them last year, but
this year is worse than ever.) The stuff doesn't work nearly as well on the
snails, although it helps some. And it's not just my yard, due to some upheaval
of the natural balance of things. I have neighbors here, and friends in other
parts of NYS with the same problem.

My garden covers various sections of a good sized area of land (close to an
acre), so barrier methods are useless. No matter what I do, I still find
scads of the crunchy critters chewing up my irises, daylilies, delphiniums,
Lupines, even hairy poppies, and anything else they can get their slimy teeth on.
(Slimy teeth?) Keeping the ground very clear of litter helps some, but not
all that much. And yes, I handpick, but, as with the Japanese Beetles scheduled
for imminent arrival, I could do that the entire day and never get ANYTHING
else done!

Anyone have a clue what might have caused this? We didn't even have a very
wet Spring this year either. I think next year I'll get out the Sluggo much
earlier. Perhaps that might put a lid on it, before it gets so out of control.
I dunno!

Happy digging to All!
Maddy Mason
zone 5/6
Hudson Valley, NY (No, do not even THINK of telling me to eat them! )

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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
27.0 N, 82.4 W
Hardiness Zone 10
Heat Zone 10
Minimum 30 F [-1 C]
Maximum 100 F [38 C]

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