grubs slugs snails

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by informative, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. informative

    informative New Member

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    Over the last ten years I have tried to transform my garden into an organic (no weed and feed - no pesticides) garden adding frequent kitchen compost and peat moss, tilling it in and composting all the lawn clippings and have noticed now that regardless of where I dig in the yard now I hit the following:

    Earth snakes (look like giant groups of worms but are actually snakes)
    Slugs
    Snails
    centipedes
    pill bugs (rolly polly - potato bugs?)
    grubs
    Worms (in much more limited numbers than I would like but they are there I assume there would be more if the earth snakes weren't eating them all)

    The yard being "alive" has been an exciting journey for me as wild critters everything from turtles and frogs to birds and rabbits seems drawn to the oasis in the middle of an ocean of trimmed lawns and scorched dead earth.

    Should I consider the grubs/slugs/snails a problem and seek to remove those or simply continue as I have been. The rabbits I know are an issue as they ravaged every tomato plant I'd put out so far this year. But rabbits are a separate issue.

    Any advice or opinions you may offer is appreciated!
     
  2. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    The frogs and toads in my garden really do a number on the slugs. I do a "dust " mulch around things that are slug food, like lettuce, of about 6 inches. I use paper mulch around all transplants, and the frogs, snakes and such hide under it during the heat of the day. Also, if you can leave out a birdbath at ground level, the toads and frogs won't have to leave when they get thirsty.

    I also tried limiting bunny damage last year by putting a short fence around the garden, and planting red and white clover mixed with bluegrass in paths and waste areas, to give the bunnies something to eat away from the garden. I also have coyote and fox and a dog who likes to eat bunnies, . Our owls also take their fair share of mice and bunnies, and I need to put up owl boxes and keep the grass a little shorter so they can hunt easier.

    To increase worms, they need compost to eat. Any good food you can give them. Moist somewhat loose soil is earthworm habitat. When I need to increase worm numbers, I water, and loosen the soil with a digging fork. Rototillers are a little rough on soil structure. I also add amendments in the heat of the summer when I can, so that I know the earthworms are hiding deep in the dry soil, and when the rain comes back, all that good compost and rock powder will be there waiting for them.

    I also have a berm across the front of the garden, between the neighbors and us. I have let it go native with blackberries, strawberries, grasses, clovers, etc. This area provides food for the good bugs and hiding places for the critters that I do want in my garden. I just keep the really thorny things pruned down a bit so that I don't get stuck when I walk by.

    I hope this helps your little oasis!
     

  3. jasonmtapia

    jasonmtapia New Member

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    Wow free chicken food! We have been organic gardeners for many years. We go into the garden at night, early mornings, evenings, and collect snails in a bucket. We then do one of several things. Usually we crush them and give to the chickens. We have all populated the yard with decolate snails a snail preditor. Sometimes we put boards down leave for a few nights and all the slugs, and other bad crawleys congregate under the board. We go out during the het of the day and scoop them all up and again feed the chickens.
     
  4. informative

    informative New Member

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    Frogs are n idea. This time of year the farm has those little frog egg boogers everywhere I'll collect a bunch and bring them back to put around the yard with some ground level ponds/baths so they can grow and help address the natural balance - excellent feedback! thank you so much
     
  5. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Old tin pieplates of beer, it really does work. Slugs and snails are a new addition to the new ecoclimate we are seeing with global warming, we saw none of these for about 25 years. Don't forget your goat manure in your mulching and compost. We increased our worms in our beds by using the lasagna gardening techniques. Vicki
     
  6. Laverne

    Laverne New Member

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    I got ducks for slug control. I let them in the garden area to seek out slugs pre planting then I will let them go through periodically when the plants are big. They don't like to eat much vegetation if any when on slug patrol.
     
  7. jasonmtapia

    jasonmtapia New Member

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    Ducks are great, don't devour the garden. Put chickens in the garden they will bypass snails and go straight for the veggies.
     
  8. jdavenport

    jdavenport Member

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    Sorry to say, but ducks will also eat the plants unless the plants are almost full size, and will poop on everything and spray muddy water on everything whenever they get a drink. The new draft of the federal food safety rules will pretty much outlaw even incidental animal damage-which includes birds flying over, deer running through the area and frogs and toads. I figure if the frogs and toads hide during the day, when I'm in the garden, the inspector shouldn't be able to see them.

    The comment period for the new food safety rules is this summer, so if you sell veggies, now is the time to let your voice be heard. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm334156.htm
     
  9. swgoats

    swgoats New Member

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    It is my greatest joy living in IN that every turn of the spade turns up earthworms (and no fire ants). I swear I never say a single earthworm the entire time I lived in East Texas. The pans of beer do work great for snails and slugs.
     
  10. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    Could you post a picture of those Earth Snakes. I've never seen them. Maybe next to something for scale. (size)
    Thanks
     
  11. LLB101

    LLB101 New Member

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    yes, I'm curious about the earth snakes too... pics please?
     
  12. Laverne

    Laverne New Member

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    My ducks aren't in the garden long enough to need water, they go through it for an hour or less, then are done, but I can see how a bunch of goat poop accumilating could be unsanitary. My garden is about 40 x 50 so far.