What Do Snails Eat?

New gardeners often ask ‘what do snails eat’?

I am never really sure exactly which specific plants snails do eat, I just work on the premise they may eat any new plants and work from there.

I guess gardeners are keen to have early success and I can understand that.

Gardening is as much about the actual act of gardening as it is being able to eventually see the product of your labors.

It’s important to make sure you can protect your new plants from predators. Here are a few ideas that may assist. My main success has come from using bird netting as I describe below.

It’s an ongoing battle as all gardeners well know.

What do snails eat?

What do snails eat?
  1. I have always found they are super keen to eat any new young plants and if I am not careful they will destroy a new garden overnight.
  2. Snails do love eating lettuce and you can always entice them out of their hiding place by laying a few leaves around the area you need to protect. Once the snails appear you can re-locate them.
  3. Decaying food is something that can also attract them. So make sure you are not leaving any old soggy plants around the garden.
  4. They will also eat fruit. So it’s always a good idea to pick up any fallen fruit from under the tree as this is bound to be of interest to them.
  5. They will also eat damp newspaper and cardboard. In fact, many people leave that out at night to trap them underneath.

Bird netting around new plants works for me

I have found amazing success when dealing with garden pests by placing bird netting around the base of pots and young plants when the plants are young. It’s certainly a great way to keep snails and slugs away.

Once the plants are older I really find they are not as interested.

I place the bird netting all around the base of the pots right up against the side of the pot. These areas can often remain moist for long periods of time and can also attract slugs.

I have never had a snail climb over the bird netting to get to the plant – not once – 100% success.

It can look a little untidy in the beginning but as the plant grows the leaves tend to cover the visible netting.

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