This months ‘From the Vault’ is a short entry responding to a question that i saw posed at another blog back in 2007 – ‘Snails, Pests or Pals?’. Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think in the comment.
Snails, Pests or Pals?
Any one who reads that title will probably have the same initial response that I would have to the question, ‘pest, lets stomp on them’. Apparently, however, this may not be the case. Stuart over at Gardening Tips ‘n’ Idea’s says otherwise. His article ‘How garden snails can tell you which plants are sick’ has made me think a bit more seriously about the question.
I get many customers showing me plants that have OBVIOUSLY been attacked by ‘killer snails’. I also have seen many a vegetable garden that has gone from ‘leafy green’ one night to terribly damaged by morning. I always recommend to people to place baits around the plants to knock out those so and so’s. Perhaps, however, that is not the solution?
If snails mostly eat diseased and dying plants, maybe the appropriate response to snails is not necessarily to kill them, but to thank them for pointing out which plants need some TLC? Maybe they are just part of the overall gardening cycle.
I don’t know, I’ve grown up being taught ’snails are bad’ and I struggle to think otherwise, but until today I hadn’t even considered there was an alternate option! I am still not convinced that snails only eat diseased or damaged plants, but it is an interesting idea! Have a read of Stuarts article and work out for yourself, what do you think? Pest or Pal?