Daily Archives: April 17, 2008

the iris massacre – keeping those snails away

copper as snail barrier
Two years ago at this time of year, we had a massacre in our garden. It was ugly. It all started when all of our lettuce seeds started sprouting in their planting bed, which just happens to be right behind a wall of irises. The sight of this fresh growth was a much welcome sight after such a long, rainy winter. Remember that winter? Well, one morning during Scott’s early morning coffee-in-hand walk through the garden, he found that each and every sprout had been completely eated by snails. In an understandable snail rage, out came the clippers and all the surrounding irises that had been housing those snails were chopped to the ground. All those tall, graphic leaves and soon to be flowers were gone. Not that I’m a huge fan of that patch of irises, I mean, really, what do you call this color? Burnt Flesh?
ugly irises

But we had to find a better solution than yearly massacres. We had already tried Sluggo, beer in tuna cans, you know the drill. So we went the way of the copper pipe. It’s an awesome solution really. When the slug or snail touches the copper, a slight electrical discharge zaps the poor victim and they quickly retreat. No death, no poison, no animal-unfriendly pellets, just a zap and they are gone. If you were really fancy, you could construct a copper pipe rectangle to go around your entire bed. And it will last year after year. And it will save all the poor ugly colored irises. (note to self: i must replace with irises i actually like this fall! anyone want these fugly little guys?)

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