Monday, April 5, 2010

Snails on the terrace

That was the future. About July. Silk Road. Eight feet high with blooms larger, softer and more beautiful than my hand. Its heart was bored out by a tiny snail.

That was Seafarer. Beautiful apricot. Two down, two to go.

There is the enemy.

If you are walking along Henry Street of an evening and find yourself hit by something soft and small in a shell, it's one of my snails.

I do look down to make sure there are no passersby, but sometimes my wrath overcomes me, and I throw before I think. They are destined for the patch of weeds in front of the next door brownstone.

I could yell, Snaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaail!

So it goes. Day in. Day out.


  1. Marie, maybe you already thought of this, but its so simple I shall say it: Save those long waited for blooms by putting a cloche (in my world ball jar or whatever) over those young tips. It should save you from a lily free summer.

  2. Is there something that preys on snails that could be pressed into service (the bandito, perhaps)?

    I had some beautiful roses until I brought in something new that had blackspot. Now I have dandelions. I like dandelions, but I liked the cabbage roses that my grandmother planted in the 1940s or '50s better.

  3. Frank..oh, ah..ahem. I had not thought of that. Thank you!

    MC - Good idea. Will have to tie the cat down, though. I love dandelions.

  4. hahaha...where on earth did they come from? I can't imagine that they could scale that many stories to get to your plants. Just go to show how resourceful these buggers are. I cut every slug/snail I see with my garden scissors...and I never feel bad about it.

  5. I'm thrilled you finally found the voracious eater among your plants. He deserved an aerial flight over board. It's amazing how much damage such a tiny thing can cause in such a short time. Hopefully you found his relatives too.

  6. Thomas, the snails could have come in with the plant's soil as eggs or in bird droppings. I've accidentally imported yellow spot, black beetles when I bought heirloom tomatoes from an organic grower. The eggs were in the tomatoe's soil.

  7. Snails, slugs!! my biggest hate in the garden after the grey squirrels. Bad luck that you seem to have imoported them unknowingly via purchased plants.
    Here is SA we have a few remedies that you could try:
    1. place beer in a shallow dish near your pots. (Restrain Estorbo from drinking it somehow!) The beer is supposed to attract the snails and they have one helluva booze-up and drown happily in situ!
    2. Sprinkle crushed eggshell or sharp fine gravel - perhaps grit that is used on the bottom of birdcages- on the surface of your pots. Snails don't like to walk on this.
    3. This is my invention - smear vaseline petroleum jelly around the top outer rim of the containers, snails will not cross this greasy, sticky line. I have found this very successful keeping the little blighters out of my vegetagle troughs.
    4. Here in SA we have an "organic" product called Ferramol which the snails eat and this evidintly stops the snails from eating and they just go away, presumably to starve - a bit grisly, but hell, it is WAR is it not.
    5 Keep on with the hand picking - by the way it is said that if you toss your snails over the wall to your next door neighbour, they WILL RETURN!! But to the top of a building is a bit hard to believe.
    Good luck!

  8. Marie, maybe you already thought of this, but...
    If its too hot, lift off the jar in the day. Or use something you can cut the top off and ventilate (soda bottle?). Whew, I was sweating that.

  9. So that's where they come from!

  10. Indeed, they arrived with a new plant, and settled in and multiplied.

    Frank, I did aerate, thank you.

    To Lynn, Dead! Dead! They're all dead!!! I have been putting beer saucers out for a week now and after the first great haul, precious few, so I think it worked very well. They like Hefeweisse.


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