Anti - snail plots and plans!
You may recall that I had a lot of trouble with snails eating three of my Clematis earlier in the year. My ‘Mrs Cholmondeley’ which was new last year and flowered well got munched no less than FOUR times! That was in spite of using slug pellets. Poor thing, she tried so hard to shoot from the gobbled stem. I even found a snail crawling purposefully up her supporting cane! Something had to be done! I worked out a plan which I hope will save her. I bought three large bottles of water, my husband cut off the tops and the bottoms and split them up the side. Then I placed one carefully around the pathetic bare stem and tied the bottle together. After about a month – this is what has happened!
Next I shall buy an extendable willow trellis and train her up it so that she doesn’t go near the wall. I am certain that the shelled fiends hide in the crevices and come out when I am not around – at night? – to climb up and have their supper. They also ate two baby Clematis that I rashly thought would thrive if I planted them into the soil. One was C.alpina ‘Constance’, which was eaten right down to her roots. I dug her out and potted her up. She was nurtured in the greenhouse and then parked outside while I cooked up my plan. Now I’ve planted her again – I’d like her to climb through a Viburnum tinus away from the wall.
The other baby was C.‘Henryi’ planted, of course, because of my Henry – unfortunately, he didn’t survive the snail onslaught. So I have replaced him and planted him to climb up the obelisk.
Well, if I find any snails trying to climb up the bottle-guards, I have another line of defence planned. This is a pot of Vaseline – it’s by the kitchen door ready to smear on the plastic. Can you imagine how puzzled the snails will be when they slide back down and land on their rumps! In one way, I hope one will have a go so that I can laugh at him!
- 12 Aug, 2008
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