What to do when pests are eating my plants

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I have had a rash of requests recently about pests. One friend emailed me to ask me about snails that were resistant to baiting and devastating her daughter's garden. In that case I recommended the usual- BEER! I have been pretty successful in sending snails off happily with beer however some of the sweeties don't go for it. My next recommendation for snails is hand picking them. This is relatively unpleasant but effective. I don't like to kill any creature so I often put them in with refuse from the garden where they can happily munch away in a landfill or wherever they cart parts of my yard to each week. If these options don't work well, I recommend taking a sample of the sweeties to the local garden center. Local garden centers are such an amazing resource. They can look at pests and prescribe solutions that most of us haven't thought of.
Following the snail question, my sister called me to tell me that she has been invaded with gophers. She wanted to know what plants she should used to replace her lawn that is not almost non existent. I told her concrete would do the trick but if she wants to plant that ground again she needs to get a pest control person out there to eradicate those guys. Again, though I am not in favor of playing the mortality card, I think gophers are more productive in the clay soil of our hills where they do the service of opening up our soil and refining it. I told her we will discuss alternate planting solutions as soon as we know that our plants won't be eaten.
In my own property I sometimes have invasions of pests. Again, my first line of defense is not to hire dust crop airplanes but to use natural defenses. Depending on the type of bug I have, I may treat with insecticidal soap, strong jets of water or some bt in the soil along with fertilizer to strengthen the plant.
I am pretty philosophical about most of my plants.
Though I love them each and every one, if a plant starts to fail and I can't revive it, my feeling is that it no longer belongs in my space. It may be time for a new more resistant and exotic plant to take its place. That is pretty tolerant for the beer loving, gopher mad gardener, don't you think?



  1. Shelley Sparks  July 22, 2014

    Sorry I don’t see your name so I can address you directly. I blog about what I know and what arouses my passion as I go through my life. I also like to think about what information I have that can be of help to others.
    Hope that helps.


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