The spring time is every gardener’s nightmare. All the young plants are taken outside into the garden and the slugs and snails have a feast day. As the average Brussels garden can have a community of over 1000 of these creatures, this can be a difficult time of year.
Slugs and snails are basically the same type of creature, one with shell, one without. They are territorial creatures and generations remain in the same place. They live on average for 6 years and can reproduce several times a year.
Slugs and snails are a particular danger for young plants. In this example they have chewed through the stem of the plant and killed the plant. The trick at this time of year is to properly harden off plants safely away from slugs allowing the stems to thicken and harden.
The mild winter means the garden is full of slugs and snails. They over-winter in the soil and emerge in spring. The lack of frost the last few winters means their numbers have risen. An old trick is to turn over soil when a frost comes and this reduces the numbers.
There is whole armaments industry devoted to fighting slugs and snails. Some gardeners become obsessed and resort to extreme measures. In many ways it is better to accept the existence of slugs and snails and adjust gardening practice to accommodate them.