In case you missed it, my first attempt at growing basil this season failed miserable. The basil grew fine, but then the snails ate it to the quick. Turns out basil is one of their favorites.
Today I planted more basil, but with additional precautions. I bought a packet of copper tape and wrapped it around the planter bed. A small electrical charge will keep them from crossing the copper tape. One package was just enough. The new basil is now planted next to the tomatoes. The plants do well together, so they already have synergy going for them. Last year’s basil grew close to the tomatoes and remained healthy all season.
Since snails are resourceful, I needed to take additional steps to keep them out of the bed. Clippers in hand, I removed all the lower, over-hanging tomato leaves. There is no sense wrapping the box in copper, only to provide a nice bridge into the box for tasty dining.
With my gloves firmly in place, I ran my hand along the under side of the upper box, making sure any hiding places were clear. You don’t want to box the snails *inside* the planting bed. I’m going outside one more time around dusk to be sure I haven’t missed any interlopers.
Meanwhile the tomatoes, no doubt confused by our warm winter, are growing like weeds. They volunteered in the planter box…
in the gravel walkway…
and they volunteered in the compost bin.
No shortage of tomatoes this year.
On the subject of compost, I’ve stopped turning the bin for now. I want those adventurous tomatoes to have a fighting chance. I scooped out handfuls of compost and used it to dress the tomatoes and basil. I’m still amazed when I see the rich, black compost, knowing it came from dried leaves, twigs and kitchen scraps. It feels like my own little magic show in the garden.
Now that basil, round two is safely tucked in and the tomatoes are sporting a few flowers, I’ll soon have the makings of a delicious caprese salad.
Meanwhile, check out this fabulous site All About Slugs: find out what really works to control the slimy menace.
We focus on reliable information and natural, tested solutions that really work. We never recommend anything that isn’t safe for children, pets, wildlife and the environment. You can control these pesky pests and still enjoy a beautiful, safe and natural yard and garden.
The site provides a list of slug and snail resistant plants, many of which already grow in my garden. Of course I’m trying to grow three of their favorites too: basil, lettuce and strawberries (the fruit, not the leaves).
For a chuckle or at least a guffaw, take a look at Slugapalooza. You’ll find clever poems, drawings and photos and (I kid you not) an ‘interview’ with a snail. Enjoy!