Snails – especially slugs – are the hobby gardener’s worst enemy. That’s why there are so many tricks and home remedies circulating on the Internet that you can use to fight the pests in your garden. Allegedly, even oatmeal should help against snails. But what is this curious trick all about?

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Oatmeal against snails: How to protect your beds

To protect your vegetable beds from snails, there is a simple but very effective trick. Here we explain why you should put a plate of oatmeal in your garden. Oatmeal is a natural home remedy against slugs. So even pet-friendly gardeners can use oatmeal with peace of mind, as it won’t harm the mollusks – on the contrary! Snails love to eat oatmeal and sometimes even prefer it to crunchy lettuce leaves. So, oatmeal is a great way to distract snails, such as the Spanish snail, from your vegetable patch.

To do this, first spread the oatmeal in selected places in the garden, such as on a plate in a fallow bed. Ideally, the snails will then leave the “real” beds alone, along with lettuce, vegetables and other plants. Alternatively, you can soak a handful of oatmeal in water and place it on a plate next to the plants to be protected. However, the home remedy does not serve to feed the slugs through. Rather, the oatmeal acts as a distraction and a possible snail gathering point. When enough snails have gathered at the feeding site, you can simply collect them and release them in another location – as far away from your garden as possible. Make sure, however, that you only collect slugs such as the Spanish snail. Other snails, such as tiger snails or snails with shells, can be quite useful in the garden.

Other home remedies to protect your vegetable patch

If you don’t have oatmeal on hand, you can use other home remedies to protect your vegetable beds. A piece of sliced cucumber or soaked white bread will do the same job. Snails always try to get food by the easiest way. For a lettuce leaf, they would first have to crawl laboriously to a certain place or even into a raised bed. But when the food is presented to them on a plate, they gratefully accept it and stop crawling into your vegetable beds. It doesn’t matter if there is oatmeal, pieces of cucumber or leftover bread on the plate.