How To Protect Pumpkins From Snails And Slugs In The Garden

With pumpkins as tough and heavy as they are, you might think they wouldn't be affected by soft and squishy slugs and snails. Yet, both slugs and snails are particularly attracted to the fruit, but when they eat them, it can cause the fruit to become diseased and rot. However, there is an easy way to protect your pumpkins from snails and slugs by using a little Epsom salt.

These pests enjoy eating fruit that is ripening, so they love to feed on young pumpkins as an easy meal that tastes good. Pumpkins are sweet and juicy, which makes them a desirable food source for slugs and snails. Also, the soft flesh of newly grown pumpkins is easy for slugs and snails to chew and digest. In addition, pumpkins are often grown in patches or gardens. Here, there are likely several moist and shady areas, and unfortunately, these are ideal habitats for slugs and snails.

Make a barrier with Epsom salt

There are several ways to protect pumpkins from snails and slugs in the garden. If there are only a few of these critters, you can first try manually removing them. While you can go out at night when they will be out, particularly when it's raining, and pick them up and remove them, this will only work if there are few.

One of the most common and effective methods is to create a physical barrier. Creating a ring around your pumpkins made entirely of Epsom salt is a fast and easy way to set up a barrier. It's a straightforward method that also saves time. Unlike synthetic pesticides, Epsom salt is a safe and environmentally friendly way to get rid of slugs and snails. Simply sprinkle a line of Epsom salt around the base of each pumpkin plant. The Epsom salt will irritate the slugs and pests and keep them from crossing the barrier since they must slide over the salt to get to the pumpkin. Apply Epsom salt in the evening, when slugs and snails are most active.

More tips to keep slugs away from your pumpkins

To further protect your pumpkins from snails and slugs, plant pumpkins in a sunny spot. Snails and slugs prefer shady areas, so planting your gourds in a sunny spot will help to deter them. Also, keep your garden clean and free of debris. As mentioned, snails and slugs like to hide in moist, shady areas, so it is important to remove any weeds or leaves that could shelter them.

Additionally, water your pumpkins early in the day. That will give the leaves time to dry before the pests come out at nightfall. If you water your pumpkins in the evening, you'll essentially be encouraging snails and slugs to go near them. Remember to inspect your pumpkins regularly for signs of snail and slug damage. If you see any damage, remove the affected pumpkins. Since Epsom salt is 100% water-soluble, you will need to reapply after rain or heavy watering.