Hello and welcome to Organic Edible Garden. As the moon is now in the last phase it’s a good time for garden maintenance. This week we’re going to look at slug and snail control and it’s at this time of year before the buds open up we want to hang our codling moth traps in the tree. One of the easiest and best ways of controlling slugs is going out at night-time with a torch. You can pick them off the plants as you see them, put them in a jar and dispose of them in the morning. Another really good way to control slugs and snails in your garden is with coffee grounds. The slugs and snails have issues crossing the coffee grounds and at the same time the coffee grounds are a good form of carbon for your garden. Just two things to remember about coffee grounds: 1. Don’t put them too thick because they can bake and they can repel water, and secondly, they can be quite acidic so a handful of lime over the top is also a good option. Another really way of controlling slugs and snails in your garden is with a yeast trap. You can also use beer but I think it’s a waste and this is a cheaper option. It’s a really simple recipe of mixing a teaspoon of yeast, a teaspoon of white sugar and some warm water. Give it a good stir until the yeast and sugar dissolve. The yeast and sugar have now reacted to the warm water and are bubbling nicely. We’re going to put the first recycled container with the mixture into the soil at ground level. We’re going to fill in around it so the slugs and snails can get easily into it. You can also use a saucer which is nice and shallow and push that in the ground and slugs and snails can walk into that as well. Both of these have the disadvantage of being diluted by the rain. So you can buy a purpose-built trap that fits beer or the yeast mixture, has a lid to stop the rain and animals drinking it and can still be place in the ground at the same level. We’re back-filling it and leaving a space so the slugs and snails can still go into the container. And another traditional way of catching slugs and snails and an organic way is with a large pot turned upside down. We stuff it full of newspapers which gives a place for the slugs and snails to hide. We then turn the pot upside down and give them a place where they can crawl under. During the day the slugs and snails will go into the pot to hide from the midday sun. At this time you can lift it up, find them and dispose of them. By using one or a variety of these methods you’ll gradually break the cycle and eventually rid your garden of slugs and snails. Before bud burst on your apple and pear trees it’s good to make some codling traps. These traps are good because they trap both the male and female moth, unlike the pheromone traps which only trap the male. They take a few simple ingredients and a plastic bottle. In this case we’ve got molasses, we’ve got some cloudy ammonia, some cider vinegar and a bit of dishwashing liquid. And then what we’re going to do with a pair of scissors, we’re going to cut two holes the size of a golf ball on either side just under the lid. The reason we do this is it’s big enough for the moths to fly in and go down to the mixture we’re making or get stuck and they’ll drown. We’re making a second one because with the size of the tree it’s probably best with two traps. Now we’re going to make the mixture. So this is the fifth cup of water. The next thing we’re going to add is some molasses. It’s thick and goopy so it’s not the easiest thing to pour. If there’s too much it’s not a problem either. Then a good cup of cider vinegar. A few drops of dishwashing liquid which makes things stick. And finally a little bit of ammonia, just to release the smell easier. Then you stir it up. We take the lids off the milk bottles and we fill them about quarter-full. And now the traps are ready to be hung in the tree. We use a soft twine rather than a hard twine like this. It does less damage to the branches. The next thing we do is tie it to the tree. It’s best to choose two strong branches and tie a piece of string from either side. This stops it rocking in the wind. You can take them down during the growing season to check the progress with the codling moths. And if they do evaporate, adding a bit more water or a bit more mixture is a good idea.