Slug and Snail Trapper to the Rescue

Dear Martin

I had two rows of beautiful runner beans and 75% of them have been snipped all at the same height of 5" from the ground. What sort of animal does this? I have no rabbits in the garden. Please let me know if you have an idea.

Regards Marina

Dear Marina

Many thanks for your recent enquiry regarding the damage to your runner beans – the exact same thing happened to our Kitchen Garden beans last year and earlier this season! We were convinced that the culprits during 2006 were mice (see our Kitchen Garden report on the incident here as the pea and bean netting was also severed, but this year the suspects are slugs and snails as slime trails were noted at the crime scene back in June.  

Luckily, our beans recovered and are now producing a heavy crop of pods. To reach this stage however, To we had to religiously hand-pick off the snails, apply nematodes (product code GPC-265) regularly and also laid down some organic slug pellets (GPC-197) to help reduce the population in what has been an awful year for these pests. The severed shoots quickly re-sprouted from the leaf axis below but we still had to be vigilant as the new shoots and leaves were growing – the introduction of a slug and snail trapper (read more on our latest Kitchen Garden update here)  certainly helped in this respect.  

Unfortunately, it will probably be too late for your beans now but this information will hopefully be of help next year when you can prepare for the enemy in good time! 

Many thanks once again for your message and good luck with your bean crop next season.