Wednesday, September 8

As it turned out - not the best place to leave your babies!

Early in the year we sowed some alpine strawberry seeds in modules. We like to keep renewing our alpine strawberry plants to ensure that we have a good crop of tiny strawberries every year.

The young plants had grown well and were ready to be planted out on the plot. When removing one plant from the modules I couldn't fail to notice lots of small pearl like eggs.

They are either slug or snail eggs but my money is on snails as there was a snail tucked under the rim of the tray containing the cells. It would have been fascinating to allow the eggs to grow on so that I could show you what happens but I didn't have anything on the plot that I could use to do this so I'm afraid the eggs are likely to fall victim to the resident blackbirds.
Each snail lays about 100 eggs and what's more every snail lays eggs as they all have both male and female parts so I'm sure that the loss of this batch will do nothing to decrease the snail population - more's the pity!

I have written articles about both snails and slugs on my website if you want to read a bit more about their life cycles or view the videos that we have taken of them in past years.

19 comments:

  1. Oh no...they are also breeding in the northern hemisphere now too.My babies love alpine strawberries.

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  2. Hi MKG - I'm afraid that slugs and snails have always been a problem here!

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  3. I sometimes see yellow eggs. Rarely white ones. I think that also yellow eggs are slugs.

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  4. I seldom see white or yellow eggs. Snails and slugs know best where to lay eggs, out of the way, hidden somewhere. Then there will be little creatures crawling all over for easy pick..... ~bangchik

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  5. Are these round like these and are you sure they are eggs? I thought I was finding eggs in my compost but it turned out that some of the compost used when you buy plants etc has a slow release fertiliser that looks like small ball shaped eggs.
    See this forum link

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  6. Hi Bangchik,
    We often find slug and snails eggs when digging and hopefully the birds will gobble them up.

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  7. I've been finding hundreds off white eggs all over the place this year - the birds think all their birthdays have come at once!

    I've had a cracking chilie crop, but the peppers and uabergines have been a bit of a let down. I don't thin they liked the cool August weather after such a hot June and July!

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  8. Hello Liz - No chillies for us - they're banned! Aubergines and bell peppers never seem to do too well for us but the long thin and carrot shaped, sweet peppers have done far better

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  9. lucky that you got them on time
    it would be sad to get there one day and realize that they ate all of your strawberries

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  10. You need a few chickens - they'd make short work of your pest eggs. (And of your strawberries, now I stop to think!)

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  11. Wouldn't it just ~fer but no doubt there are more to take up the task of eating our fruit. Maybe not the alpines as they are a bit small.

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  12. Hi VH,
    The only problem is that I would fret leaving chickens on the allotment in case something hurt them - we have foxes about that often make off with the chickens and ducks and at times we also have a worse pest - vandals and thieves. The ones on the plots are in pens too so they don't get to where the pests are.

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  13. Much to my Mum's dismay I used to collect snails when I was young and keep them in large tubs in which i had planted mini gardens so that I could watch them lay eggs and hatch...being a gardener now I am not quite so friendly to them although I have to admit to having two giant african land snails!!

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  14. Best you find them now rather than later when they've eaten all your strawberries. I've tried a couple of times to grow alpine strawberries from seed and failed miserably, I don't know what I did wrong, so I ended up buying plants.

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  15. Now you got me thinking about those yellow eggs. Next time I see them, I will squish them to see. Thanks!

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  16. Hi Tanya, We kept slugs and snails in a tank in the classroom but they are really dirty creatures aren't they? Lots of shall we say - manure? Hope that your giant snails are better behaved.

    Jo when you sow the seeds do you cover them with compost? - We sprinkle them on top of firmed compost and put a layer of vermiculite on top not too thickly just enough to completely covered the seeds. We do this with all our tiny seeds

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  17. I always use vermiculite to cover tiny seeds, that's a good tip. Haven't found any snails eggs yet thankfully.

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  18. Damo Maybe your slugs are more efficient at hiding them than ours - do you have many slugs and snails?

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  19. I didn't cover the seeds with compost, but didn't use vermiculite either, just pressed them in to the compost. I'll try the vermiculite trick next time, thanks for the tip.

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