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posted by [personal profile] strata at 10:41am on 01/05/2009
Take a 2-liter clear soda bottle, remove the label.

Cut a tall cylinder out of the middle, like a belt or a collar-- a slice out of it. Optionally, smooth the edges or put clear tape over them.

Make a cut so that you have a long rectangular strip. Slit halfway from the top about a half-inch from one end, and from the bottom on the other end.

Get copper-foil sticky tape from the garden store or craft store. Make a line of the copper-foil tape the whole width of one side of the rectangle. It should cross the slits, but you can just slit it. Or tape first, then slit. Hey, this is freeform blogging here.

The tape placement should not be in the middle, it should be offset upward about an inch. Why? Because you will be setting this down into the dirt so the above-dirt portion should be what you center on.

So, now you have a freestanding plant collar that you can either use by itself, or expand to join another collar onto. The copper will keep snails and slugs from climbing it. Sinking it into the dirt around a tender seedling you've transplanted will keep pillbugs from trundling up and girdling your seedling until it falls over like a Paul Bunyan special. (I lost almost all of my from-seed peppers that way last year, had to go buy seedlings, bah.)

You can re-use it year after year, as I do. You can join a bunch of them up to make a little fenced area. Don't let the copper touch the leaves of neighboring plants, they don't like it (not sure why). Also, don't let it touch the ground. I think how it works is that the difference in potential between the ground and the copper gives the snails a little zap.

Sure, you can put copper tape all around your raised bed, but that gets expensive fast, and doesn't keep out the snails that are already in there, hiding down next to the edges.

This post in honor of DreamWidth's opening day, rock on! Going to cross post it to my garden blog. :-)
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