What good is a slug? Should we hail snails?

Are slugs and snails actually beneficial for your garden or would it make a difference if you removed them?

The quick answer to this, for the normal garden, must be no. If your garden is anything like mine and cultivated, it’s already an unnatural situation. We all encourage plants that we like and leave others; we make special efforts to encourage daffodils to flourish, we mow the lawn to stop anything special growing too high, and trim the hedge rows in to neatish lines. Slugs and snails positively thrive in these environments, particularly if we are growing salad plants and over tasty treats.

So if you are cultivating your garden then removing the few you see won’t make too much of a difference. However if you have a natural garden then, of course, yes slugs and snails are very important. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, slow worms, earthworms, insects and they are part of the natural balance. Upset that balance by removing them and we can do a lot of harm. After all, if there are no snails, you won’t have thrushes! Even though you or I wouldn’t like them breakfast lots of things in your garden think of them as a tasty treats - rather them than me!