Copper tape – it works

People who’ve been to our garden always ask how I keep my Hostas safe from slugs and snails. I use a mini armoury of measures:

  1. Grown in pots raised on feet over gravel so it’s less likely slugs and snails will find their way up, making sure the leaves don’t form bridges from other plants.
  2. Give all of my pots a drench of nematodes every other year to keep populations down.
  3. Use copper tape around the edge of the pot.

The last measure, copper tape, is the one that protects them the most as no slug or snail can get past it. I’ve owned our Hosta for four years and the only bite it’s had was last summer when I accidentally let a leaf touch another pot allowing a chancer snail to get on.

My main tip with copper tape is to replace it annually in spring before the plant emerges. The tape will get dirty over time making it less effective and the stickiness wears off eventually, so it comes away from terracotta pots.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Copper tape – it works

  1. While the purpose of the copper tape is to thwart off slugs, I’m impressed by how great it makes the pots look, as seen in your photos. Gives it a classy look. Sometimes when I go to a botanical garden I’ll see things and think: “this just looks amazingly great, these gardeners are super smart, look how they’ve done this!” That’s also how I react to seeing that copper edged pot on your table: “Wow, look at that! He knows what he’s doing. This looks amazing.”

    1. P.S., I love that the photo shows the Made in Italy embossing. I have a few pits with that too. Makes me feel good about actually using authentic Italian made pots. Nice memories of seeing them made during a trip there🙂

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