Category Archives: organic solutions

Snails and Sluggs

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Our constant mantra is that no poison is safe. Read the info here

Sluggo also kills earth worms.

A man-made chemical called EDTA, a chelating agent that causes the iron phosphate to release its elemental iron easily in the digestive systems of not only slugs and snails but of pretty much anything that eats it, children and pets and earth worms. EDTA or the similar EDDS are the only reason these baits are effective, yet interestingly the label only reads Active Ingredient: Iron Phosphate – 1%, Inert Ingredients – 99%. No mention is made of the presence of another chemical that can turn harmless iron phosphate into a deadly poison. Apparently EDTA was slipped through the cracks in our regulatory system as an “inert” ingredient, and inert ingredients do not have to be listed on the label. Since iron phosphate is harmless, and EDTA is the ingredient that makes it effective, not to mention dangerous.

A review of these products by the Swiss organic certification organization (FiBL) discovered the EDTA content and stated that these products were likely no safer than the metaldehyde baits, that EDTA itself was significantly more poisonous than metaldehyde, and even said they weren’t even sure that it wasn’t the EDTA alone that was killing slugs and snails.

The best solution I have found is to gather the snails in the evening or early morning. They like to hide in tall grasses or foliage so look for them there and reduce unnecessary tall foliage. Right after watering, during a rain and the early morning dew are easy times to find them wandering about. You also can place them in your compost pile because they love eating the old food. Rats, crows, ducks and chickens love  to eat them. We also feed our snails to our koi fish in our pond. Collecting them for 7 days in a row seems to be the quickest way to bring down their numbers. Continue once a month your snail population will significantly come down.

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Chip Osborne + Organic turf

ChipPhotoTurfBlogIn our research on Earth Friendly Management, a name that kept coming up was one of the first people in the country to implement organic lawn care on an institutional basis – Chip Osborne from Marblehead, MA. The City of Marblehead was a pioneer in non-pesticide lawn management. This started in 1998, and Chip implemented the plan there. He knows a tremendous amount. You can learn more about his background from his website. Please take a look at  http://www.osborneorganics.com. The City of Malibu decided it could benefit greatly from a workshop from him. The Department of Parks & Recreation provided the space for a workshop that Chip gave on January 28 and 29 – Malibu Civic Center, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu.  All were welcome.

Malibu Parks and Rec. director Bob Stallings and manager Drew also hired Chip to do a soils assessment of bluffs park, trancas park. Chip included a soils analysis of the median on Pacific coast Highway. The Malibu Parks Dept. are currently reviewing Chips report that includes Chips recommendations. Then it will be presented to the city council for approval to move forward towards implementing organic practices on Malibu City ball fields and park turf. Fingers crossed there is the will and the funds for implementation.