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Best barrier to stop Dahlias being eaten?

CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 159
I have some dahlias potted up but also left some in the ground as we live in South Devon and they seem to have survived the winter as new shoots are emerging.  However, not surprisingly they are being eaten by snails or slugs. I have sprinkled crushed egg shell around the plants but I don’t think that is helping.  I just wondered if any of you experienced gardeners have any good tried and trusted ideas? 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    Coarse gritty sand in a layer over and around the plants will help. Nothing’s guaranteed … some of the sneaky things tunnel up from below the surface 😡 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 159
    Thank you @Dovefromabove I’ll try and get some and try it 🤞
  • msqingxiaomsqingxiao North LondonPosts: 408
    I cut off the top of big coke bottles (3L ones) and use them as a cloche to cover young dahlia shoots (in pots) and some other young plants (phlox, lilies) in the ground during the night. My dahlia left in the ground hasn't shown any shoots yet.  :(
  • CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 159
    Thanks @msqingxiao that is a really good idea.  I’ve got two large clear plastic containers that some pond weed came in so I shall put those over them overnight as well as the sand I’ve already spread around.  Thank you 🙏 
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Wirral (free draining sandy soil)Posts: 1,733
    To protect young dahlia leaves emerging, I once used grow bag rings designed for growing tomatoes, with success.  You have to remove them before the plants get too big!  Quite cheap to buy in garden centres and online.  Like this:

    A6 Gardening Garden Growpot Growbag Watering Pot - Green Set of 6

  • CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 159
    Thank you @Plantminded I shall try that as well.  I’ll buy some as I will be growing tomatoes in grow bags this year so I can use them for that after/as well. Thank you, it will be like the barricades with everyone’s ideas 😂
  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 13,019
    It is imo one of the main reasons for digging Dahlia tubers up. I then grow them on in pots until they are large enough to withstand the molluscs, before planting them out.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    edited April 2022
    Slugs are a good reason to grow dahlias in pots.

    Does anyone have tree dahlias? Wondering if they suffer from the same slug problem when emerging, even they are so huge....
  • CatDouchCatDouch South Devon Posts: 159
    Thank you @Songbird-1 I have put clear plastic cups over them as well as egg shell and sand.  If this doesn’t work I give up 😂 
  • CrazybeeladyCrazybeelady WarwickshirePosts: 611
    I put copper rings around mine last year, seemed to work, however I don't seem to have too many slugs so maybe they didn't try!
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