I went to check on my veg patch at the bottom of my garden this wet afternoon and on the way back happen to notice a snail cresting the edge of a hosta leaf.
OH NO YOU DON'T, I snatched it off to save that hosta for another day but promptly found several more on the shrub next door and a whole handful on the sedums at the top end of my garden. Suffice to say, my garden is now twenty snails less and this is the only sure-fire way to keep them off.
Rinse and repeat at frequent intervals throughout the growing seasons
We use a product called Slug Rings at work. They are rings of solid copper that can also link together to make larger circles. The copper generates small amounts of electricity which the slugs can't stand. They go around the the base of the clump. Make sure no other plants and touching the hostas otherwise the slugs and snails will absail in!
Also try hiding some bran nearby that can't get wet, the slugs will feast and then it will expand causing death. Then the hedgehogs can eat them.
Ferric phosphate slug pellets are also an option. But avoid metal aldehyde at all costs.
Until yesterday I was thrilled with hubby's idea, laid old copper pipe around perimeter of hostas in garden. But they had grown and leaves fell outside barrier so the the devils have now climbed in and chomped them. Prior to that I had put blue pellets down. Tried "friendly" pellets, but they dissolve on wet soil. For a while pestachio nut shells kept them off, course texture & salt, but as soon as salt washed off they weren't effective.
Others I have are in pots with copper tape around pots on patio, so far so good. I'd abandoned Hosta a few year ago because of faffing about with slugs but decided to have another go, as much as I like them, especially the large leaved bluish one, don't know if I'll bother next year. I've enough monitoring lily beetles.
p.s. I think the devils just love blue pellets, staple diet, doesn't stop them one bit. I don't put many down. So not overly attracting them.
I moved all my hostas into pots and these now make a collection and display on my patio which is north facing and in shade during hottest part of the day. I use lots of pellets from as soon as they show and this keeps them looking good. Pellets in pots like this do no harm to anything else.
We have large snails here rather than slugs so quite easy to pick up and dispose of. My sandpaper taped round tops of pots seemed to work very well and kept them out. I experimented with removing it and there were snails in the next day. I have variegated hostas (usually more susceptible) in pots topped with sharp grit and they are looking great. The only one in the ground just now is the tough old blue ridged one- sieboldiana elegans. They don't really touch it.
I have already commented on MY most efficient slug and snail deterent.
1] crushing snails and when dry place around the pot of hosta and other snail attracting plants.
2]keep a bucket or any container of water near vulnerable plants, collect snails and slugs and drop into water, ensuring they cannot climb out.
3] homeopathic remedy of toasted snail!
Collecting snails and drowning them is the best of all and you should notice a reduction in snails and slugs anyway as they will not be breeding!
I think that there is a hosta that is nearly slug proof called something like elephant ears - does anyone know if that is true?