ACHIEVING your dream garden can be years in the making.
So there's nothing more frustrating than when pests such as slugs and snails come along and ruin your pretty plants and flower displays.
But according to one expert, there's five very simple steps that can help get rid of them from your garden.
And the best part? They're all perfectly natural methods that cause no damage to the environment.
Louise Findlay-Wilson spoke to The Express and revealed her top tips…
SELECT THE RIGHT PLANTS
Louise begins by recommending green-fingered homeowners carefully select plants that aren't as appealing to pests.
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She goes on to explain how she has 17 Hosta plants in her garden – a plant that is widely known to attract pests – but notes how she rarely experiences problems with them.
Why? Because she strategically opts for varieties which have thicker leaves, making it trickier for pests to damage.
FEED YOUR PLANTS
Next up, the gardening expert advises feeding your plants.
The theory behind this really is quite simple, with Louise explaining that the healthier the plants are, the thicker their leaves will become.
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As a result, they will be much stronger and capable of dealing with an influx of hungry pests.
Louise goes on to suggest implementing a physical barrier to prevent slugs and snails from getting at your plants.
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"There are a number of things worth trying such as crushed eggshells, grit or sand – all of which are uncomfortable for a slug or snail to crawl across," she explains.
The gardening expert also recommends applying a mulch to your lawn to help deter slugs and snails.
She notes that while more expensive than other products, one mulch of a product called Strulch will work for up to two years.
Louise also highlights the benefits of using beer – adding that the "yeasty smell" tends to attract pests.
However, the idea isn't popular with everyone – and even Louise has her doubts.
"While I’m a real fan of kitchen cupboard remedies, I’m not sure beer traps don’t attract more slugs into a garden than are already there," she says.
The gardening expert notes that attracting more wildlife – including birds and hedgehogs – into your garden will also naturally help to deter pests.
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"There are many ways to do this, from building bird boxes to making feed balls," she explains.
"You can also allow your garden to grow a little as various wildlife are fond of a wilder habitat."
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