Since my basil and pepper plants were decimated by snails, I decided to order some Plant Defender cages from PVFS. They must have sensed my desperation because the cages arrived lickety split. I figure since I've already lost about 20 bucks feeding snails organically grown Genovese basil and gourmet bell peppers, an additional $2.99 per plant for a reusable Plant Defender cage still makes good sense.
Yesterday, I picked up some new plants at Capital (Sunrise) and planted them in the early evening. When I checked on them during my morning ritual of taking the kid to school, feeding the canines and felines, making coffee and going out back to check on my plant babies, this is what I found.
Though smaller snails could probably fit through the cage (didn't see any inside) and clever snails like this one can nibble the edges of my basil leaves, it's no longer going to be the plant carnage it once was. I may order more cages for my seed-raised breadseed poppies and zinnias, which are also under attack.
Coffee grounds and leftover cold coffee are also being employed as deterrents, but I don't really have enough for all my plants. Cages and coffee are a good combo. Wish I'd known about the cages sooner, though.
May 3rd P.S.-- Remember how I was saying I have a hard time, physically and philosophically, killing snails and slugs and so prefer to block and deter them rather than poison them or smash them? Well, put me in the freak category because this GardenWeb thread makes it apparent many, many gardeners have no qualms about killing slugs and snails as they smash, smother, drown, hurl or poison with a not-so-subtle hint of glee.