Q. I am rebuilding my raised beds and it surprises me how many snails and slugs are hidden in every nook and cranny between and under the railroad ties. It makes me think that the foliage damage that I blamed on insects was just as likely to have been done by slugs and snails. Are there any general principles to follow in the construction of raised beds that minimize the number of slugs and snails?
A. The closer that the railroad ties fit together the fewer “nooks and crannies” will exist but it is not easy to make a tight structure with heavy irregularly shaped railroad ties. It may just be easier to apply a slug and snail bait whenever you experience any damage from them. As you indicated despite the large number of slugs and snails that live in and around a garden area, the damage is tolerable.