Using red pepper for voles and coffee for snails.
I am new to shade/woodland gardening. I have less than a 1/4 acre with over 50 mature mountain laurel and almost 100 trees. Needless to say, I don't have one blade of grass.
So, I'm also new to dealing with voles(not moles) and snails(not slugs).
Although I have a feral cat, the neighbors feed him so he's not interested in eating my voles.
-I have coated roots and bulbs of everything I have planted thus far with red pepper in hopes that it will deter them.
-I did run across a recipe but it confuses me. They suggest taking sliced cork, soaking it in bacon grease and oil of anise then tossing the cork into their ground holes. Ingesting cork kills them. Since voles are vegetarians only,I'm suspicious of why they would be attracted to bacon grease. Instead, I'm going to try soaking the cork slices in peanut butter, which is a tried and true bait.
-I'm not going to use traps and I don't want to use common mouse traps baited with peanut butter for fear of the birds or squirrels will get hurt.
My to my chagrin, I have discovered that I have a small variety of snails that love to infest my potted plants by the dozens. Since it's my first season for this new environment, I will assume the snails don't care if their in a pot or in the ground.
Keeping in mind that I am planting many gardens in place of grass and having paths in between, watering in itself will be a challenge much less spraying each plant with ammonia, so that's not an option for me.
I've read enough pro caffeine/coffee grounds victories to give this a try.
Questions about caffeine.
Do people suggest using fresh ground coffee instead of used coffee grounds because research has indicated a 2% solutuion of caffeine is effected and used coffee only has .5% caffeine?
Should I add coffee grounds to my soil mix or make a circular barrier with grounds around the plant?
Is there any concern about the long term affects of caffeine leaching into your soil?
I am thankful for any comments, advice or methods you have tried.