Clean the site and prepare the ground
86. Clean the site and prepare the ground a little before the
growing season so that you can build the pen in time to plant the food and
87. First, mark out a square of 8 x 8 metres on the place that
you have chosen.
Mark and clear the 8 x 8 metre
88. That way, with a pen of 5 x 5 metres in the centre of the
square, you will have a path of 1.5 metres all the way around it (see Item 92).
If you have enough land, the path can be even wider.
89. Clear the square of trees, bushes grass, creeping grass and
weeds. Take away all of the roots and the big stones that you can.
Take away roots and big stones
90. Spread the plant material that you have cleaned evenly on
the ground and cover the whole square. If there is not enough, bring more plant
material from another place.
Cover the square with plant
91. When the plant material is dry, burn it. This will kill the
insects, the weed seeds and the roots of creeping grass, and rid the ground of
mice, rats and shrews.
Burn the plant materials
Insecticides and poisons can also be used to rid your
pen of insects, mice, rats and other enemies of snails. However, if you use
them, do not use them by yourself because they are very dangerous. Ask someone
who knows how to use them, such as your extension agent.
92. Now mark out a smaller square of 5 x 5 metres inside the big
square. This is for your first snail pen.
Mark the 5 x 5 metre square
93. Dig the ground in the smaller square to a depth of 20
centimetres and turn it over well. As you dig, remove any rubbish or roots that
Dig in the ground
94. While you are digging, if you see any more insects or any of
the enemies of snails, bring more dry plant material and burn the ground again.
To farm snails, the area must be free of insects, mice, rats and other enemies.
95. When you have finished digging, the ground in the 5 x 5
metre square should be as smooth and well worked as it would be if you were
planting a vegetable garden.
The 5 x 5 metre square should be
96. However, do not use any fertilizer, animal manure or compost
as you might with a vegetable garden. Fertilizers may burn the snails and animal
manure or compost may bring in insects and weed