Known by friends as “The Slug Man,” Callum Davis is on a quest to help you in the garden according to

Davis is still a month shy of his 20th birthday but his company, EcoCharlie, employs five full-time staff and is set to turn over £150,000 this year in sales of a fast-expanding range of “natural” garden products, including a garden watering system — which can be used with most mineral water bottles — sold through Oxfam.

The aim is simple, he says: “To manufacture products which are natural, ethical, recycled, eco-friendly, sustainable or support a good cause.”

As gardening enthusiasts turn their attention to the Chelsea Flower Show next week, many will doubtless do so dreaming of new, green-fingered careers. Davis is one of a wave of British entrepreneurs who are achieving commercial success after developing innovative, niche gardening products — often to meet consumer demand for environmentally friendly and ethically produced items not available from mainstream manufacturers.

But he is without doubt one of the youngest. After completing his A-levels in June 2008, he decided to put on hold a place on a degree course at Plymouth University in order to develop ideas he had been experimenting with while studying A-level environmental science at Godalming College in Surrey.

After finding out that ground coffee dregs (and the caffeine contained therein) are a natural repellent for slugs and snails, Davis made a first, basic product, collecting dregs in bulk from local coffee shops. Researching the subject further, he saw a chance to use recycled, ground ceramics such as tiles and sanitaryware as a natural repellent. The ceramics are crushed into tiny shards that are too sharp for slugs and snails to tolerate, while the porous surface of the ceramic draws in the slug’s mucus, causing the shards to stick to it.

Screenshot from EcoCharlie