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How can I protect my garden from HUGE gophers? They ate my horseradish, artichokes, peas.

 
Toni Brock
Posts: 12
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Does anyone have any idea how to protect my garden from these guys? I was listening to a recent Permaculture Podcast and Paul skirted the question and went on to deer and coyote. So please, please give me some ideas. I have set traps, tried to shoot ..... Actually, I like a lot of what they do, just not eating ALL of my best veggies.
Thanks,
Toni
 
Nicola Marchi
Posts: 78
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The link I'm posting is of the only other permaculture podcast I listen to and the host invited a pest control expert to talk on the show about what's done on both sides of the green fence and his favorite methods that don't involve shoving a hose of biocide down a hole.

http://pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/gopher_be_gone_humane_pest_control_in_the_garden

On the whole the podcast is a bit more "purple" than the majority of the stuff you find on permies but this is a good podcast to listen to.

Their main website is http://www.sustainableworldradio.com
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1251
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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Last year I had to shoot 5 woodchucks. I woke up one morning to see the largest chuck I've ever seen, eating my newly sprouted bush beans. It turned out that it was the mother of a whole family of 'em which by then were weened and making holes all over my property. A well zeroed .22 rifle and constant vigilance for a few weeks took care of all of them. I actually had one under the hood of my truck which I had to "fish out" on two separate occasions. That one eventually found greener pastures elsewhere.

Check for burrows. There is usually a couple of exits to each one. I pee in the burrow, fill it with dirt sticks and rocks then keep an eye on it for a few days. Usually they don't come back.
 
Toni Brock
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Nicola Marchi wrote:The link I'm posting is of the only other permaculture podcast I listen to and the host invited a pest control expert to talk on the show about what's done on both sides of the green fence and his favorite methods that don't involve shoving a hose of biocide down a hole.

http://pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/gopher_be_gone_humane_pest_control_in_the_garden

On the whole the podcast is a bit more "purple" than the majority of the stuff you find on permies but this is a good podcast to listen to.

Their main website is http://www.sustainableworldradio.com

Thank you Nicola~ I am listening right now ~ I have a silly question : can you download the those links on iTunes? I really appreciate your input.

Toni
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Hi Toni, welcome to permies
We don't have gophers in New Zealand, so no input from me on that!
I've noticed conversations about them in the past, so between searching the site and new advice, you should find what you need.
 
Toni Brock
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Leila Rich wrote:Hi Toni, welcome to permies
We don't have gophers in New Zealand, so no input from me on that!
I've noticed conversations about them in the past, so between searching the site and new advice, you should find what you need.

Thank you Leila,
It is so good to have a place to go for ideas on things ~ I really appreciate learning from others experiences. I did in fact search permies for any information on Gophers and surprisingly various different wordings turned up zero posts. I thought that was really strange cuz I know I am not the only one with this problem.
 
Toni Brock
Posts: 12
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Craig Dobbelyu wrote:Last year I had to shoot 5 woodchucks. I woke up one morning to see the largest chuck I've ever seen, eating my newly sprouted bush beans. It turned out that it was the mother of a whole family of 'em which by then were weened and making holes all over my property. A well zeroed .22 rifle and constant vigilance for a few weeks took care of all of them. I actually had one under the hood of my truck which I had to "fish out" on two separate occasions. That one eventually found greener pastures elsewhere.

Check for burrows. There is usually a couple of exits to each one. I pee in the burrow, fill it with dirt sticks and rocks then keep an eye on it for a few days. Usually they don't come back.

Hey, thanks Craig ~ I spent everyday for many many months putting pee and dog poop in active openings.... they just moved over a foot or two. We are on about 13 acres so they just move a little bit and then come right back. Also, I got the gun out a few times ~ this GREAT BiG head popped out, reached over and took this GREAT BIG Thistle back into the hole! I thought that was awesome! So, they lived on to eventually get into my best perennial veggies. I am really torn cuz I think there is some value in having them,,,,, just not in my garden
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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around here i got tired of fighting them and use them to my benefit now. the biggest being planting seeds and starts in the mounds they leave on top of my mulch. they usually wont come back to that area until the seedlings are established and the gophers are less of a problem.

if you start trying to get rid of them another will always take the dead ones place.

also high density polyculture is good for gophers. mono or double crops take the most damage. when i say high density polyculture i mean like 10-30 species of plants in a 5x5 area.
 
Nicola Marchi
Posts: 78
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Toni Brock wrote:
Thank you Nicola~ I am listening right now ~ I have a silly question : can you download the those links on iTunes? I really appreciate your input.

Toni


Unfortunately i don't use itunes, but i can tell you the link I use with MusicBee is http://pdcastsusworldradio.libsyn.com/rss

I found this link however and it seems active:
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sustainable-world-radio/id307703283
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Toni, I find the search function's a bit fiddly sometimes. Make sure 'all available' is highlighted in the specific forum search box, otherwise you may be searching for 'gophers' in 'medicinal herbs'...
I've been surprised there's nothing about say, muscovies, on permies, only to discover I was searching in green building or something.
 
Carina Robicheaux
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
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When the first of 70 cabbages disappeared, I said "oh well, they've got to eat too." When a week later 15 cabbages had been taken, I started to get pissed off. After 25 cabbages disappeared underground, I tried a castor oil/Dr. Bronners peppermint soap mix and drenched the soil with a hose end sprayer (8oz. castor oil, 1 t. soap, spray at 4 T./gal. shake well while spraying) That seemed to slow them down. They moved and took a few broccoli plants (unsprayed) the drench worked pretty good (they don't like the smell of castor oil) until a heavy rain. I think I picked about 40 of 70 cabbages. : .
I want to try planting Castor bean around garden margins to see if the plant has a deterrent effect (watch out...castor bean is VERY poisonous)
I made cages or baskets out of small hole (1") chicken wire, using a 5 gal bucket as a form to bend it around. This cage got buried in the soil when I planted my artichokes...this works great. The 'choke can grow long roots through the cage, but the main root and crown stays protected from massive trauma. This would be a pain in the butt for crops you dig (horseradish) but maybe a larger fenced subterranean area? Fenced hugelbeds? (lay a layer of chicken wire down 1st?) I tried this on a "no kill" farm, and these things kind of seemed to help. We also had feral cats that would hunt in the garden, but I don't know how many actual gophers they caught. Not enough. I personally have no problem using them for target practice and seeing if the chickens will eat them.
Good luck.
 
Carina Robicheaux
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon Coast Range zone 8b
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Oh, and DON'T SPRAY THE OIL WHEN THE SUN IS STRONG!!! It will burn your foliage. It's best to drench in the evening, or better, wait for a few cloudy days. As an added bonus I think the oil spray killed some cabbage moth eggs/larvae.
 
Taylor Stewart
Posts: 45
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It's not the nicest way to rid yourself of gophers, but bubble gum will get rid of them. We had a serious problem with them under a tool shed we were renovating. Buy a jumbo sized container at some big box store, any flavor works. Just throw a few pieces down each hole you see, maybe remove wrappers or you'll have trash everywhere. I wouldn't call it humane, but if all else fails this will work.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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well this won't work for horseradish, but try laying some chicken wire UNDER your plantings of some things..to keep the gophers from digging up thru, you'll have to use the ones with small openings..it might work for peas, but then they might just walk on top of the ground and eat them..in that case, you best bet is a hungry happy cat
 
Nicola Marchi
Posts: 78
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well supposedly most small rodents run at the mere smell of a cat so i think that would be the best answer.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1401
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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This year I have planted MASSIVE amounts of Castor beans to try to deal with our vole problem. We'll see what happens.........................
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 478
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Personally, groundhog, gopher etc make a great supper. Have had it several times and is especially good BBQ'd. Just my 2 cents.
 
Kirk Marschel
Posts: 58
Location: Minnesota, USA (Zone 4b)
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According to Paul's podcast pigs, "Paul's Pigs," he recommends using pigs for getting rid of gophers. I'm not sure what fits for your situation, but that's one option
 
De Mott
Posts: 4
Location: NC Piedmont and SW Virginia
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I had to resort to electric fencing to keep em out. One strand about 3 inches high, and another about a foot high did the trick. We had a game camera set up, caught him eating my swiss chard but never got a photo of one getting shocked
 
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