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dealing with Gophers

 
Joy Stefoni Fisher
Posts: 12
Location: Arroyo Grande, Ca Zone 9B/10A
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So we just moved to this land from the city. Yay! And it is crazy infested with gophers though I have never actually seen one. There are holes every where. So we are trying to figure out what to do. First thought was raised beds with galvanized mesh under, but I've heard that that only lasts 10 years. We really don't want to have to redo all this in ten years, so now we're thinking about digging a deep trench all around our gardening area and filling it with concrete or someone reccomended black landscaping fabric or maybe plastic for root barriers. We'd also trap, of course. Does anyone have experience/advice with this? Thanks!
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Pie
Posts: 6139
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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They aren't worms or tree roots. If there's a soil barrier, this may prevent tunneling but a hungry gopher is just as likely to walk to your vegetable patch and uproot everything tasty. Dogs, poison and traps may be needed.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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I plant valuable plants in wire baskets, figuring that by the time the basket rusts the tree or bush will be established enough to tolerate some chewing and tunnelling....the wild trees seem to survive just fine. With vegetables I have three metal-edged, mesh underneath raised beds, specifically for root crops, since these are their favorites. For the other plants there often seem to be gopher tunnels around but the damage they do is tolerable so far. Having a dog and four cats on site probably helps some too. In the wider ecosystem I can see how these tunnellers serve to open up tight clay soils and allow water percolation.....
 
Joy Stefoni Fisher
Posts: 12
Location: Arroyo Grande, Ca Zone 9B/10A
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Dale, we also have deer, so we're planning on doing a deer fence to enclose a berry patch and vegetable garden. Walking in won't be an option. Alder, how long have your raised beds lasted? Too bad I have really sandy soil and don't need aeration or perc help! Thanks!
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1331
Location: northern California
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I just made the beds last winter. The old roofing tin making up the sides was scrounged....the only purchase was the galvanized mesh ("stucco mesh" I think it's called....comes in 4x8 sheets.....quite a bit cheaper than "hardware cloth").
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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You can use the gophers to your benefit like I do. High density polycultures iare very important.

All the barriers, walls, traps will be outsmarted or out competed by numbers, you can't win the battle. And with permaculture you want to integrate rather than segregate.
 
Joy Stefoni Fisher
Posts: 12
Location: Arroyo Grande, Ca Zone 9B/10A
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Thank you everyone!
 
mick mclaughlin
Posts: 200
Location: Augusta,Ks
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Pocket gophers are fairly easy to trap, and csn be reduced, but probably not eliminated, just like any wildlife. I recommend the macabee gopher trap.

I would recommend introducing a predator. Not sure where you are, but snskes msy work. If your in the west, gopher snakes are pretty effective.

Please dont use poison. They do not work very well, snd csn kill other animals. I cant think of anything less "permaculture " then poison.

Bottoms on rsised beds eill Work, too. In sandy soil you will fight them
 
Seth Wetmore
Posts: 158
Location: Some where in the universe in space and time.
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Defense is your best offense.
Follow the 6 ps.
Prior
Planning
prevents
piss
poor
performance
Look to putting up defenses such as raised beds with hardware cloth, submerging hardware cloth 18-20 below the dirt in a perimiter around you garden plot or your whole property. If you can afford it.
 
Joe Portale
Posts: 24
Location: Tucson, AZ Zone 9A
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Go to a barber and get some bags of human hair. Stuff the hair in the gopher holes. They don't like the way we smell.

Here is a some information from the Farmers' Almanac


"A few simpler methods of eliminating gophers from your property include over watering your lawn, planting shrubs and plants they do not eat, and/or applying repellents and homemade solutions that bother their senses of smell and taste. A few plants that are believed to repel gophers include natal plum, lavender, salvia, catmint, oleander, penstemons, rhaphiolepis, rosemary, and strawberries. The most popular natural deterrents are peppermint oil and castor oil. Some people also report success with stuffing scented fabric softener sheets into gopher tunnels. There are also a number of commercial gopher repellents on the market. "
 
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