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Starting a food forest: remove grass and get rid of gophers and moles

 
Teretta Owen
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Do I have to remove grassy top from soil to start a food forest?
How do I keep gophers from food forest? I think it is the million dollar question. I think we may need to get a rodenator. We saw one on YouTube.
 
Rick Austin
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Teretta Owen wrote:Do I have to remove grassy top from soil to start a food forest?
How do I keep gophers from food forest? I think it is the million dollar question. I think we may need to get a rodenator. We saw one on YouTube.


Teretta:

The beginning of my Secret Garden of Survival book talks about how to set up the garden in the first place... setting up the proper infrastructure is going to make all the difference in getting everything to work right. Yes, you will have to remove the grass- by scraping it up/ rolling it (you could use it for sod someplace else)...and the cheapest and fastest way to do that will be with a tractor with a blade or backhoe or other equipment that is cheap compared to trying to do all that by hand. (and you can get it done all at once that way -instead of piece meal)

Then you really should put in terraces., swales, and berms and that is also something best suited for heavy equipment... (See my Infrastructure Chapter 8.) Once you remove the top soil (and save it to be spread back on the ground after you set up the terraces) you will dig down into the clay and create the terraces/berms/ swales... When you do that you will destroy all the holes and habitat for those gophers in one fell swoop.

You will "eliminate" them in the process, or they will run off and find someone else to bother.

The backhoe/tractor can then put back the top soil, and after that, then spread out some good decomposed mulch on top of everything.

My backhoe guy - for the entire 1/2 acre garden- cost me $30/hr and he did the entire project in one day-a total of 10 hours- so the whole thing cost me $300. It was a huge time savings and it enabled me to start planting right away.

After you get the infrastructure in place, my book also has a whole chapter on natural pest control that will then keep those critters at bay...

Fencing that area in wouldn't hurt eventually, and having a couple of good garden watch dogs that will chase out anything that tries to get through, around, under or over the fence, would help as well.

Rick Austin
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Joined: Apr 25, 2015
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