Friday, April 11, 2014

Bugs Bunny Cartoon

I have a problem. An underground problem. Gophers! Unlike Moles, which are strictly meat eaters (and very few kinds of nuts), gophers eat mostly vegetation. Unfortunately, this spring, the vegetables on the menu are the same vegetables I want to eat.

They are eating the roots to my overwintered chard.

The result is very much like the Bugs Bunny Cartoons where Elmer Fudd watches the carrots in his garden disappear into the ground.

There is no reason to bother exterminating this Gopher. It will just cause a population explosion of gophers in my garden. Gophers are very territorial and if you get rid of the one who is bothering you, several will move in for a turf war. Who wouldn't want the 'penthouse' of gopher living? Until they worked it out, I would suddenly have several gophers. I'd rather just live with the one I have. Better a devil you know.

When dealing with gophers I find it more effective for me to just plant plenty to share and to make the garden a less pleasant place to be. I have had success with burying 1/2" hardware cloth at the bottom of my raised beds. It is a couple days of work, but it makes gopher proof beds in which I can reliably grow carrots and potatoes, their FAVORITE foods.

Some people recommend putting hair from the barbershop in the holes, but that creeps ME out.

I had a cat once who was very good at discouraging them. He used an interesting technique. He would methodically pee in all but one of the gopher holes and then sit by the one hole he didn't pee in, and wait...

Apparently the gopher would stay away from all the holes in his tunnel network that the cat peed in and then eventually end up at the hole my cat was waiting at.

Sadly, my gopher catching cat is no longer with us. But I am considering using his strategy.

Only, I'm not sure Buck will cooperate.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard about the hair thing as well, but when I had tried it years ago, it did not work. Then I saw some stuff at Fred Meyer called Gopher repellent. It was a liquid. I used it as we had a gopher who was leaving holes all over our lawn, and it worked!! Thar was 16 years ago and have never had a gopher since!!


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