Strangers in the Night and Other Garden Marauders, Part VI: Gopher : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread


Greatest Cravings: Gophers go mostly for root veggies and flower bulbs. They may also clip or girdle small trees.

Signs to Look For: If you've suddenly got holes where your veggies once were, chances are it's gophers. Do most of their damage down under, devouring roots and sometimes pulling entire plants down. Also damage plants with mounds of soil they push up, and gopher tunnels can make a garden like a sieve come watering time. Can be a gardener's worst nightmare come true.

Best Barrier: Such prodigious diggers--have to bury fence deep enough to stop them: at least 18 inches. Use 3/4" aviary wire or hardware cloth and bend outward several inches to discourage underground invasion even more. Gophers will rarely appear aboveground, so fence doesn' t have to be very high--measly 6-12".

Other Deterrents: Before taking fencing plunge, consider following: Encircle garden with Euphorbia lathyris ("Nature's Farewell Seed" or Gopher Patrol"). Can sometimes work. Plant's roots put out substance reportedly poisonous AND repugnant to gophers (space plants roughly 2-3 feet around perimeter). Other plants: daffodils, squill and castor oil plant (but do NOT grow castor oil plant where pets or children are--highly toxic).

-- Old Git (, July 06, 1999


Just found this post. I have about 1/3 acre near a beach and bought the place from a master gardener. I don't mind sharing produce, but this spring it was getting ridiculous!

Given the other critters who show up--king snakes, raccoons, skunks, and kittens, I am loathe to put down poisons or traps. Flushing with the hose makes them laugh, I swear.

What we in the neighborhood have been using this year is cod liver oil and/or coffee grounds either separately or together. They don't like it much.

The only downside is that my neighbor and I seem to be chasing them back and forth from his yard to mine and vice versa. Worst case they have the runs and a caffeine high.

-- Nancy (, November 23, 1999.

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