Friday, May 30, 2014

Gopher Problems

In our family, my husband is the gopher trapper.   Pocket gophers are pesty critters that eat the roots of  plants. They seem to wait until the plants are nice and mature and almost ready to harvest then they beat you to them.  Any plants that mysteriously die rather quickly and have no roots have become a victim of pocket gophers. If they are actively dining, you can see the plants jiggle then by the time you make it over there it's too late.  They leaves holes in your beds or mound of dirt as a calling card.

So how do you get rid of them?  Stann uses the metal traps with the prongs.  When a hole shows up, dig down until you find the horizontal passages.  Place the trap with a string attached to the trap into the hole.  The string in secured on the surface on a fork or stake so they don't pull the trap down into the hole.  Cover the trap with a board so its dark and check periodically. That's my husbands job too.  He takes gopher hunting very seriously.  My husband says its best to locate two holes and put a trap in both.  Good luck.

Set the traps and attach a string.

Place in a horizontal passage preferably in two hole.

Secure string with a fork or small stake. Cover hole with a board and wait.

Check everyday.  After trapping one watch for new holes because they usually come in pair or more.

In preparing raised beds I do not recommend putting weed cloth or screen on the bottom of the beds.  The weed cloth blocks your veggies roots from reaching deep into the ground.  Remember what you see on top of the soil is usually the same underground.  Good, deep root systems are essential for healthy harvests.  The screen allows the gophers to dig tunnels under your beds and you have no way to trap them. 

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