Who would think that gophers would eat a poisonous plant like foxgloves? And not just one of them. But one of them every day. It has been a bit of a foxglove party for the gophers over here it seems.
Last count was 7 chewed through last week- it has been raining here so I haven’t gone out to see how many more are gone since then. It is almost as if the more we do to protect the plants- the more those gophers like to mock us by taking them out. So, have we found the magic answer? Not yet. But, I promised an update on the various things we were trying to keep the gophers away and keep the plants safe- so if you are having a similar gopher or mole problem- maybe one will help you.
We have been using wire cages around the roses for awhile now- but as I mentioned before- never thought to use them on foxgloves because they are poisonous and left alone. Until apparently, those foxgloves are the dish of the day.
My husband has been making the cages out of chicken wire – but you can buy pre-made mesh cages in various sizes also.
Wire Lined Planter Boxes
Another way to have the plants more protected if using planter boxes is to line the bottoms of them. We had a few gophers make off with some of the plants in the garden last year- so this year, the dirt came out and wire went down under it before we planted. Though wire cages and liners will help- it won’t keep the most persistent of gophers from getting through. They will chew through them over time.
Our neighbor suggested moth balls as a deterrent. He said to toss them into the gopher holes and then cover them up. We tried it. The garden smelled like an old closet and the gopher just pushed them on out of the way and ate through another foxglove.
The garden center suggested a bag of gopher repellent that are basically pellets with Castor oil that you springle around the plants and also can mix in with the potting soil. We did both. So far, they do not seem to be making much of a difference – but will keep you posted.
These are sticks that you place into the ground in the garden. There are some that emit a sound that supposedly keeps gophers away- and others that vibrate the ground a bit that they don’t like. We already have the beeping stakes- and in our experience they did nothing. We had gopher holes and plants pulled under ground right next to them while they were beeping. Again- I swear they mock you.
We have not tried traps or poison.
So far-it doesn’t seem like any of these are the perfect way to go with keeping your plants safe- but I would suggest the cages as a first try. So far, the foxgloves that have been in cages are standing and growing. The ones next to them that were not- have been gopher meals. We currently have about 2 dozen more that we will be planting- but they are going in cages from now on.
If you want to try any of the gopher and mole repellents I mentioned- here are the ones I was referring to.
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