This rose is Double Delight and is one of my best roses along my back wall garden. I love my roses but, unfortunately, so do gophers. The roots of the roses are like bacon-wrapped candy to a pocket gopher.
As you can see, my back yard backs right up to the foothills and the mountains just beyond. That area is home to thousands of critters...many of them gophers. When we first moved in, I put in several rose bushes along the wall.
They did very well for awhile and then suddenly died. Digging the remains up, I discovered their root systems had been eaten by gophers.
I had read somewhere that gophers won't dig more than six feet if they can't come up for air. You can see, the paving of our patio is more than 6 feet and I do not have a gopher problem anywhere else on the property.
So what did I do?
Here is my grapevine that has similar problems with raccoons, possums, and skunks eating the fruit. I put a cage of chicken wire around the base to keep them out. When the grapes are ripening, I cover the plant with loose netting to also keep the birds out.
Similarly, if you look at the base of the rose, above, you can see some more chicken wire sticking out of the ground.
When planting a rose...or any other valuable perennial along the back wall...I line the hole with chicken wire, then plant, folding the wire back over the root ball of the plant to keep Mr. Gopher away.
We both live in peace now...maybe we should ally against the deer.
Copyright 2012 - Darryl Musick
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