Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Au Revoir, Mr. Go-pher

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
All Rights Reserved


  1. That's a great idea! I have lost my share of lovely plants to underground critters. A small Japanese maple was flourishing when it suddenly died overnight. When I pulled at it, it came up easily, completely beheaded from its roots. a victim of voles. Lucky that you have only the one area to deal with! The Double Delight rose is fabulous!

    By the way, i like your gardening philosophy! Best wishes for your gardening and blogging endeavors. Deb

  2. When it comes to gardening, there is little more disheartening than having your plants eaten or killed. Well done for finding a solution. Here we have rabbits.... or we did, until I spent most of my garden budget on rabbit fencing. I enjoy seeing rabbits in the fields, but I do not want them eating my precious plants. This way we both live alongside one an other.

    Here's to problem-free gardens!

  3. Thanks...I'd rather live in peace with crittershat than go to war. It's good to find solutions that let us do that.

  4. They can be such a nuisance, geesh. I can feel your pain.