Easy Ways to Get Rid of Gophers in Your Garden

Gophers are stealthy pests living underground that can wreak havoc in your garden by disturbing plant roots and forming troublesome mounds. Managing a gopher infestation can be overwhelming, but there are numerous ways to address it that can make your life easier without compromising your garden. Keep reading to learn more about tools like live traps and essential oils, and uncover the most effective strategies to control gophers in your vegetable and flower beds.

See the signs

Get Rid of Gophers in Your Garden | Vego Garden

Gopher holes: These are like secret entrances to their underground lairs. Gopher holes are usually about 3-4 inches in diameter, and they're strategically placed around your garden.

Mounds of dirt: Gophers are expert excavators, and the excess dirt from their tunneling adventures has to go somewhere. That somewhere is often right on top of your perfectly manicured lawn, creating unsightly mounds.

Tunnel openings: Ever seen what looks like a miniature Grand Canyon in your garden? Those are the openings to the intricate tunnel system gophers call home.

These signs might seem like innocent landscaping quirks, but they're the breadcrumbs leading straight to a gopher problem. If left unchecked, these critters can disrupt the roots of your plants, making your garden and your life a nightmare!

Proactive garden design

Wire mesh: Use wire mesh, hardware cloth, or chicken wire on the bottom of metal raised beds to create an under-lawn barrier. Vego Garden has a new line of gopher net that goes underneath your metal raised garden bed, really stepping up your gardening game.

Gopher baskets: Consider gopher baskets for protecting the roots of fruit trees and other susceptible plants.

Birds of prey: Install owl boxes to attract natural predators like barn owns, providing a chemical-free solution to reduce gopher populations.

Humane trapping methods

Live traps: Set live traps strategically placed near gopher tunnels to capture these pests without causing harm.

Ask for advice: Always ask experienced farmers how they deal with these critters. They will have very innovative ways to keep their gardens free of pests!

Gopher-resistant plants and ground covers

Choose plants with strong scents or textures that gophers dislike, such as those with fuzzy leaves or strong odors. Here are some examples:

  1. Euphorbia is a succulent with an unappealing milky sap to gophers.
  2. Rosemary has a strong scent that deters gophers.
  3. Lavender is also a strong aromatic herb that deters gophers from your garden.
  4. Daffodils have toxins that make them unpalatable to gophers.
  5. Fritillaria has toxic substances in its bulbs, providing protection against gophers.
  6. Mole Plant (Euphorbia lathyris), also known as "gopher purge," secretes a substance deterring gophers, but caution is needed as it can be toxic to humans and pets.
  7. Thyme, besides adding flavor to dishes, acts as a ground cover gophers may find unappealing.

Why are they visiting your garden?

Get Rid of Gophers in Your Garden | Vego Garden

Food source: Gophers are herbivores and are attracted to the abundance of vegetation in gardens. 

Sandy soil: Gophers prefer loose, sandy soil, which makes it easier for them to dig their intricate tunnel systems. 

Moisture: Gophers are drawn to areas with ample moisture; therefore, overwatering your garden or having poor drainage can create the perfect environment for them. 

Tunneling opportunities: Gophers are expert burrowers and are attracted to areas where they can easily dig tunnels, such as gardens with soft, tillable soil. 

Fruit trees and vegetable gardens: Gophers may be attracted to the roots of fruit trees and vegetables. 

Lack of natural predators: Gardens without natural predators like owls, cats, snakes or other gopher-hunting animals may be more prone to gopher infestations.

Natural approaches

Household repellents: Use household repellents such as coffee grounds, cotton balls soaked in essential oils, or even juicy fruit gum. Consider carbon monoxide from a car exhaust or dryer sheets placed in gopher tunnels. Another option is a mixture of Tabasco sauce, chili powder, and water in a spray bottle.

Natural oils: Utilize natural oils like castor oil and peppermint oil sprayed around the garden to deter gophers with strong scents.

Ultrasonic devices: Consider using ultrasonic devices to disrupt gopher tunnels and their senses. 

Adopt a cat: Consider adopting a cat or encouraging the presence of neighborhood cats known for their hunting prowess. Cats are natural hunters and are excellent at keeping small rodents, including gophers, at bay.

Final thoughts

Vego Garden has an Instagram post about how farmers dealt with their own gopher pests. You should check it out! It's a good example of natural remedies and it helps to see other gardeners going through the same issues. The key is to address the gopher problem early and consistently to enjoy the benefits of a thriving, pest-free garden.



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