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 Post subject: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:07 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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We're considering making an offer on a place that I noticed today contains an impressive network of gopher holes. Impressive. I was already planning on planting my bamboo in mounds on top of the ground rather than dig but I'm guessing that I'll also need to use wire cages? I think I'll also try to soak rootballs in castor oil. Any experience in CA with serious gopher populations?

Not sure we'll get the place but 3 acres in Capay Valley is promising for big groves of Phy's and nice clumps of the hardy bambusa.

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:26 pm 
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Location: upstate NY zone 6B Location Details
Are you sure that gophers eat bamboos? If not then you shouldn't worry about it. I've found that they only eat certain plants in my garden, but the biggest disturbance is that they simply make tunnels, and destroy plans in the process of it.

You could set up traps inside the gopher holes, and this would work if you don't have a crazy number of them. Something like this works very well if stuck in newly dug holes because they will definitely try to stuff up their hole afterwards.
Quote:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-TRAPS-GOPHINATOR-GOPHER-TRAP-STAINLESS-STEEL-USA-MADE-/322418739272?hash=item4b11a78848:m:mugFUojV9BS7a3-WIKImseg


Do you have a cat? If not, you could probably go to an animal refuge, and get a cat, and they seriously love hunting and eating gophers. Just have some food and water around every day, or give it a place to stay, and it will likely end up eating up about a gopher or two per day. Cats can dig into their holes, and are excellent hunters.

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:42 am 
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
I now have 2 dogs that hunt voles. My current dog hunter become a mother to a boy who she now started teaching. I hope he's a natural. We have unnaturally large voles here and they like bamboo, so I bet gophers do too. The thing with bamboo is, that when properly established, it doesn't really mind if there's some damage to it's roots.

Try the traps, I've had some success with them, but on the long run, they were completely ineffective. Rodents multiply way too fast...

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:21 pm 
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I'm pretty sure that gophers will eat bamboo, I'm also going to plant citrus, stone fruits, almonds, pomegranite, grapes, ornamentals etc so 'm sure I'll have plenty on their diet.

A dog in the fenced areas will help but on a highway so no loose dogs. Mainly interested to learn if castor is effective and how necessary are the wire mesh planting bags?

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Location: Island off Cape Cod Massacusetts
Don't know about gophers, but the castor oil/citronella product Mole Scram works on moles, voles and have used it with success to keep skunks from digging for grubs in lawns.


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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:30 pm 
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A bit off topic, but hoping you get this place! What's the climate there?


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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:26 pm
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Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
Bamboo is gopher candy although they like some species better than others. I use wire under almost all my bamboo. If you are vigilant you can spot activity quickly and -sorry folks - set out poison in their tunnels. I tried castor oil a few years ago for moles and gophers and I didn't have much luck. A local guy surrounds his plants with insulation and claims it is effective. I let nature take it's course re my larger groves. Gophers dig where it is easiest - where you water. I don't water my groves much in summer so gopher activity is relatively minor. I have also tried deer repellent and other nasty taste and small repellents without luck. Rgds


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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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Good advice all, appreciated. Still trying to decide if we'll make an offer on it, 3 acres with a creek, mountain views, and very dark skies which for us is huge as we telescope and now live in light pollution hell. My guess is that a typical winter will have multiple freezes lasting a few hours and lows might dip into the mid 20's, lower certainly possible, I think I can grow Oldhamii there as I would be next to olive, almond and mandarin farms.

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:50 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
needmore wrote:
... as I would be next to olive, almond and mandarin farms.

And the gophers choose *your* (potentially) place? :D

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:55 pm 
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Location: St. Louis area Location Details
I forgot to say that I put wire underneath a couple of my raised bamboo beds to keep moles out, and it was a PAIN when I eventually wanted to dig there. (I removed one species to replace with another. I hated that wire.)

Here's a timelapse video of the process if you're interested. The wire mesh is seen around 1:40 in..
http://www.itsnotworkitsgardening.com/2 ... video.html

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:04 pm 
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Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
The wire is a pain. If you engineer it, 1) size it for plant growth, and 2) enclose it so there is a seam that can be pulled or cut open, it is less of a hassle. I use large pots to use as a form (if it's a five gal, I use a 15 or20 gal pot as a form). You also need to have wire 8 to 10 inches above ground so that the varmints don't climb over. Last time I put in grass sod I put wire underneath. It does eventually rot/rust out but you get a few hassle free years from moles and gophers. Rgds


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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Location: Esparto, CA
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My plan would be to create mulch mounds on top of dry hard packed soil and then remove mulch for planting holes in the mound. Perhaps it would be wise to put a layer of wire on the ground before I create the mound, then they'd have to enter at ground level from the side.

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:05 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:26 pm
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Location: plus 700ft in the Santa Cruz Mtns, 8 miles from the Pacific 35 miles S. of San Jose
Bamboo Giant built their business by planting bamboo in ground (not sure the makeup of the ground) then put all of their mulch (from their tree cutting business) on top, I believe several feet/layers thick. Gophers only go so far below ground and to my knowledge talking with the various owners, were never a issue. Another collector I know did something similar but not quite as drastic. He had gopher problems but used a professional (farm approved) grade gas to deal with them. RGds


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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:30 pm 
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Alan_L wrote:
needmore wrote:
... as I would be next to olive, almond and mandarin farms.

And the gophers choose *your* (potentially) place? :D


I know, they must have some real issues on the farms, this is a dead 'lawn' that look like peg board.

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 Post subject: Re: Gopher advice?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 4:37 pm 
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I'll surely be keeping the gopher advice going forward as it will likely be needed, we lost out on this place though so time to start over.

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