For weeks I’ve been haranguing Art the Husband to please please please set some gopher traps in the paths between and around my raised garden beds. When we installed the beds we had the foresight to lay down wire mesh under the beds, but failed to do the same outside the raised walls. That was a big mistake. Our property, lawn pasture and otherwise, is plagued with pocket gophers and ground squirrels.
The dogs LOVE THIS, because they’re good eats. We hate this for all the obvious reasons. Art has an ongoing war with them (as seen in previous posts) whereupon he has applied numerous tactics to bring their numbers down.
And of course, in keeping with Stine tradition, Good Old-Fashion Fire Power
Things we haven’t tried include;
The Rodenator Bunker Buster
The only thing that isn’t really an option is the poison. We won’t put the dogs, cats or other wildlife at risk and with all the gopher/squirrel eatin’ that goes on here it would be a very real risk. We’re still open to consideration for all the other tactics.
The war became real to me when I came back from a roadtrip to find my garden area looking like, well, a war zone. Besides the beds being overgrown, the graveled pathways were riddled with holes piled high with gopher-tailings. Going out to the garden to grab a few things for dinner had become a muddy, hazardous ordeal. Art and Fraley built a really awesome fence around the beds about a year ago which keeps the deer and cats out, but gophers? Psshaw.
Art placed the traps (if you’re wondering why I insisted on nagging him into doing it instead of just setting them myself it’s because he’s way better at it than me. I always manage to spring them trying to set them.) Within one night of Gopher Covert Operations we had success, and Dee Dee had breakfast.
I took a chance that it was a solitary operative and commenced Sanitation Operations, which is when this war took a turn. In a shocking discovery, it became apparent that these were no ordinary pocket gophers that had been assigned to the West Front Garden Zone, these were…..Advanced G-Troops. These were the obviously the brightest, the best of the best as evidenced by their advanced surveillance/reconnaissance technology;
Ohhhhh you wicked spying little rodents. This changes everything.
It took 2 days to get everything back in order and as with many war zone rehabilitation projects, slightly better than we started with. Pathways have been leveled and re-graveled, beds have been cleared and topped with compost, gone to seed plants have been pulled, winter crops planted (salad and mustard greens, radishes, carrots, snow peas and chard). Potatoes have been mounded in hopes of one last harvest, onions dug up, weeds evicted. Things that are still going strong were fertilized and mulched. Battle plans were tweaked. Two days is a bit of time to think.
This is what I think; Know Your Enemy.
At this point, a couple of weeks have gone by with no sign of activity in the West Front Garden Zone. But I know it’s only a matter of time. If there was one Advanced G-Troop, there will be others. And I will be ready, or rather, Art the Husband will be ready. Like a General I will remain on a distant vantage point watching my best and brightest wage battle with The Enemy and ponder this new breed of soldier and what it will mean to this war. Until then, my garden will flourish, sans rodents.