Sunday, July 26, 2020

Gopher It

I have a modest little yard project, and the biggest challenge is our resident gopher, "Gracie." 
I guess once you've named the critter, it makes it more difficult to kill her. I wanted to find a non-lethal way to keep my garden, just making it not a fun place to be for Gracie...though truth to tell, it looks like Gracie was here first. I'm a fan of "The Invisible Organic Gardener", who states that: "Gophers are natives to here, and belong here. They are not evil, and deserve the right to live in peace. Seek peaceful solutions, first before you decide to kill. Do like captain Kirk. He would tell Spock, “Spock, we are not going to kill today.” So, please be kind to your wildlife friends. They need all the friends they can get!"…/

So, I decided on a non-lethal way after reading about the lethal, killing methods that others use to kill gophers - they don't always work, and can be destructive to the environment and other critters, too. And I would just feel bad if I killed an animal (though I still eat meat - go figure). So, forget that.

Although when our friend Bob was visiting the other day, Gracie was kicking up a fuss with the dirt, very conspicuously.
 Bob said: "Gimmee your hose - now turn it on!" and he flushed out Gracie's hole. At first, I worried that she had drowned, but she didn't - he just gave her a bath, and made her kick up more dirt the next day.
So, I poured coffee beans and sponges soaked in peppermint oil into Gracie's holes, which so far seem to work.  I also planted gopher-repellant plants, like rosemary, ceanothus and salvia. 

UPDATE: This morning, the lobelia laxiflora was still there; later on I looked out, and it was gone. Like magic. Cross that plant off my list of things to plant in our yard again!

TWO WEEKS LATER: After I put pieces of biodegradable sponges soaked in peppermint oil down each of Gracie's entryways 2 weeks ago, I have not seen hide nor hair of her - on our property, anyway. Our plants - if not exactly "thriving" - are at least "not dead yet". Unfortunately, it looks like Gracie has now moved lock, stock and burrow over to Mom's yard (saw her throwing dirt out of it this morning).  I ran out of peppermint oil, so put evergreen and tangerine oil on sponges and put them down her entryways. 

Will that work? We'll may be a ping pong game "gopher gopher, who's got the gopher now? Gracie: "Deb Wong - Gopher it!!!"

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