We started a garden (officially in actual dirt, not in pots) and it's already annihilated by slugs and gophers. I can handle the slugs--I got organic bait for them (it keeps them from eating for three or four days--then they die--gnarly!). The gophers are tough though. I've been reading all available organic solutions for them. I don't want to set out poison in the middle of my vegetable garden, after all. But currently, it doesn't look like it's going to be much of a vegetable garden, thanks to you, gophers. So here are some of the suggestions:
Place fish heads in their entrance-ways. Like most creatures on God's green earth, gophers don't like fish heads in their burrows.
Here's Barnes and Barnes' 1979 cult hit, "Fish Heads," for inspiration. (Song starts at 2:19)
Or you can rent a "gopher vac," which will suck them out of the ground for a one-way ticket out of your yard. Gophers are not harmed by the vacuum but moved to another location, far far away. Perhaps their minds will be affected, but who cares? I couldn't find a video of a gopher vac, but here's a prairie dog vac in action--same thing.
Or you can build a cool-looking owl house to attract some predator birds. At night, they're supposed to eat your gophers, post-haste. There's some debate about whether an owl will feed in its nesting area, so you're encouraged to ask your neighbors to place an owl house in their yard, if you do the same. Great--interacting with neighbors over gophers and their predators. I guess it's better than just being on Facebook all the time.
Castor oil and camphor oil pellets are supposed to keep gophers away. Spread it around the plants and the smell disturbs them enough so they move out. Or so they say...
This answer comes from the Berkeley Parents Network--a bastion of organic solutions to life's pestering problems:
Shake Away. We used the one for rodents like voles, moles, mice and rats. It contains garlic oil. They have another product for Small Critters like gophers and a number of other animals that contains fox urine; we did not use that product. They charge $15.95 for each of their cans.
We also used garlic tablets from another company called www.gardeners.com. They also sell castor oil which apparently repels moles and gophers and is the most cost effective product. They also have Shake Away for $19.95.
We used the garlic oil from shake a way once and the garlic tablets from gardeners.com once. The next day the gopher disappeared; we have only had gophers twice in the last year. One gopher can make many tunnels and they are solitary animals. You probably have only 1 gopher.
Gopher traps are another option. Let me know if you want info on that; we did not need to try the traps. - JUDY
Thanks, Judy. When I need advice, I turn to the inhabitants of Berkeley. They read up on things and they're here to help.
So, sorry to be so gopher-obsessed today, but they're obnoxious. And hungry. And they've taken my sunflower seeds, dammit.