GOPHERS, Again. After going to the California Rare Fruit Growers how to plant bare root fruit trees demo Feb 20th, I feel the urge to tell you another way to deal with gophers. Install ½” chicken wire or hardware cloth (lasts longer, more expensive and harder to shape). You could do your whole plot, or section off an area where you put a patch of tender lettuces. If you build raised beds, make them the exact width the wire comes in then staple it to the bottom of your frame. You can build a wire basket easily yourself. All you need is wire, gloves and cutters. For small rooted plants like lettuces, you can buy individual cone shaped plastic baskets. Hoanh, Plot 45, uses those, and is testing using plastic flats installed vertically as a border at the edge of his plot! For a deeper rooted plant you could wire 5 of those flats together to make a basket. Leave NO spaces between edges or at corners, the gophers can squirm through!
Use wire or materials that are safe for veggies, food consumption, and, of course, don’t use if for plants like tomatoes that have 6’ roots! How long will the wire last? Depending on the chemistry of your soil, 3 to 10 years. Though more costly, everything else is a temporary fix.