Since I bought half a dozen little plants from the perennial dealer at the Sacramento Cemetery, I needed to plant them. I knew I had a gopher but hadn’t realized how busy he was. I first decided to put a plant where I used to have some ixia. That should have been a clue- they are now growing about 6 feet north of the previous location. I put my trowel in, and it went into a hole. I opened it up and saw that it was a good-sized tunnel right through the garden bed. So I went to the potting shed and found the macabee traps and a chain, then found a stick and a board. I put on gloves and cleaned up the traps and chained them together. Then I put mint in both directions in the tunnel, set the traps in both directions and put more mint between them. I looped a piece of chain over the stick and pounded it into the ground by the hole, and covered the hole with the board.

Around the other side of the house, I put the trowel in the ground to plant another perennial. Yup. Another hole. I just left that one open.

The next day the open hole was filled, and so was the hole with the traps. Both traps had sprung, and no sign of the gopher. How do they do that? I went ahead and planted both perennials, assuming the gopher had a new tunnel and wouldn’t risk the old route with its hazards again.

So I looked for a spot under the bay window for another planting location. Yup. Another tunnel. Cleaned and set the traps, using bits of broccoli for bait this time. Next day- both traps sprung, hole filled with dirt, no gopher. The saga continues…


About Jill Perry

Since 2005, I have been the Curator of the San Jose Heritage Rose Garden, a part of Guadalupe River Parks and Gardens near downtown San Jose. I write about the Heritage Rose Garden, my garden and my travels when I feel inspired and have time. Since I have no regular schedule, if you'd like to know when I write a new article, please subscribe to this blog.
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One Response to Gophers

  1. jody says:

    I’ve been having this same problem trying to trap gophers. How DO they do that?

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