welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Thursday, April 8, 2021

garden news-the bane of our existence


i never understood bill murrays obsession with gophers in the movie caddyshack until i started gardening here
the first two years i gardened in our community garden i had no problems until this last year
it seem to explode
was it covid 19 i wondered

here is the chubby cheeked varmint that bill was after
it can destroy a vegetable garden
its just like on the cartoon shows where the gopher pulls the whole plant down the hole and all you have left is a big ole hole

here is another varmint that we have in the garden also
its called a vole
i think of it as a cross between a mole and a rat
it tunnels underground and eats the roots
it also will go out on top of the ground and eat the plants
gophers are usually more skittish about being out of their tunnels
just like in caddyshack

i never had to deal with either of these in all my previous years of gardening in texas
i now understand bills obsession with these varmints

so the goal is to capture them somehow
yes they dont survive capturing
so far togd 10 + vs  gophers ?
so far togd 20+  vs  voles ?

there seems to be an endless supply of both gophers and voles

here is my approach now

i built these gopher cages out of 1/2 inch wire cut 2 ft by 1 ft then rolled into a sphere like an ice cream cone with the bottom wired shut
it works great
i have over 20 of them in my garden 
it leaves a lot of the bed space unprotected
i went to plan two
commonly used in raised beds and smaller gardens around here

i went to our local ace store and got this gopher wire that is 4 ft x 25 ft
it looks like chicken wire or aviary wire but it has a thicker gauge wire and it is double galvanized to slow down rust ie it lasts longer

my garden beds are 3 ft x 8 ft
i have 8 of them

first i dug down over 12 inches deep
man i have rich garden soil
i laid the wire down so that around 6 inches were lapped over the side of the beds
i told my wife she it looked like i was going to bury someone
i am i thought to myself 
a grave for gophers
i lapped another 6 inches on each end of the bed
i walked inside the grave so it fit like you were wrapping a box
i started adding back my soil
i took the opportunity to refurbish my soil
i added
a layer of mulch
a layer of garden soil
a layer of compost
a layer of chipped vegetation from our garden 
a layer of chicken compost saved from our chicken coop
i filled the last layers with my garden soil
covering it with a layer of compost
sounds like rich soil to me 

then i flattened back the 6 inches of wire around the edges and covered them with these native sandstones

i replanted my squash plant back into this new soil minus its gopher cage
i covered the bed with pine straw to hold in moisture
we wont get rain here probably until next october

take that you voles and gophers
bill murray would be proud

i have to do 7 more of these so as a bed becomes available i will do each bed this way
all i have to do is protect the plants above ground until they get large enough to survive on their own

what we go through to have a garden

the organicgreen doctor

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