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, November 18, 2021

garden news-i dug a grave for those pesky gophers


this is the grave i dug for the gophers that try to get into my garden

these are some of the plants i am trying to protect from destruction
that tall palm looking plant on the left is a curly leaf kale i planted last year
as it grows i pull off the leaves
using them in salads or in stews or soups or beans
i also donate any excess kale leaves to the shelters food pantry soup kitchens family friends etc
i usually only plant three each year as that produces all we can consume
the rib after the leaves are stripped i give to my sons great dane who loves them
all these are safely planted in a gopher graveyard bed with thick gopher wire in the bottom

the other palm looking plant is a dinosaur kale
the great dane really loves the ribs off this plant
kids like to touch the leaves since it feels like a dinosaur skin
well thats what we tell them it feels like

also in the middle of the bed is a zucchini squash thats still producing squash
its at the end of its life though
in the front of the bed is a malabar spinach thats growing up those wooden poles
they are still producing new growth since we have had a warm october and november

its possible without that gopher wire buried deep in the beds that none of this would have survived

also protected and just planted are more kale radishes bush sweet peas vine sweet peas celery cilantro lettuces caulflower broccoli cabbage garlic and soon leeks and onions

these are a multiplying onions my dad gave me years a go 
they keep coming back each fall providing us with lots of green onions in the fall and winter
these were dug up from the grave bed above
they will be replanted and some will be eaten and some will be given to other gardeners and some will be planted in our main garden
thanks dad for the donation

we didnt have gophers where we lived in texas
i guess they couldnt chew through rocks
so i never had to deal with them

our community garden has a five foot metal fence around it with gopher wire buried deep into the ground which keeps the vast majority of them out 
a few do get in our community garden and those few can be quite destructive
recently we put in a sonic gopher thingamajig that elicits a sound every 15 seconds
well know soon how it works

we use a lot of gopher traps that takes out a few of them

of course when i moved here all i knew of gophers were from watching caddyshack 
from watching my brother in law dealing with them in his yard

it seems though that the gophers somehow always wins

so here is what i do 
ive written about this before
i have found writing about it is quite cathartic
i know i am only going to partially win the battle

my beds are 3 ft x 8 ft and are slightly raised and bordered by sandstone rocks
the volume of soil removed is 0.89 cubic yards

i dig down about 1 foot and put the soil in several 30 gallon barrels and 20 gallon barrels
when i get through digging i have a hole like that in the first picture above

as my wife she said
it looks like you are digging a grave

i am 
i said
for those gophers
may they not rest in peace
should i say may they rest in pieces

after i dig my gopher grave i drop in a 4 ft x about 10 ft piece of gopher wire
it looks like chicken wire but is much thicker and stronger and its better galvanized against rust
gophers can easily get though chicken wire

i run the edges up over the sides of the bed and cover the edges of the wire with my rocks
it sort of looks like a dish that has a cheese cloth placed over it with it draped over the sides of the dish

i found several holes in the ground that were large enough to run a 2 inch pvc pipe in 
i envision some gopher rapidly running down that hole and going full blast into that gopher wire
i sure wish i could see it happen

i then walk around in the bed to make the wire conforms to the shape of the gopher grave 

in the grave i put layers of
leaves if i have them
cardboard or newspapers if i have them
several limbs not gopher ones but wooden ones or logs if i have them
in the top half i layer just soil and compost

then i scatter an organic fertilizer on it and soak it all with fish emulsion
i add back my drip lines
cover it all up with pine straw mulch

this particular bed will be used for leeks which will arrive after new years from dixondale farms in texas

i have eight beds this size in my garden
so far i have done 6 beds with this gopher grave method
this spring when i harvest those last two beds i will make them gopher grave beds also

im sure bill murray would be proud of my gopher grave garden beds

the organicgreen doctor

No comments:

Post a Comment