The Q&A Archives: Gophers And Ashes

Question: Will a layer of ashes from a wood stove deter gophers? If so, how many inches can be used without significantly altering the soil pH?

Answer: Repelling with ashes is just one of dozens of reported remedies for getting rid of gophers. Nothing really works except trapping the creatures. Gophers and moles feed on grubs and other insects in the soil. As long as you have healthy soil teaming with beneficial insects and their larvae, you'll have the potential for attracting gophers. To get rid of gophers, invest in a scissors-type gopher trap, and set it carefully - as often as necessary to catch and kill the entire population. Once you've gotten rid of the gophers, encourage your neighbors to do the same. If it's any consolation, gophers in your yard are a compliment to your skills as a gardener. They prefer rich, moist, organic soil teeming with insects!

Ashes won't repel gophers, but they do contain potash and calcium and you can safely apply 25# per 1000 square feet every 2-3 years without significantly altering the soil pH.

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