The Q&A Archives: Protecting Roses from Gophers

Question: I have a persistent gopher problem and need to protect my plants, especially roses. I read online that planting roses in 15 gallon squats with drainage holes protects the root ball and prevents gophers from eating it. Do you recommend this method and can it be applied to other plants as well. I have tried poison, gas and traps and had very little success. Please help!

Answer: Gophers can really damage plants, as you have discovered. I wouldn't recommend keeping your plants in containers and burying the containers because you'll be restricting the available root area for the plants and their health will eventually suffer. Perhaps a better idea is to create cages or baskets to protect prized plants. Dig a 2 to 3-foot deep hole in the planting area and line the sides and bottom of the bed with wire mesh. Replace the soil and plant your garden. Trees can be protected with wire mesh guards placed a few inches below the soil line and 2 feet up the trunk. By using wire mesh rather than plastic pots, the roots will have a chance to roam without the problem of gopher attack. Hope this information helps you protect your plants from gophers!

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