Gopher Proof Plants and Coffee Beans?

Gophers and Coffee beans
Rat poisons are linked to disease and death in local wildlife.
Summary: 
I recently also received a nice letter from a reader that says she is using plants that gophers do not eat. That is an excellent idea about planting gopher proof plants. There appears to be a lot of them, especially natives.

Rat poisons are linked to disease and death in local wildlife. That too applies to gopher poisons as it also affects not only our local wildlife but our pet friends and our ocean friends as well. We do not need to use any poisons at all in controlling gophers on our property.

Last article I covered some things you can do to make them go away without killing them. I would rather not kill if I do not have to.

Aside from making a moat around your property and filling it with water and alligators, you can create a natural barrier around your property by planting Paper White Narcissus. Deadly toxic to gophers but they are weirdly attracted to it.  Wait until the bulb companies have their bulb sale and buy a few thousand bulbs and plant one next to the other, all the way around. Every year you will have more and more bulbs surrounding your property and less and fewer gophers on your property. Some gophers will eat a bulb or two and go off and die so those bulbs will have to be replaced as it leaves a “door” for them to enter so be sure the bulbs are right next to each other. They require little watering so a drip line at 1/2 gal per hour will do fine and a drip head every 2 feet will work fine also. Mulch well. Do not plant if you have children or weird dogs that may eat it since it is also toxic to mammals. There are many other types of bulbs you can plant that will also repel gophers and moles.

I recently also received a nice letter from a reader that says she is using plants that gophers do not eat. That is an excellent idea about planting gopher proof plants. There appears to be a lot of them, especially natives.

Some think that gophers might not eat gopher spurge, which is said to repel gophers and moles. Euphorbias contain a milky sap that is an irritant or toxin to humans and many animals including your pets. I have found them to be too invasive, and they reproduce like crazy, and before long you have a different problem. Also not good if you have children as they might get the white substance into their eyes.

Some plants that are also toxic to gophers are daffodils and naked ladies.  Naked ladies are easy to grow in Malibu. You can separate them after a few years and plant them around the outside perimeters of your property right next to the narcissus! Some plants gophers won't eat are columbine,  artemesia, ceanothus, rock rose, breath of heaven foxglove, lantana, lavender, Indian hawthorn, rosemary, and native perennial salvias.

Another way to reduce the population of gophers and other rodents in an area is to encourage their natural predators. Since we live in the country, there are many native predators around so it is important not to use any poisons as it will affect them also.

Here are some trees and shrubs: arbutus unedo, buddleja, callistimon, ceanothus, cistus, fuchsia, hydrangea, lantana, nandina, oleander, rosemary, salvia to name a few. I have added at the end of this article a link to a site that has lots and lots of plants that are gopher proof.

I think it is worth mentioning again that hair will repel gophers and ground squirrels without killing them. The best hair is from animals. When I lived in Florida, I would visit my local zoo, especially on hair cutting day and take home massive amounts of lion or tiger hair. I don’t have to say that I never had a gopher problem nor did any of my customers. You don’t have to go to a zoo, just to your local pet store. Ask them when they have hair cutting days and ask them to save the cat or dog hairs. You place into their tunnels, put a big rock (or they will shove out of the tunnel) over it. Works best when days and nights are hot. Human hair also works well. I guess they don’t like us living in their tunnels.

Another thing you can use is coffee beans. Yep. I mentioned it last week, but it is worth mentioning again. Try the French Vanilla as vanilla is toxic to gophers and moles. The coffee beans will last a few weeks to a month. A few folks have said why not use the coffee grins. Well, that won't work because you already drank the good stuff! It needs to be fresh so it can smell up their tunnels.  The coffee beans also work on other creatures such as deer, lions and tigers and bears, Oh my! Just sprinkle around the edge of your property. You will need to do this maybe once a week during their active season and then perhaps monthly as required. You can also sprinkle the coffee beans around plants, fruit trees, roses, etc. you want to be saved from deer. Works great against elephants!  By the way, speaking of plants that gophers hate to eat is the coffee plant! They grow well in Malibu. Just make sure you plant the correct variety.

There is one more thing I wish to mention about gophers. They are natives to here and belong here. They are not evil and deserve the right to live in peace. Seek peaceful solutions first before you decide to kill. Do like Captain Kirk. He would tell Spock, “Spock, we are not going to kill today.” Please be kind to your wildlife friends. They need all the friends they can get!

Mention this article in your email to me, and I will send you back a free copy of my new book “Don't Panic Its Organic” in ebook form!

There is a massive list of gopher resistant plants. Try this link: https://www.mostlynatives.com/plant-characteristics/gopher-resistant

Any questions? Email me at andylopez@invisiblegardener.com

 andy Lopez (yes, I use little a), the Invisible Gardener