Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Report from the Battle Front
Apricot, Avocado and Pomegranate are gopher-resistant. That would explain why, despite all the gopher holes on that side of the property, my Pomegranates have survived and thrived. I suppose the presence of the big Eucalyptus tree hasn't hurt, either. Gophers don't seem to like Eucalyptus.
Anyway, after a couple weeks of gas-bombing their tunnels, I'm seeing a lot fewer fresh gopher-holes. It's too much to hope that they've given up the territory, so I'll keep on patrolling, digging and gas-bombing. Also, I got 20 healthy Euphorbia seeds and gave them to Sharan to sprout. She's as dedicated to the Gopher War as I am, and she has two green thumbs. We intend to grow as many good sturdy Gopher Purge plants as possible, and plant at least one among the roots of our particularly vulnerable fruit-trees. I'm working on a song for the plant to the tune of "Euphoria", but this is as far as I've gotten:
"When those gophers start a-diggin' and a-pokin'
It sends 'em off runnin', a-gaggin' and a-chokin',
Scamperin' around tryin' hard to get away
It isn't much, but I'm working on it. Anyway, since we can't get our hands on gopher snakes, and ferrets would have problems with the dog and the cats, and poisoning is generally a bad idea, we're sticking to gopher-bombs for the short term and Gopher Purge for the long haul. It's also good to know that the Apricots and Avocados will be fairly safe on their hook when we get around to planting them (in October, the nurseryman recommends, which is when the new black Arisia Pomegranate should arrive).
The interesting fact is that the Blackberry plants that survived the trip from Larry's place seem to be undamaged too. I would have thought that Blackberry roots would be a feast for gophers, but it seems their roots are as well defended as the rest of the plant -- which can only be handled safely with thick ox-hide gardening gloves. In their way, they're as prickly as cactus.
I'm trying to think of which trees should get a companion Euphorbia: the Scarlet Fig, obvously, but what else? The citrus trees? That's a Navel Orange, another Bearss Lime, and a Honey Lemon. Maybe the White Guava too, and possibly the Papershell Pecan tree. The Moringa should be safe; it comes from Africa, and the local gophers wouldn't be adapted to it. The grapevines don't seem to have suffered.
Hmmm, or maybe I should just order more Euphorbia seeds. They're a bit pricey, but if they drive away the goddam gophers they'll be worth it.