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General information and discussion about cultivating onions, garlic, shallots and leeks.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #1
habitat_gardener
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Default onions, garlic, and gophers

Onions and garlic have always been easy crops for me: plant in December or January. harvest in May. This year, the gophers beat me to it. By mid-April, I noticed some of my onions had not survived at the community garden. Then all the Walla Wallas were gone. By the time I figured out that this particular gopher had developed a taste for onions, half of the 100 I'd planted (5 varieties) were gone. The ones that remained were still small, but I picked them anyway. April seemed way too early to be thinking about gopher predation!

I had hardware cloth under most of the garlic, but that, too, started disappearing before the bulbs had sized up. They were barely the size of marbles. Some were munched from the top, others from the bottom, so it could have been several critters.When I dug up that bed, however, there was a gopher tunnel running right under the hardware cloth!

So for next winter, I'm wondering if it makes more sense to plant in containers at home, or to try to plant everything in hardware cloth (I have a big pile of it that was going to get recycled). I have mounded raised beds, without borders.

Do gophers also like beets and turnips and rutabagas? They seem to have stayed away from the beds that have brassicas, but I wonder if that's coincidental.

I'm not interested in hunting them down. That would make gardening a dreaded activity rather than a joy.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
PhilaGardener
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Sorry to hear of your experience - those gophers seem to have developed quite a taste for these


I find these critters to be very problematic. In addition to covering under your raised beds (which you already are doing), can you fence in your beds? A strong, welded-wire fence was the only way I could keep groundhogs out of my garden.


Good luck!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Gophers are horrible big time and smart too.
You need a gopher cat.
They in a way are like Polar bears.
They will sit at a hole and wait for one to come out and eat it.
Just like Polar bears do at Seal holes on the ice.
Now a gopher dog is a whole different story but a good one won't dig up the garden.

I have had both cat and dog that went after gophers.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #4
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I find onions and especially garlic are not very efficient to plant in containers, so I would say no to that. They require quite a deep container to do well, especially the garlic, so you end up needing a decent amount of not only surface area but also potting mix volume. I have had some good success with shallots in fairly shallow ones however.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Garlic does alright for me in 4 gal containers. Onions not so much.

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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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The sonic spike works on moles, I do not have a gopher problem. This is the way I do it.


I want the moles in my garden during the summer months because they eat the slugs and cutworms and such, but around February or March the sonic spike goes in to protect garlic and onions. I take it out in May and let the moles back in.



https://www.victorpest.com/victor-so...ic-spike-m9014


Good Luck
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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The spike works? I had a sonic boombox for rats that was not cheap that did not work. I have a friend with a neighbour who swears that when he tried a unit for rats at his place that he started getting a lot of snakes hanging around. Mine attracted no snakes and seemed to have no effect on rats. I'm glad to hear that it works well on something!
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowingCoastal View Post
Garlic does alright for me in 4 gal containers. Onions not so much.
wow! Beautiful garlic! How many do you grow in a container?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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I wonder if the sonic spike would work for gophers here. The only thing is that, at the community garden, placing it where I would not step on it and it would not attract enough attention to get stolen might be tricky.

A nearby community garden is bordered by houses that have outdoor cats. Every time I walk past that garden, a cat comes out looking for attention every 20 feet or so. I heard they didn't have rat problems there last year, even though there were a couple chicken houses, but I haven't heard if gophers are a problem there.

I was also thinking of moving to another part of the community garden (it's really big), farther from the fields that the gophers come from.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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i am surprised anything goes after the garlic. garlic is the only crop i can grow that doesn't require protection from deer, my biggest garden muncher or rabbits.
i would be wary of growing any below ground bulb with your present problem.
keep the critters out or container grow what you can.
good luck



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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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I have a few tomatoes growing in 15 gal. pots, so I could use those pots and soil for winter crops.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
GrowingCoastal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
wow! Beautiful garlic! How many do you grow in a container?
Hi. I grow four or five per 4 gal pot depending on the variety. Yes it is beautiful garlic. Here we have wet winters so the soil has to be well draining.
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