Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gopher Battle Update

Well, darned if I haven't killed a single gopher since I wrote the manifesto. Recently, I've been stuck in an intense battle with a very wily critter. He started out eating some heads of lettuce which were bolting, so it wasn't too bad, but he was very close to the garlic bed.

I dug up his surface holes and set traps in them, despite knowing that finding a deep mainline hole is the most important part. At first, I was foiled because he came through a third hole which I hadn't noticed and filled in the area I had dug out. I re-dug and set another trap, but somehow he manages to push dirt past the traps without springing them. It may be that I'm using an inferior version of the macabee style traps, since they are new ones with two wires that have to be tripped.

He moved on from the holes I was setting traps in after filling them in a second time and killed a few more heads of lettuce by chewing the roots off. He's getting closer to the garlic, so I decided to dig back along the surface hole until I found a deeper route. I did so and set a trap, but he dug a parallel hole next to the one I'd dug up and filled it in from the other end, then ate some more lettuce. GAH!! This critter is getting frustrating.

Today I followed his new, parallel hole back to where it dives deep underground and used the "big shovel" to dig down and set a trap, but I still think that I haven't found his main thoroughfare because there is only one hole, and it pretty much led to the surface tunnels I've been digging up.

If failure was an option, I'd write this off and call it Gophers - 1, Brian -2, but it isn't an option, so I'll keep setting traps and digging until the entire garden is dug up if I have to.

On a side note, I've installed PVC irrigation and spigots in each bed so that we don't have hoses running all over the garden. Today I installed the solenoid valves to run each of the four sections, now I just need to run the power supply over from the garden shed and install the controller, then it'll be ready to run.

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