Here is a photo of my garden 2 weeks after my last post. You can see that the swiss chard has been demolished by gophers, as well as the carrots and beets. This is when I started to research gopher trapping. I had to go out and buy to Macabee gopher traps. I asked my Grandpa if he ever had any trouble with gophers and he told me that his mom was quite the avid gopher trapper. He explained to me how to set the traps. It’s pretty simple to do. You have to find a fresh gopher mound, and then use a stake, rod, etc and poke in the ground to find which directions the tunnels run. Once you do that, you dig a whole and set a trap in each direction. Make sure you tie your traps together and then stake them down once they are set. This is to prevent the gopher from running off with your trap if it doesn’t kill it. You should cover the whole with a brick or paver once the traps are set. Then all you have to do is wait… Here is a link that might explain this better, it also has pictures.
Here is one of the gophers that I caught. After they finished off the chard, carrots and beets, they moved to the other side of the garden and started working on our romaine. This first picture is of the gopher in the tunnel where I caught him. You can see that I have twine tied to the trap and that is connected to the other trap that was facing the other direction.
I didn’t realize how small gophers were. I went to the University of Minnesota and am a proud alumni of the Golden Gophers. I no longer feel bad for killing them because they are eating my vegetables. I was somewhat scared to take it off, but with my gloves on, it wasn’t that hard. I through him over the fence for some critter around here to eat.
Since I lost quite a few chard plants, I went out and got a few more. The picture on the right shows the new plants. It is rainbow chard and although I’m not the biggest fan of it, I do like the bright colors in the garden. There are white, yellow and pink stalks that look awesome with all the other leafy green plants growing.
Where the carrots and beets were, I decided to plant a few more cauliflower and romanesco broccoli plants. These are growing slowly, but it’ll be nice to have a harvest in early spring (I actually looked in one of the romanesco plants and saw what it looks like, definitely click the link to the wikipedia page). I also planted some more kale here because I don’t mind it in my salads. We also have been running some through my juicer and mixing it with apple or orange juice. It tastes good and is very healthy for you.
I also planted a few additional strawberries in the corner of the garden. I really like the fresh strawberries from the old garden so I wanted to get more in at my new plot. These are an ever bearing variety and I have been pulling flowers in hopes of having these plants develop a strong root system and produce bountiful harvests.
I purchased a dill plant and another oregano plant. I added these to the herb corner. I am hoping to use the dill when I make pickles with cucumbers from the garden. Last year I wanted to make pickles and didn’t get around to it…hoping we do this time since I have a monster bottle of vinegar sitting in the cupboard.
This picture is of the ‘left half’ of my garden. There is the broccoli in the lower left and the artichoke on the right, with peas along the fence. There are two new plants, a brussel sprout and another broccoli in the bottom center of the photo. Most of these new plants were leftovers from when I helped a friend plant a garden in plastic storage tubs. I took pics and will post them up here soon.
Here is the broccoli corner, and one brussel sprout plant on the left. In the broccoli closest to us, you can barely see the broccoli head. Once the head is ready, you cut it and then side shoots will form and you can harvest broccoli for at least two months (and who knows how much longer…first time growing but just ate two nice side shoots tonight for dinner)