Chicken Wire: A Gardener’s Friend and Gopher’s Foe

For anybody who has had to deal with gophers in their garden, you know the frustration of having to find something, anything that will reduce their damage. In my city, gophers run rampant, so it’s an ongoing problem that requires quite a bit of vigilance to prevent crop damage/loss and garden hazards from holes in the ground and large mounds of soil.

When I put in my raised row garden beds, the first thing I attended to was the issue of gopher management, not my future crops! I’d lost over two dozen rose plants over the years because of gophers (they eIMG_3101at their tender roots) so wanted to make it difficult for them if they decided to trespass onto my new garden beds. I laid chicken wire, securing them with landscaping staples, before covering the garden bed areas with mulch and gardening soil.

Apparently, the chicken wire has made at least one gopher unhappy. It’s interesting to see that the gopher attempted to dig a new hole and had to stop because of my 20-gauge galvanized steel chicken wire. I am so pleased to see that! I inspected this hole a bit further and saw that the wire was intact. Behaviorally, I hope that the gophers that attempt to attack that part of my garden will remember that these areas are un-diggable, and would prompt them to leave my back yard alone. For now, I am happy to see a successful result from having this rather modest-cost solution to my gopher problem. For larger yards and gardens, multiple methods might be deployed, but for most gardeners, chicken wire might be something to consider for specific projects.

Shopping Tip: Pre-packaged rolls of chicken wire (about $35 per roll, 36″ x 50″)  were about triple the cost of stucco netting, which is used for houses. The product is the same 20-gauge galvanized steel. The stucco netting also came in a roll three times the size (36″ x 150″ for $46.25), so you get a lot more for the money if you buy stucco netting. I have more than enough extra chicken wire for when I have to do any replacement of the product, which I hope will be many years from now, as well as for other projects.

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One Response

  1. We don’t have gophers here but we do have vole! Wire cages help protects their favorite plants.

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