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Gophers can wreak havoc in your garden by burrowing tunnels and damaging plants. If you have raised beds, it’s important to take preventive measures to keep gophers out. In this article, we will explore various methods that can help you protect your raised beds from these pesky rodents.

About Gophers

Gophers are small, burrowing rodents that can cause significant damage to gardens. They dig complex tunnel systems underground and feed on the roots of plants, which can lead to the death of your beloved flowers and vegetables. Understanding their behavior is crucial in finding effective solutions to keep them out of your raised beds.

Understanding Gopher Behavior

Gophers are most active during the spring and fall seasons, and they tend to avoid wet or overly compacted soil. They are attracted to gardens with loose and well-drained soil, making raised beds an ideal target for their destructive habits. Gophers are territorial creatures and mark their tunnels with scent, making it essential to stop them before they establish their presence in your garden.

Methods that Don’t Work

Traditional pest control methods like using poison or flooding the tunnels may only offer temporary relief as gophers can quickly rebound and continue wreaking havoc in your garden. These methods also pose risks to other beneficial animals and can harm the environment.

Gopher-Proofing Techniques

1. Use Gopher Cages or Baskets

Gopher cages or baskets made of wire mesh can be an effective way to protect your plants. These cages are placed in the planting hole, creating a barrier that prevents gophers from reaching the roots. It’s important to choose the right wire mesh size to ensure gophers cannot squeeze through.

Choosing the Right Wire for Gopher Baskets

When selecting wire for gopher baskets, opt for a sturdy material like galvanized steel or chicken wire with a mesh size no larger than 1/2 inch. This will effectively prevent gophers from accessing your plants.

2. Grow in Containers or Raised Garden Beds

Growing plants in containers or raised garden beds can help deter gophers. By elevating your garden off the ground, you create a physical barrier that gophers cannot easily breach. Use lumber or other strong materials to build your raised beds, ensuring they are at least 18 inches deep to prevent gophers from burrowing from underneath.

Adding Hardware Cloth for Extra Protection

For added protection, line the bottom of your raised beds or containers with hardware cloth. This sturdy wire mesh will further discourage gophers from penetrating your garden from below.

3. Utilize Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric can serve as a deterrent for gophers. Lay it down before planting, covering the entire area of your raised bed. Gophers dislike the texture and will be less likely to dig through the fabric to reach your plants.

4. Opt for Gopher-Resistant Plants

Choose plants that are known to be less appealing to gophers. Some examples include lavender, rosemary, salvia, and daffodil. Research gopher-resistant plants that thrive in your region and incorporate them into your garden.

5. Try Non-Toxic Gopher Repellents

There are various non-toxic gopher repellents available in the market. These repellents use natural ingredients or vibrations to deter gophers from your raised beds. Follow the instructions on the product label for effective use.

6. Encourage Natural Predators

Invite natural predators like owls, snakes, or cats to your yard to control the gopher population. Creating a habitat that attracts these animals, such as providing nesting boxes for owls or creating hiding spots for snakes, can help keep the gopher population in check.

Attracting Beneficial Animals to Your Garden

Encourage beneficial animals like birds and beneficial insects to your garden by providing bird feeders, bird baths, and insect-friendly plants. These animals will help control the gopher population naturally.

7. Set Gopher Traps

Setting gopher traps can be an effective way to eliminate gophers from your raised beds. Choose traps specifically designed for gophers and carefully follow the instructions for proper placement and baiting.

Choosing the Right Type of Trap

There are various types of gopher traps available, including box traps, cinch traps, and scissor traps. Research and choose the trap that suits your needs and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Benefits of Gopher Prevention

By implementing these gopher-proofing techniques, you can safeguard your raised beds and enjoy a thriving garden. Preventing gophers from infesting your garden will help maintain the health and vitality of your plants, ensuring a bountiful harvest.


Gophers can pose a significant threat to your raised beds, but with the right preventive measures, you can protect your plants and enjoy a pest-free garden. Use gopher cages, grow in containers or raised beds, utilize landscape fabric, opt for gopher-resistant plants, try non-toxic repellents, encourage natural predators, and set gopher traps to keep these pesky rodents at bay. By taking these steps, you can create a gopher-free environment and preserve the beauty of your garden.


Q: Can gophers cause harm to humans?

A: Gophers are generally not harmful to humans. However, their tunneling activities can damage structures like roads, dams, and irrigation systems. It’s best to address gopher infestations to prevent further damage to your property.

Q: How deep should gopher cages or baskets be buried?

A: Gopher cages or baskets should be buried at least 6 inches deep to prevent gophers from burrowing underneath them and accessing the plants.

Q: Are gopher repellents safe for pets and children?

A: Non-toxic gopher repellents are generally safe for pets and children when used according to the product instructions. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your pets and children when using any type of repellent or pesticide in your garden.

Q: How often should gopher traps be checked?

A: Gopher traps should be checked daily to ensure prompt removal of any trapped gophers. This helps maintain the trap’s effectiveness and prevents unnecessary suffering for the trapped animal.

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