When plucked and plundered (by gophers), plant some more

IMG_1745This week I stood in “death row” of my favorite big-box store.
My plan had been to buy a “gopher basket,” — a metal mesh container designed to keep gophers from yanking plants under the ground.
The product was not in stock.
Yet, I was invited to peruse the options on the neatly-arranged death and repellent shelf.
By throwing some money at my problems, I could buy green-glowing poison worms, poison pellets or a gopher gasser (which also kills ground squirrels).
One deterring mixture contained ground blood and cayenne, I was told.
I perused these concoctions. Yet, I’m currently experimenting with a device that emits a buzzing sound about every 30 seconds. After installation, two additional lettuce plants have disappeared.
The gophers have demonstrated their superiority for consecutive years, and by that I mean 10. So this year I only planted veggies in my single raised bed, which is lined in metal mesh.
Lucky for the gopher, I’m too cheap to spend another $15 on products to protect the three seedling squash plants that remain. If the store had sold the anti-love juice in trial sizes, I probably would have plunked over the cash for yet another experiment.

Plan B, more pots
This week Dennis brought four tiny tomato plants to my office. This was good timing, because the tomato plants I bought at the farmers market were recently dragged through darkness and devoured by my sworn enemy.
I’m temporarily naming the plants “Dennis’ last minute wee wonders.”
Dennis said he lived on Fifth and Arbutus three decades ago and he and his neighbor traded gardening tips.
“One day he brought me a couple of small volunteer tomato plants and said if I planted them I would always have them,” Dennis wrote in an introductory email.
“They have relatively small leaves and bear tiny little red tomatoes, about the size of the tip of your little finger.”
I’m thinking I could start a new business making edible tomato necklaces.
Over the years, Dennis has moved twice. Just as his former neighbor foretold, the tomatoes are still with him.
“They hitched a ride from home-to-home in potted plants.”
In general, I’m always trying new things. And specifically, I rarely say no to a gift.
Thursday night I mixed up a mammoth batch of soil in wheelbarrows. One bag of store-bought soil, and half a bag of compost from Compost Solutions in Orland (www.compostsolutionsinc.com).
Systematically, and with jabs of anger, I also filled a wheelbarrow with soil from my nearly-plantless raised bed.
I was hoping to come across the gopher, but instead was taunted by systematic loud bleeps from the sonic gopher-greeting machine.
Ten-gallon containers were found around the yard, including one commandeered from near my neighbor’s garbage cans.
All four of the new tomato plants are now secure in pots.
Thank you Dennis for helping to restore my sense of hope. However, I have learned gophers are exceedingly resourceful.
I will not be shocked if I come home and discover gophers have crafted a ladder from morning glory vines, and have pitched tents in my 10-gallon buckets.

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