I started this small vegetable and herb garden in the fall. I wanted to keep the critters out, increase soil fertility, get some kind of harvest, and have fun! Gophers were my first priority!
- Coffee Grounds to Deter Gophers
- Gophers don’t like coffee grounds. Ha! take that you gophers. I saved all mine and buried it around the edge of the garden. Even with this small garden, I didn’t generate enough coffee grounds. The local cafe gave me their entire garbage can full of grounds, though, so I didn’t have to ask my neighbors.
- Daffodils to Deter Gophers
- Gophers don’t like to eat daffodils, so I planted them around the perimeter of the garden. Can’t wait until spring to see the blooms!
- Potatoes to keep Gophers Occupied
- If the gophers are occupied with the potatoes they won’t get into other crops. I learned this from local organic vineyards. They use this technique and plant potatoes and other root vegetables between the rows of vines.
- Fava Beans to fix nitrogen
- I love to eat fava beans. Fava Beans are a cover crop too which fixes nitrogen in the soil, I recently learned how this works and was excited to see it in action. Bonus: Salmon and fava beans in parchment paper in the oven, delicious!
- Mustard Greens, Cauliflower, Broccoli
- On sale random summer crops that I picked up at the local nursery. If I get a warm fall, which happens often, I can get another crop before winter fully sets in. Or, I can also let the plants over-winter in the garden and, if they survive, provide a crop in an early spring.
- Cold Frame from old glass cabinet door
- Using found logs from all over the property, I elevated an old cabinet door creating a cold frame (like a mini green house) where I could grow greens and herbs that are sensitive to the cold.
- Horse Manure
- Local horse ranchers offer up manure for gardeners like me. I took advantage of this and dug it into two of the beds. Great fun to go out to the ranches to retrieve the manure!
- Found Fence from old wire roll with twine
- I use old wire fencing to surround the garden to protect it from the deer. The fence didn’t come up high enough in some places so I added sturdy branches from the nearby willows and then hooked twine around with colorful fabric and wind chimes! I’m not sure everyone thought it looked as cool as I thought it did.
- Herbs and Garlic
- To discourage the critters more, and to have some herbs and garlic, I have plenty of smelly plants in and near the garden. For the garlic I broke up a clove I bought at the grocery store and poked them in one of the beds. I bring a chair out and sit in the garden during the afternoons and can smell the sage.
- Again, using logs and plant debris from all over the property, I bury wood and other organic matter in a mound on three of the beds. The wood and organic matter provide nutrition to the plants for the long term and all the debris piled up creates a raised area that is less likely to be infiltrated by the gophers.
Free! I had a lot of the supplies on hand with recycled coffee grounds, used wire fencing and other found and cheap items.
Purchased discount plants, a bag of bulk fava bean seeds, garlic.
My cousin thought it was a beautiful garden that her father, my uncle, would have approved of.