Guardin’ your Garden: a DIY gopher proof raised bed

Hello all,

Wow, how things can change.

Currently humanity is in the midst of a coronavirus epidemic, and we are all socially distancing. I have been mostly staying in, and not able to work. Which gives me plenty of time for this blog, and plenty of time for the garden.

The world is very chaotic and scary right now. We are facing many threats that are totally out of our control. Nothing is scarier than uncertainty. But there is one thing I can be sure of:

No matter what happens, gophers will never ever ever be able to get at my garden!

Tools used: skill saw, power drill, staple gun… Oh, and a shovel.

Gophers are devious and cruel hearted. They will ruin your garden. They’re satanic. They kill plants for fun. Then they laugh about it with their dumb friends.

Basically gophers are the rodent version of teenagers, and they must be stopped.

I made this raised bed using 2×6 boards that I salvaged from a treehouse that I built long ago. They still have plenty of life in them. I had to get some new decking screws, which are coated so they last forever outdoors. Don’t try to use regular wood screws, it’ll fall apart within 5 years.

The dimensions of this bed are 8′ long, 4′ wide, and 2′ deep. This is not a project that needs precise measurements. You could make whatever size you want.

The star of the show here is the wire mesh fencing, which I got in a two foot wide roll. This covers the side and bottom to keep out any greedy dirt rats. Also it is steel, so it will last forever. A key aspect of this project is longevity.

Basically it’s just a simple rectangular box. Sandwich the mesh between the uprights and the crossbars to keep it in place. I put a board across the bottom, so I could more easily attach the mesh underneath.

100% Gopher Exclusion Zone!

I dug a rectangular hole and buried the bed 12 inches deep. This gave me a chance to build soil from scratch. I combined planting mix and sphagnum moss with the natural soil. Over time we will add more compost and build the soil organically.

There are many ways to make soil, and I am definitely not an expert. You an find a million guides on at subject. I just mix in what I can and hope for the best.

I planted beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumber, pepper, chives, onions, and basil. There’s also mint, parsley, savory, and thyme in nearby pots. I dedicated a whole pot to the snap peas, one of my favorite eat-right-out-of-the-garden crops.

This is just meant to supplement my family’s vegetables for the year. Food shortages are not an issue right now. But, like I said, it’s about longevity.

That, and keeping myself sane while quarrantining.

So from now on if you need me I’ll be out in the garden. More updates about the plants coming up. I’ve got nothing but time.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe.