When to plant seed?
Raindrops keep falling on my garden

If you build a better gopher trap...

...will the world beat a path to your door? I suspect that many people, mostly those who haven’t watched treasured plants become gopher food, are squeamish about controlling the little gnawers with traps. But for those who must do it as part of their job, and for home gardeners who have lost too many treasured plants, a new trap described in last Saturday’s S.F. Chronicle, should be a welcome improvement. It’s called a cinch trap, and unlike the traditional Macabee trap, doesn’t require extensive digging to locate a tunnel. If you can find an active surface opening, you can just insert the cinch trap there. The article describing this new trap is an interview by Deborah K. Rich with Thomas Wittman, part owner of Gophers Limited, in the Santa Cruz area. You can read it at: 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/04/HOGDJHGO561.DTL

     I found that cinch traps are widely available for purchase on the web, and there is even a little video showing how to set one at this address: http://icwdm.org/video/cinchset.mov

     For an article from UC Davis about gopher control, including a list of the repellent techniques that don’t work, such as planting gopher purge, inserting vibrating devices in the soil, and putting chewing gum in their tunnels, check out: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7433.html

I promised a soil temperature reading today. On Saturday, March 4th, the soil thermometer read 38 degrees F. Could br a fluke. Maybe the thermometer was inserted deeper than last week, or in a colder place, but it shows that the soil is definitely not warming up yet. And with all the cold rain that is continuing to fall, I don't suppose it will warm up anytime soon. My records show that last year at this time the soil temperature in that garden was 52 degrees F. A bit different from this year!

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