Is It Necessary To Lay Gopher Wire Under A Raised Garden Bed?
If you're considering building a raised garden bed, you may be wondering whether it's necessary to lay gopher wire underneath it. Gophers, moles, and other rodents can wreak havoc on your garden by tunneling under and nibbling on your plants' roots. In this article, we will explore whether it's necessary to lay gopher wire under a raised garden bed and provide tips on how to prevent rodent damage.
What is Gopher Wire?
Gopher wire, also known as hardware cloth, is a mesh wire screen made from galvanized steel. It is typically used to prevent rodents, such as gophers and moles, from tunneling under garden beds and damaging plants' roots. The mesh size of gopher wire is usually between 1/4 to 1/2 inch, small enough to prevent rodents from getting through.
Do You Need Gopher Wire Under a Raised Garden Bed?
While it's not absolutely necessary to lay gopher wire under a raised garden bed, it can provide an extra layer of protection against rodent damage. Gophers and moles are notorious for tunneling underground, and raised garden beds can be a tempting target for them. By laying gopher wire underneath your garden bed, you can prevent these pests from tunneling up into your soil and damaging your plants' roots.
If you live in an area with a high population of gophers or moles, or if you've experienced rodent damage in the past, laying gopher wire is highly recommended. Even if you don't have a current rodent problem, it's better to be proactive and prevent future damage.
How to Install Gopher Wire Under a Raised Garden Bed
Installing gopher wire under a raised garden bed is relatively simple. Here's how to do it:
1. Prepare the base of your raised garden bed: Remove any grass, weeds, or debris from the area where you'll be placing your garden bed.
2. Measure and cut the gopher wire: Measure the dimensions of your raised garden bed and cut the gopher wire to fit. Be sure to leave an extra inch or two on each side to wrap around the edges of your garden bed.
3. Lay the gopher wire on the ground: Place the gopher wire flat on the ground where you'll be placing your garden bed. Make sure the wire extends beyond the edges of your garden bed.
4. Secure the gopher wire: Use garden staples or landscape fabric pins to secure the gopher wire to the ground. Make sure the wire is taut and flat.
5. Build your garden bed: Place your garden bed on top of the gopher wire, making sure the wire extends up the sides of your bed. Fill your garden bed with soil and start planting.
Other Tips for Preventing Rodent Damage
In addition to laying gopher wire under your raised garden bed, there are other steps you can take to prevent rodent damage:
1. Create a physical barrier: In addition to gopher wire, you can also create a barrier around your garden bed using materials such as rocks, bricks, or cement blocks. This can make it more difficult for rodents to tunnel under your garden bed.
2. Use repellents: There are a variety of natural and commercial repellents available that can help deter rodents from your garden bed. These include garlic, castor oil, and predator urine.
3. Keep your garden bed tidy: Keep your garden bed free of debris and remove any fallen fruit or vegetables promptly. Rodents are attracted to these food sources, so removing them can help discourage rodents from entering your garden bed.
4. Monitor your garden bed regularly: Check your garden bed regularly for signs of rodent damage, such as tunneling or plant damage. The sooner you catch a rodent problem , the easier it will be to address and prevent further damage.
5. Consider companion planting: Certain plants, such as garlic, onions, and marigolds, are known to repel rodents. Consider planting these around the perimeter of your garden bed to help deter rodents.
6. Use traps: If you do experience a rodent problem, you can use traps to catch and remove them from your garden bed. There are humane traps available that allow you to release the rodents back into the wild, or you can use traditional snap traps.
While it's not absolutely necessary to lay gopher wire under a raised garden bed, it can provide an extra layer of protection against rodent damage. If you live in an area with a high population of gophers or moles, or if you've experienced rodent damage in the past, laying gopher wire is highly recommended. In addition to laying gopher wire, there are other steps you can take to prevent rodent damage, such as creating a physical barrier, using repellents, keeping your garden bed tidy, monitoring regularly, considering companion planting, and using traps. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a healthy and thriving garden for years to come.