Oh the Gophers

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I have a gopher infestation second to none.

No, seriously.  It’s obscene in the back yard.  Tunnels and holes as far as the eye can see.  The yard was a blank slate when we moved in, mostly dirt.  We’ve slowly been putting plants and pavers into the front yard, but the back has been low priority.  In the winter rains it grew weedy and green.  A veritable gopher smorgasbord and paradise, I guess, helped by the fact that Brian and I rarely go out there.  It looks like someone aerated the soil.  There isn’t a piece of the back yard they haven’t tunneled through.  I thought the recent deadness was because of warm weather we’ve been having.  I didn’t realize how wrong I was.

I found out about the infestation when I tried to put my tomatoes in.  I bought five lovely plants at Tomatomania.  I mostly got ones that were good for hot weather, and supposedly tastier than the normal heat-tolerant varieties: Juliette Grape, Lemon Cherry, Marriage Perfect Flame (which I bought for the name, not for taste or hardiness, I admit), Cherokee Green, and Red Brandywine.  I splurged on some fancy compost on Friday, and I was all ready to dig a bed in the back yard.

The Plan was veggies in the back, drought tolerant in the front.  But those damn gophers.  I composted the one empty bed in the front yard and put the tomatoes in there.  The Cherokee Green hasn’t taken transplanting very well, but you’ll be happy to know that the Marriage is thriving, tall and deep green.  Everything else seems to be doing rather well, too.  Armstrong has bright blue tomato cages, so I’ll go fancy and match them to my  door.  I am determined to have tomatoes this year, even if it blows the garden plan to hell and makes the front of my house look rangy and dead late in the season.

In the meantime, I’ll be waging gopher-war in the back so we can get on plan again for next year.  They underestimated me when they tried to stand between me and fresh tomato.

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