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What do gophers enjoy eating?
Gophers prefer certain plants if the are available over and above other plants. You can reduce the number of gophers in your area by planting certain species and not others. Typically, most wild plant eating critters will change their eating habits to match what's available if possible. There are several plants that will actually attract gophers. Two of these are lush lawns and artichokes. Try to eliminate these species if you can. Following are plants and vegetables according to their attractiveness to gophers. They are based on our actual field trials and may not apply to every situation.
Root crops: Generally gophers enjoy anything that puts out large tuberous systems like carrots, onions, garlic, and the like. However, they are less likely to eat potatoes, beets, and yams.
Squash: We have found that gophers will almost always leave squashes of all types alone. Zucchini, pumpkin, crookneck, and many others can be grown even with gophers present.
Fruited vegetables: Tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo, and berries seem to have a resistance to gophers but they may attack the root systems of lush tomato plants on occasion if there is not much food available.
Grains: Corn, oats, and other grains are seldom eaten by gophers because their root systems are very dense,
Leafy plants: Lettuce is a favorite of gophers but not rhubarb. It is good to plant lettuce near rhubarb to get some protection.
Legumes: Peas and beans are resistant to gophers because their root systems are not tasty to them.
Cole: Broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and other members of the cabbage family can be damaged by gophers but most have a woody root system.
Fruit trees: Most fruit are resistant to gopher after their third year. The new roots of a very young tree are a treat for gophers though.
Our experiences may not match yours but our data covers every type of soil and growing condition and these facts may vary in your garden. They are meant as a general guideline.