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Old January 4, 2023   #1
Dak
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Default Growing sweet potatoes with gophers

I want to try my hand at sweet potatoes this year. I've ordered a dozen slips which should be here in May, so I'm wanting to prepare their bed now.



Since I'm only starting with 12 slips, I'm debating whether to use gopher baskets or use hardware cloth and make my own protection.



If I use gopher baskets, what size would accommodate each slip, 5 gallon? 10? 15?


If I DIY, how deep should I go? Planning on planting 15" apart.



Last year I tried trellising my squash. Some did OK but overall I found that squash really prefer to sprawl on the ground, our summer last year was brutal, their leaves keep the soil cooler.



Does anyone know, are sweet potatoes the same, or will they happily let me trellis them?
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Old January 4, 2023   #2
Whwoz
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Sweet potatoes will happily let you trellis them, but you will need to wind the runners through the trellis you use, they will not climb by themselves. Will help you with the gophers to some extent by keeping the ground around where you plant them clear, cannot help re baskets as no gophers down under. Would imagine it depends a lot on varieties planted, are they "nest" formers or do tubers form on runners and how big do you expect tubers to get.
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Old January 5, 2023   #3
Dak
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That's great to learn I can trellis them, thanks Whwoz. One variety is described as semi-bush and the other one is just called vining but I'm guessing these are going to be nesters. As to their size there is no description, they're Japanese sweet potatoes so I'm guessing the range I see at the market.


It must be nice to be w/o gophers, I envy that!
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Old January 5, 2023   #4
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Dak, I listen to all the talk about our snakes and spiders and other nasty critters we are supposed to have, all of which are easily avoided, then I hear the complaints about gophers, voles and all the other pests that live in the areas where our food crops originate and I have a good laugh. Despite having a dam full of frogs nd other snake food about this place, we see one on average every 3 years and it doesn't take a lot to move them on, unlike what I hear about your ground living rodents.
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Old January 6, 2023   #5
Dak
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I tell you Whwoz, sometimes between having to deer fence my vegetables, bird net my berries and fence out the gophers, it gets pretty tiresome.


It's a lot of initial work creating a barrier for gophers, but the alternative, constantly being on the lookout to trap/kill them is not my idea of how I want to garden either.
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Old January 6, 2023   #6
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Old January 8, 2023   #7
MrsJustice
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I know what you are feeling. Something got in my Greenhouse and eat the Leaves off most of my Plants But not the Hop Peppers. We do have new construction all around me down the street, but this is the first times it Happened. I just have to make my Greenhouse Stronger. I see why some Native Americans taught my People to use Hot Peppers around their crops. They will be on all sides of my Greenhouse. You do the same in your Hot Weather, Amen!!
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Old January 9, 2023   #8
Dak
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Good fences make good neighbors, I think. We've got to learn to co-exist with nature, not just kill it.



Heads up though, those hot peppers may works for some pests, but not birds, they have different taste receptors and don't feel the heat.

Last edited by Dak; January 9, 2023 at 01:34 AM.
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