Moles and bulbs in situ (was Brodiaea and Calochortus

Lauw de Jager
Wed, 06 Nov 2002 00:23:53 PST
> Georgie a *crit  
> How do the West Coast species avoid the gophers in situ? I think we
> can ask - why do they grow in hard clay, when they need good drainage?
> (the answer being that many of them grow at the edges of steep banks).
> Hard clay (which gophers do not do so well with) is mostly what is
> available to them - so they have figured out how to adapt to that and
> survive ... Also, poor and/or toxic West Coast soils are what is
> available to them - so they have found a way to adapt to that as well....

I have read your posting with much interest and I very much appreaciate your approach. By observing  the bulbs (and their ennemis) in the natural context we can learn  a lot about how to grow and to protect. The more I grow bulbs in  the ideal soil conditions the more moles I attract. Only those who can pull them down to sufficient depths and those genera with an inacceptable taste survive naturally. Gopher  (or moles)  detest  gravelly, stony and claysoils.  Because I cannot move the nursery to these soil types we have to live with our sandy loam (and moles).  By carefully observing their behaviour (heart treaking
experience) They only tunnel horizonally (between 5-15cm) and always enter by the side of a raised bed.They come  OUT vertically sometimes, but never go down vertically. Surrounding a  raised bed with 30cm of wirenetting  helps a lot (but on top of that we plant the more valuable bulbs  in wire netting cages)

Lauw de Jager 
BULB'ARGENCE, 30300 Fourques, France
Région Provence/Camargue; (Climat zone 9a Mediterranean)

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