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Rolls 4' x 100' 3/4" square mesh, 18 gauge
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How to install Gopher Wire, Mole Wire and Baskets Under Lawns and Plants
I get a lot of questions about the proper way to install a wire barrier to prevent gophers and moles from damaging lawns. This can be one of the most costly mistakes one can make when installing a new lawn. The cost of the installation is high as it is and then the extra cost of the installation of the wire is daunting. However, in areas of mole and gopher populations this step is worthwhile if done right.
I have seen many installations where the wire used was aviary wire, like chicken wire but with half inch diagonal mesh instead of one inch. This kind of wire was not meant to be buried and will fail in a short period of time. My choice of wire is to use either galvanized hardware cloth with one half by one inch openings or "gopher wire" wire made specifically for burying underground. One brand to consider is "Gophers Limited" gopher wire which is a full 18 gauge, 3/4 inch square mesh be available in stainless steel and a special double galvanized process. There is other gopher wire on the market, but this is the best and longest lasting.
If the sod is installed directly on top of the wire gophers will go under it and pull the grass down through the wire and moles will push piles of soil up through it defeating the purpose of the extra expense. Proper placement is to install the wire and then cover it with one to two inches of soil and then lay the sod on that. If you exceed one to two inches then gophers and moles will just tunnel in between the sod and wire.
Contractors sometimes try to talk you out of this extra step but be firm, this is the step that makes the extra expense work. Below is the first stage of laying the wire. I like to see the wire laid so that the leading edge of the wire or the part the is shingled under the next is toward the invading gopher or mole. This usually means that if the lawn is next to the house, the second row of wire goes udner the first and so on. Just think of the animal tunneling under the wire. You want the seams to be layered so that if there is a small opening it is away from the direction of the tunnel.
Next you see the overlapping and soil is added as the sod is laid. The wire is held in place with sod pins or landscape staples also nylon zip ties or hog rings can be used to secure wire seams.
The staple placed about 2 to three feet apart. Again be very careful to have tight overlaps of 4-6 inches without buckling or openings.
Sometimes a vertical barrier is more appropriate for a garden area or to fence a wild area and home area. I recommend a trench 2-3 foot deep and install the wire with a ninety degree bend to the outside. Because gophers also invade from the surface, an above ground portion of at least six inches is needed also. Sometimes this can be tied into a fence or border.
Gopher Baskets are very easy to use and install and I recommend them for perennial plantings, especially young fruit trees or roses. You can make them out of gopher wire or hardware cloth again stay away from making them with chicken or aviary wire. However, Gophers Limited manufacturers stainless steel gopher baskets and wire for a lifetime of beauty and protection.
Below is the kind of damage you can avoid with proper wire placement.
To see a great article on making gopher proof bed go to