How to Install Wire Mesh Rolls and Baskets Under Lawns and Plants
Gopher Baskets are very easy to use and install and we recommend them for perennial plantings, especially young fruit trees or roses. You can make them out of gopher wire or hardware cloth. Stay away from making them with chicken or aviary wire.
Gophers Limited manufacturers stainless steel gopher baskets and wire for a lifetime of beauty and protection.
Pre-formed and ready to use, they conveniently come in the same sizes as the pots you buy plants in.
So just transfer your plants to our baskets and you are ready to plant. No messing around with flattened baskets that need shaping and extra care to avoid pockets of air under the plant.
Leave a 4-5 inch basket rim above ground to keep gophers from from invading from the surface.
Professional Installation with Gophers Limited Stainless Steel Gopher Wire
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 installing the wire can be 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.
Our gopher wire which is 18 gauge, 3/4 inch square mesh is available in stainless steel and a special double galvanized process. There are other options on the market, but this is the best and longest lasting.
Important Tip: 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.
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 under 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.
The wire is held in place with sod pins or landscape staples. Nylon zip ties or hog rings can also be used to secure wire seams. The staples are placed about 2 to 3 feet apart. Again, be very careful to have tight overlaps of 4-6 inches without buckling or openings.
Another approach is to just build up borders and add gopher wire mesh and soil buffer on top of existing damaged lawn
Vertical Wire Mesh Gopher and/or Mole Barriers
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.