Wood chips and gophers

When we started gardening 52 years ago…

we used a wood chip mulch that was readily available from the neighborhood tree trimmers.  It was great mulch and controlled the weeds. That summer we fertilized the heck out of our garden but nothing would grow. Later we learned that wood chips steal nitrogen from the soil.

Our first garden was a big fail. Lesson learned.

That same year, we did have a win, despite the wood chip fiasco. We had planted sweet potatoes in the ground, and it was sure to be a bountiful harvest. We did a couple pre-digs and tested the sweet potatoes to see how they were doing a few weeks before harvest time. Everything looked great.

As harvest time rolled around, we grabbed our shovels and went to work. Starting at one end of the row, we found only a couple tubers, which was disappointing.

We continued down the row and found the gophers were ahead of us and had been stealing potatoes for their own winter storage. That year we ended up with less than ½ bushel of sweet potatoes, but the gophers were ready for winter! 

Our gardening advice comes from our years of experience, combined it’s 104 years. We have no idea where the time has gone; it’s hard to believe so much time has passed since our early garden escapades.

But we love the opportunity given to us to share our love of gardening, and hope you’ll join us each week to share our life experiences and, perhaps, take away a few tips and tricks you can use in your own gardening adventures. — Ron & Fran


Life begins the day you start a garden. – Chinese proverb

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