Here it is, the first of May. Happy May Day! Do you have questions that you would like to throw out into the blogosphere for our highly intelligent and generous community of garden bloggers to mull over? If so, why not write a post about them and link here? I have never failed to find answers that way and you can too. I aim for a post like this at the beginning of every month. Sometimes life interferes, as it did in April…simply indicative of the loose non-rules for joining in.


Last year, I planted several Dahlias, with visions of sumptuous borders, beds and bouquets. These visions were foiled by gophers, excepting only the ones that were placed in this herb bed. I’m wondering if any of you have heard of this as a legitimate strategy. It could possibly have been a happy accident.


I know that the deer avoid beds populated by strongly scented and flavored herbs like Rosemary. Do you think the same thing is at work underground? I will be experimenting with adding more herbs to several beds. In the meantime, all of the lily bulbs went into large pots this year. Now: how about telling us what has been puzzling you of late?

12 thoughts on “GBQ&A

  1. I think I’ve heard of this phenomenon to some extent with alliums, including chives, onions, etc. I could imagine other strong-smelling plants having some effect underground, too, but that’s complete supposition on my part. Is there some euphorbia in that bed, too? I remember some euphorbia being touted as a “gopher plant” at one point, repelling the little buggers. Play around with herbs and euphorbia and see what happens. It will be interesting to read the results. Though, luckily, gophers are the one major pest I don’t have to worry about (knock on wood).

  2. I was just about to close down my computer for the night, and then I saw your title for this post! I usually try to plant onion sets (scallions) around my potager–which seems to deter all critters. Sometimes I put them in my pots, too. That looks a little shaggy when they get going, but you can always clip them straight across for a tidier look. Sometimes critters dig in the pots anyway, but it seems to help. And sometimes I forget, or plant them too late, and then I pay the price.

    My question: How long does it take for Virginia Bluebells to bloom when planted from seed? My plants are 18 months old, and none of them are blooming yet. Maybe next spring?

    • Sounds like a good play. I wonder if Alliums would be as effective.
      I’ll bet Jason would have an answer to your question. He has some knockout Virginia Bluebells, but I don’t know if he has grown them from seed.

  3. All the underground pests hate the smell of allium! Cisco Morris’s mole tea is made using mint. He swears by it but I’m not sure you’d want to let mint loose in your garden.

  4. I agree with the others re the Allium Ricki. Not being from your side of the pond, I, for obvious reasons, am unfamiliar with the Gopher. I’d be tempted to give more rosemary a go elsewhere to satisfy my curiosity.

    • Just planted another prostrate Rosemary and am contemplating which Alliums to buy. Much nicer solutions to a critter problem than the tried and true (traps…eek).

  5. Here’s my question: why is something as amazing as Nutella so fattening? That just seems cruel. As for the herbs, I think their pungency has made their area so stinky the moles don’t like it. The only way to test this is to plant one sacrificial bulb in an herb free area and another next to the rosemary and see what happens.

    • Having already sacrificed my favorite Dahlia to the gopher thugs (and no, I do not think that is the new “N” word), I am squeezing everything I can into the herb bed and keeping my fingers crossed. Haven’t tried Nutella. Potato chips are my downfall. We need to go back to that old Chinese dynasty where plump was pretty.

  6. Hi. My first Virginia Bluebells were plants, but they have been self-sowing since then. My best guess is that they will bloom in either two or three years, depending on conditions. Sorry i can’t be more exact.

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