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Plants In Outdoor Enclosure


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#1 babettebeau

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 05:06 PM

Hi everyone

 

I have 3 questions:

 

1) When the babies will be in their outdoors enclosure, do I still control the amount of food given as if they were in their indoor enclosure? Or can I sow in the outdoor enclosure seeds of various plants they like to eat and let them graze freely on the grown plants (not the sprouts, not the young shoots)?

 

If the feeding needs to be controlled, i can grow stuff outside the enclosure, no problem.

 

2) Also i was thinking of putting other plants/shrubs in the enclosure. Apart from carex plants, what other plants, shrubs could i put and which they would not eat and intoxicate themselves with?

I was thinking of Mediterranean ones such as rosemary, lavender, basil, mint and thyme, some of them also repel flies.

 

3) Do you also spot clean the outdoor enclosure frequently?

 

Thank you

Sabina



#2 Graham

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 07:27 PM

Hi, Sabina,

I'm not qualified enough to answer your first question fully as i don't keep babies, but as growth has to be slow and controlled, I would imagine that you would need to limit the amount of food available. What you could do is purchase or grow some edible bedding plants, and plant a couple in the enclosure occasionally so that they don't get eaten all at once. One good plant I'd recommend is Lamb's Lettuce, as it's very good for tortoises, and can be grown throughout the summer season. If you plant a few seeds every couple of days, you'll get a continuous supply in whatever quantity you require.

As I say, this isn't really my department; one of the other members with experience with youngsters will be able to advise you better.

As for shrubs, from my own experience with Harry, there are several which are decorative and functional, but he doesn't eat them:

 

Lavender

Rosemary

Hebe

Fuschia

Buddleia

Bushy Coreopsis

 

If you did find your torts were nibbling on them, you could prune the lower branches. I'm sure other members will list some more shrubs that tend to go uneaten.

 

As for cleaning the enclosure, I do change the water and keep the pool clean, and remove any poo left either by the torts or marauding cats. However, cleaning too much can result in a too-sterile environment, for like us, torts need a share of bugs to keep their immune systems efficient.

 

Sorry I can't be of that much help, but I hope you find some of this info useful.



#3 wizzasmum

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Posted 20 February 2017 - 09:47 PM

I agree with Graham Sabina. In all the years I've had torts I've never had a lot of success with edible plants in the enclosures as they tend to eat everything down to the ground, then it's gone of course as they don't have much respect for what's left of them, so it can't regenerate. I find growing clover, dandelions and other field weeds amongst grass is pretty easy, as they weed it all out for you without being able to guzzle too much on it. I prefer to grow the edible weeds in plant pots, which I tip over for them to nibble and then stand the pots up to allow them to regenerate. The Mediterranean plants are great for the enclosures along with hebes of different sizes and other grasses too. I agree with Graham re the cleaning too, too much of a sterile enclosure is not good, so I just pick out the obvious poops.

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 03:36 AM

Hi Sabina,

I've tried to seed my babies enclosure before but it doesn't work as they eat what's grown straight away and then they eat new shoots before they have a chance to grow once the babies are outside nothing grows in their enclosure so I grow weeds in another part of the garden, the adults are also the same.

In my babies enclosure I have quite a few plants, there's different ornamental grasses, lavender, hebe and heather I find these plants work really well. :) 



#5 babettebeau

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 11:48 AM

Thank you everyone for your great advice, this is super helpful.

I look forward to seeing the babies living and thriving outdoors  :)

ETA of completed enclosure with cold frame, shelter, electrics, plants/shrubs and secured: April 30 2017.

 

Sabina



#6 wizzasmum

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Posted 21 February 2017 - 01:11 PM

Thank you everyone for your great advice, this is super helpful.
I look forward to seeing the babies living and thriving outdoors  :)
ETA of completed enclosure with cold frame, shelter, electrics, plants/shrubs and secured: April 30 2017.
 
Sabina


Perfect timing Sabina.




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