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Growing edible plants


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#1 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:22 AM

Hi there,

I want to grow some edible plants for my tort but I have read not to feed them plants bought from a garden centre as they will have used toxic pesticides. So where would I buy them from? All my local garden centres have told me that they have used pesticides on their plants - I'm wondering if there would be a time period from which they will be safe to feed my tort? Also, we have a communal garden and our neighbour used weed killer on our lawn two weeks ago. Any idea how long it will take before it will be safe to take my tort out for a 'run around'?

Many thanks in advance,

Suszi


#2 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:25 AM

Whoops, not sure why my post has uploaded twice - not sure how to delete the duplicate!?

#3 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:33 AM

If your neighbours use chemicals of any sort on the grass or garden, I would not put my tortoise on that lawn, or on the garden. As you wont know who has done what.
Is there not a space in the garden, where you could have a raised space for your tortoise to use?
If its yours less chance of someone using chemicals on it.
As for the plants, you can buy some thing like pansies, and plant them in a container that you know nobody else will touch. Pick off all the exsisting flowers, and wait for the next flush of flowers, before feeding to your tortoise. The same thing would apply to any plants you bought.

#4 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:19 AM

Thanks Sandy.

We have now agreed for us to have our own sections of the garden and they have also promised not to use any chemicals of any sort on their sections either. I'm just wondering if I'll ever be able to have tort outside since the weedkiller was used? I have planted some geraniums and pansies in window boxes, but I used soil from a garden centre and now I've read that I should have used unfertilised soil without added nutrients!?!? I've been back to the garden centre but they don;t sell that kind of soil, and the soil in our garden is full of glass / pottery bits. Any idea where I can get suitable soil from?

One last question - I should probably put this up as a separate post but I'm a tad embarrassed blush.gif - I have just picked some bristly ox tongue (having never seen / noticed any before) but it's just so prickly. Is this really not going to hurt torty when he takes a bite? It obviously isn't, since it's on all the edible lists, but it just feels wrong to give it to him.

#5 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 11:20 AM

You can buy soil from B&Q or Homebase or the like.
Or if you have the time you can sieve the soil, but it is time cosuming.
And tortoises can eat the prickly plants that are good for them. They dont seem to have a problem. Its us that do:0)



#6 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 11:54 AM

Hee hee, thanks Sandy!

I went to my local Homebase but all the soil they have has added nutrients - this isn't suitable, is it? unsure.gif


#7 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:17 PM

QUOTE (subee @ Jun 4 2010, 12:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hee hee, thanks Sandy!

I went to my local Homebase but all the soil they have has added nutrients - this isn't suitable, is it? unsure.gif

Hi Suszi,
Most soils sold in garden centres contain nutrients.What you need is a soil that is not too rich in them. I'm not too sure of the types available.Best to wait for more advice!!! unsure.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy

#8 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:20 PM

Most keepers who buy soil, use topsoil in bags. The lesser of two evils I think.

#9 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:41 PM

Hello, You could get some weed mix from Tladys suitable for tortoises and plant them in topsoil (from B&Q) in some deep gravel boards (or cat litter trays with holes for drainage in the bottom). If you are not very good with seeds, you can buy plug plants on-line from Naturescape - which I have to get the more unusual plants from the list. Whatever you choose to do, plant plenty of variety - I also have some wild areas within walking distance which I know are not sprayed. I have dug up dandies etc there and planted them in individual pots. Dont mollycoddle them though, they dont seem to like it.

With regards to nutrients in soil etc, I think (and hope) that this mainly refers to planting weeds as there is something in the nutrients that weeds dont like and it produces something. Hows that for technical advice! laugh.gif

Amazing isnt it - we try to stop the weeds for years, then along comes a tortoise and they are welcomed!

Pat

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 03:28 PM

QUOTE (Pat @ Jun 4 2010, 03:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello, You could get some weed mix from Tladys suitable for tortoises and plant them in topsoil (from B&Q) in some deep gravel boards (or cat litter trays with holes for drainage in the bottom). If you are not very good with seeds, you can buy plug plants on-line from Naturescape - which I have to get the more unusual plants from the list. Whatever you choose to do, plant plenty of variety - I also have some wild areas within walking distance which I know are not sprayed. I have dug up dandies etc there and planted them in individual pots. Dont mollycoddle them though, they dont seem to like it.

With regards to nutrients in soil etc, I think (and hope) that this mainly refers to planting weeds as there is something in the nutrients that weeds dont like and it produces something. Hows that for technical advice! laugh.gif

Amazing isnt it - we try to stop the weeds for years, then along comes a tortoise and they are welcomed!

Pat

That's interesting about nutrients and weeds Pat!!! I've learnt something new again today!!! biggrin.gif
Also,you can get packets of suitable mixed plant seed to grow for your tort. from a good vet. I did!!!
Regards
Freddy

#11 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:35 PM


Hi Suzsie,

I know what you mean about the bristly leaves... I stand a plastic icecream tub on top of them, put my hand in and push down to crush the spines before I offer them. rolleyes.gif Torts might not notice but it makes me feel better!! biggrin.gif

Paula x

#12 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 06:35 PM

Thanks Pat and Freddy. I have planted some of Tladys seed mix in seed trays and there coming along nicely. Hettie, thank you for the tip. I gave my tort the bristly ox tongue as it was and he didn't like it at all. I'll try flattening down the prickles and see if that helps! biggrin.gif

#13 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:02 AM

One more thing...

Sandy suggested I pick off any existing flowers from plants bought from a garden centre, and then feed my tort the next flush of flowers to ensure there's no risk of pesticides. But what about the leaves? Would I need to pick all these off too - basically start with a totally bare plant, or would spraying the leaves with water everyday for a certain amount of time make it safe? And what about something like Aloe Vera? How do I make this safe for my tort? I'm not very green fingered but would I need to cut it right back to the roots and let it grow again? I'm seeing pictures of all these amazing tort enclosures with lots of plants - what are other people doing?

Thanks in advance.

Suszi

#14 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:27 AM

Personally if I have not grown the plant, then I would only feed the flowers. As you know that once you have the second lot of flowers its reasonably safe.


#15 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:37 AM

QUOTE (subee @ Jun 12 2010, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
One more thing...

Sandy suggested I pick off any existing flowers from plants bought from a garden centre, and then feed my tort the next flush of flowers to ensure there's no risk of pesticides. But what about the leaves? Would I need to pick all these off too - basically start with a totally bare plant, or would spraying the leaves with water everyday for a certain amount of time make it safe? And what about something like Aloe Vera? How do I make this safe for my tort? I'm not very green fingered but would I need to cut it right back to the roots and let it grow again? I'm seeing pictures of all these amazing tort enclosures with lots of plants - what are other people doing?

Thanks in advance.

Suszi

Hi Suszi,
I'd suggest steering clear of stuff from garden centres.As you say they are sprayed with all kinds of stuff and it can become quite messy!!!
Try giving or growing wild plants if you can get your hands on some. If you can find a safe unsprayed source of Dandelions, clover and edible grasses and weeds that would be great!!! You can supplement these with soft leafy lettuce types like Butterhead and Little Gem or even Raddiccio which are all available in your local supermarket.Or,you could even grow your own!!!These should keep you going for the time being. I would continue with the the seedlings and hopefully they will be ready eventually to feed to your tort. !!!Hope this helps!!!
Kind Regards
Freddy&Billiejo biggrin.gif biggrin.gif

#16 Guest_subee_*

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:22 PM

Thanks Freddy and Sandy. I have a large local park with unsprayed weeds, which I pick daily for tort. This includes dandelions, hawkbits, hawk's-beards, nipplewort, clover, bristly ox tongue and perennial geraniums. There's loads of others but I've not correctly identified them yet. I just wanted to make sure he's getting as much variety as possible. It makes me so happy to see him eating - I've had him for 10 years and I was feeding him on the wrong things (based on what I was told from the place I got him). The idea that I've not been feeding him right makes me very sad - it was mostly kale, watercress, rocket, tomatoes and strawberries. Now it's strictly no fruit - just weeds all the way! He's so perky now - I just want to make sure he's getting everything he needs. I love him soooo much! biggrin.gif

Thanks for all the advice. This forum has been a godsend. I wish I had known about it long ago!


#17 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 12:36 PM

QUOTE (subee @ Jun 12 2010, 01:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks Freddy and Sandy. I have a large local park with unsprayed weeds, which I pick daily for tort. This includes dandelions, hawkbits, hawk's-beards, nipplewort, clover, bristly ox tongue and perennial geraniums. There's loads of others but I've not correctly identified them yet. I just wanted to make sure he's getting as much variety as possible. It makes me so happy to see him eating - I've had him for 10 years and I was feeding him on the wrong things (based on what I was told from the place I got him). The idea that I've not been feeding him right makes me very sad - it was mostly kale, watercress, rocket, tomatoes and strawberries. Now it's strictly no fruit - just weeds all the way! He's so perky now - I just want to make sure he's getting everything he needs. I love him soooo much! biggrin.gif

Thanks for all the advice. This forum has been a godsend. I wish I had known about it long ago!

Hi Suszi,
Sounds like your doing all the right things. Your tort. is certainly getting plenty of variety which is great!!! Glad to be of help.Any problems you know where we are!!! Best of luck Suszi!!!
Kind Regards
Freddy&Billiejo biggrin.gif biggrin.gif




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