Advice on Torty food gardening, please!

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Dar's mum

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Hello, I have few questions about indoor-gardening for tortoise food. Could anyone give me some suggestions, please?

In addition to my Russian's weed-main diet (dandelion, lamb's lettuce, bind-weed, sow thistle, milk thistle, mallow, bitter cress, plantain, Bear's Breeshes etc...), I decided to grow some leafy vegetables in my conservatory. I started with a Salad-mix pot (Rocket, Chard, kale, Red lettuce & Oak-leaf lettuce in one pot) from garden centre and found it very useful, as I've got a slug/snail-phobia and I don't need to go outside to pick some leaves for my Darwin, especially in the rainy or busy mornings!:p
Then I've started growing "Oriental Salad Mix" seeds (mixture of Pak Choi, Chinese cabbage, Mizuna and Komatsuna), Rocket and Lamb's Lettuce. Oriental mix and Rocket seem to be thriving in seed trays in my conservatory and almost ready to be repotted into bigger pots, but Lamb's Lettuce seems to be not germinating at all... :(


Now, here are my questions about some vegetables:
LAMB'S LETTUCE - How the hell to germinate Lamb's Lettuce?! I collected some wild seeds from my garden and tried before, then failed, so I bought commercial seeds to try again... but after 3weeks since sowing, they haven't germinated yet!!! :(

MOLOKHIA - I recently learnt from a Japanese website that their tortoises love Molokhia (Corchorus olitorius) leaves and they are full of nutrients, but I cannot find the seeds anywhere in the UK. Could anyone tell me where I can get Molokhia seeds in the UK, please?


Also, if you have suggestions for any other easy-to-grow and nutritious vegetables, could you tell me, please?
Thank you very much for your help! :)
DSC_0369.jpg
 
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pfara

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I'm not much help with your questions on lamb's lettuce and molokhia. However, I'm like you trying to grow a huge variety of food for my torts. Try not to go too overboard because I've found that the gardening aspect could take up way more time than you'd like (for indoor gardening). That said, squash is a pretty good vegetable to add. It grows decently fast, great for torts, and can be fed the leaves, blossoms and the squash itself. The only downside is that it needs a good sized container. I think all the stuff that you've been growing is already above and beyond and that your tort is nice and spoiled :D
 

Dar's mum

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Thank you for your suggestion, pfara. Squash sounds like nutritious and easy one, I'll try to find a dwarf type of it (if there's such thing). :)
Yes, Darwin is our spoiled baby! :D I'd like to feed him as healthy as possible, so we can keep him the rest of our lives! :)
Oh yes, I need to be careful not to make my indoor plant collection too big! :b

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jaizei

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How warm is your conservatory?
 

Dar's mum

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It's quite warm, actually it's boiling during day, these few days, about 35-40C...
Ah hah, doesn't lamb's lettuce like hot weather?!


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jaizei

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That's probably it.

This doesn't list lamb's lettuce specifically, but look at the entry for lettuce and you can see the effect temperature has on germination. I'd reckon lamb's lettuce is similar to that.
http://tomclothier.hort.net/page11.html
 

Dar's mum

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This is brilliant! Thank you so much, jaizei!
Other lettuces are quite happy in conservatory and I presumed that it'd be same for the seeds, but those lettuces came to our home as already established plants.
I'll put the seed tray on window sill in other cooler room for a couple of weeks and see if it comes out.
Thank you so much for your help! :)

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Tom

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How about some clover or alfalfa? Gazanias, nasturtiums, geraniums, pansies, roses, hibiscus, rose of Sharon etc... There are lots of good ones. I also like grape vines and spineless opuntia cactus pads. Are there any mulberry trees near you?
 

Dar's mum

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Wow, lots of suggestions! Thanks, Tom!

Clover - I've got white and tall red ones in my garden, so I might try to get seeds from them.
Geranium - I've got some in my hanging basket (mother-in-low makes one for us every summer!) so I might feed the leaf to Darwin!
Roses - previous owner of our house was amazing gardener and we've got tons of them! Yellow, pink, white, tall, short, climbing etc...However, Darwin doesn't show much interest as food though... :(
Gazania, nasturtium - I had to look up those, but they are very pretty! I might grow some for enjoying looking at flowers (and of course, some for Darwin, too)!
Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon - I don't think we've got them but they can become quite tall aren't they? I might plant some directly in the garden when I find some space for it! :)
Grape vine - there was one climbing on our wall but we removed it... Awww, should've kept! :( We've got Blackberry and Red currant, but TTT says that I shouldn't feed them... What a shame... :(
Malberry - Hmm, I don't think we've got one in our garden. I'll keep an eye out for it when I walk around our neighbourhood.
Spineless opuntia cactus - I've always been interested to get those, but as Darwin doesn't eat much succulent plants like Sedum (Autumn Joy), Aloe-vera or Money Tree, I haven't got round to try it yet (they can be quite expensive here...). I'll keep feeding him more succulent plants to see if his taste changes at some point!

Wow, I've got lots of inspirations! Thanks! Cannot wait to make another visit to a garden centre soon! :)
 

rocky1998

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I'm not lying or anything but your tortoise looks EXACTLY like my sisters ... But that is a lucky tortoise getting a diet like that !! What a variety :)


1 dwarf hamster
2 Russian torts
5 freshwater fish
 

Dar's mum

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Hi Rocky!
Wow, has Darwin got a secret brother or sister in Scotland?! That'd be amazing! :D
My Darwin is 2011 UK Hatch (that's what the reptile shop owner told me), so might came from the same breeder!
Have you got photo of your sister's tort?

Here's my Darwin eating his dinner on a weed day
DSC_0401.jpg
And him eating on a veg day
DSC_0393.jpg
Aww... What a handsome! :p
DSC_0470.jpg
 
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rocky1998

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My sisters tortoise is from the south of London but it was ordered for me but il just show you a picture when the sleepy head wakes up!


1 dwarf hamster
2 Russian torts
5 freshwater fish
 

Dar's mum

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Rocky1998

Ooh, exciting! I'm looking forward to see the photos of your sister's tort! :)

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tortoiseowner101

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Molokhia is an oriental plant found in my hometown. Lots of it causes diarrhea. Feed it to your tortoise occasionally. Better feed it to your tortoise in hot days. If he ate it when it is cold he will absolutely have diarrhea.
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Dar's mum

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Hi tortoiseowner 101, thank you for the information!

There was a big Molokhia boom in Japan few years ago and it's been so popular ever since, so I've had eaten them and really liked but I've never seen it in UK...

Tortoises seem to love them, so I wanted to feed them sparingly as part of weed-main diet, but I haven't realised that it could cause tummy problem. Thank you very much for letting me know about that! :)
 
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