Currently working on tortoise plant spreadsheet

Oxalis

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Hello all! I'm currently working on compiling a spreadsheet of all the "safe to eat" plants on The Tortoise Table. :tort: Ideally, I am looking for plants on my list that are also Michigan native species (which is where I live) for my backyard tortoise garden. The Michigan Native Plant Producers Association explains the importance of native plants: http://mnppa.org/why.html (I highly suggest future gardeners read!)

Anyway, I would love to share the spreadsheet on here when I finish and get some of your guys' expert feedback! :D
 

Prairie Mom

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Excellent! I love that you included a list of Native species. I have been learning more and more how important it is to include Native plants in the garden and have been finding a lot in my area are not tortoise safe. So, I'm eager to check out your list. Very cool!

Question for you...are all parts of the plants on your list edible? Also, would love to know how often they can be included in the diet. Some flowers are safe for tortoises to have on occasion and others can rotated included regularly.
 

Oxalis

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Wow, good job.
Dandelion?( Taraxacum sp)
TTT has dandelion listed as "safe in moderation," but yes, I already have some in my garden. Roses as well should be offered as treats but I listed them to see which species were native to Michigan. I am not even planning on buying any Carex (sedge grass)! Why buy grasses when I can have pretty flowers like Monarda that will maybe attract the occasional butterfly as well? ;)

Also, the lime-encrusted Saxifraga should be removed from there -- that one is not so good for torties. :tort:
 

Oxalis

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Question for you...are all parts of the plants on your list edible? Also, would love to know how often they can be included in the diet. Some flowers are safe for tortoises to have on occasion and others can rotated included regularly.
Thanks! Yup, except that Saxifraga. It took a lot of work to look all this stuff up! I cross-referenced the plants from TTT with the native plant database for Michigan. The USDA PLANTS Database has some great info too, including which plants are threatened or endangered in certain areas. I mostly like their photos and perennial v. annual info!

A good research starting point was the Michigan Native Plant Producers Association, which provided a link to the native plant database I have linked above. Or, ask your local library or gardening club about a native plants workshop -- that was how my boyfriend and I got involved, and it was via Friends of the Rouge River nonprofit, where we have volunteered before. You may be surprised to find that your community is already offering such events! :)
 

Oxalis

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That is amazing! Now, can you do one for Texas? ;):tort:
Maybe after I improve Steve's garden and plant everything... Whew! :confused:

Next I'm working on a spreadsheet that includes plant data for my garden, including characteristics like height, soil acidity, and when flowers are in bloom. I am also including where I get my plants from to see how well they grow, and recording the date when I plant them. I highly suggest others do this too if they are starting a tortoise garden! I will share that when it's more complete -- it's a pretty Excel template!
 
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DawnH

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Maybe after I improve Steve's garden and plant everything... Whew! :confused:

Next I'm working on a spreadsheet that includes plant data for my garden, including characteristics like height, soil acidity, and when flowers are in bloom. I am also including where I get my plants from to see how well they grow, and recording the date when I plant them. I highly suggest others do this too if they are starting a tortoise garden! I will share that when it's more complete -- it's a pretty Excel template!
That is a fantastic idea. I was only kidding about the Texas one, unless you are highly bored and want to...lol. I have a bad habit of gardening (for home and tortoise) and not keeping a record of anything. Great ideas all around. Thank you!
 

Oxalis

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That is a fantastic idea. I was only kidding about the Texas one, unless you are highly bored and want to...lol. I have a bad habit of gardening (for home and tortoise) and not keeping a record of anything. Great ideas all around. Thank you!
Haha, you are very welcome! I figured there had to be at least a few gardeners on this site! :D
 
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