Organic garden soil okay?

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ChiKat

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I'm mixing Nelson's coir with soil and I realized when I opened the bag that I bought Miracle Gro organic garden soil. It has a few tiny roots in it.
Is this okay? I haven't mixed it yet.

I assume it's fine because if Nelson lived outside he would just be on the dirt that's already out there...please let me know!
 

Candy

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That's what I use for my torts it's o.k. It does smell quite a bit, but that goes away in about 3 days. :D
 

ChiKat

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Thanks Candy! I don't mind the smell- makes me feel like I'm sleeping outside ;)
Nelson seems to like it! I'm hoping it will encourage him to burrow more. I also rearranged his enclosure while I was at it and he's been busy exploring :D
 

goodsmeagol

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I just switched to soil, my Dog(as russian tort) seems to like it much better and has started digging a bit more too.
I am a fan!
 

ChiKat

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haha I love that your tortoise's name is Dog ;)
I have a coir/soil mix now. Maybe next time I change the substrate I'll just stick to plain soil. We'll see!
 

goodsmeagol

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ChiKat said:
haha I love that your tortoise's name is Dog ;)
I have a coir/soil mix now. Maybe next time I change the substrate I'll just stick to plain soil. We'll see!

I wanna get him 2 lady friends, Kitty and Cat...

I added some coir to areas of the cage.
Around his eating area there is pure soil packed a little to help avoid any crumbs getting onto his slate food dish.
One area I added a layer of coir under the soil, with pure soil on top, he likes to dig into the moister coir it seems.
The one larger area is a big fluff up of coir and soil.

I like making different areas for him to choose from.
 

GBtortoises

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I use Miracle Gro Organic Potting soil all the time with no problems. The roots fibers that you see are just that, root fibers. Potting soil, regardless of brand is just ground up bark and mulch. Some include peat moss and other ingredients. Most contain some form of fertilizer too.
 

ChiKat

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I was just concerned because mine is called Miracle Gro Organic Garden soil and I wasn't sure if there was a difference :p
 

GBtortoises

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Sorry, I mis-read your original post. I was assuming potting soil. I am not familiar with the ingredients of the garden soil mix but chances are it's probably the same stuff as potting soil!
 

moswen

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i planted my outdoor sully enclosure with miracle gro organic garden soil.... i don't really think there's anything wrong with it, but it does stink for the first few days, and i'm actually really disappointed in the quality of the soil... there are lots of large "filler" chunks of bark and large hard clay pieces...

again, i don't think there's anything wrong with it i'm just disappointed in the quailty of it. when i change it out i'm not going to re-buy.
 

ChiKat

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I just read this about the garden soil and now I'm concerned:

"This product is regionally formulated with organic materials (derived from one or more of the following: forest products, peat humus, or compost) sphagnum peat, composted manure (in Florida, cow manure) and pasteurized, pelleted poultry litter."

Is that okay for a tortoise?! :(
 

Itort

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ChiKat said:
I just read this about the garden soil and now I'm concerned:

"This product is regionally formulated with organic materials (derived from one or more of the following: forest products, peat humus, or compost) sphagnum peat, composted manure (in Florida, cow manure) and pasteurized, pelleted poultry litter."

Is that okay for a tortoise?! :(
This should fine. This basically what soil is but you may want to lighten it a bit with play sand.
 

ChiKat

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I have it mixed with coconut coir, thanks!
 

Missy

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Hello, I know this is an older post but im new and cant stop reading posts. I would be very carful using any soil claiming to be organic, if you read the small print most add lime. I work at a garden center and have researched and its hard to find a good bagged soil. I use a mix of loam, sand and choir.
 

j156ghs

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I never use soil that has fertilizer in it, not even for plants. It's more marketing than anything else. (Like food that claims to be ready in 5 minutes, it doesn't mean it's any good.) Most fertilizer will burn skin and plants with prolonged exposure. Watering a houseplant with fertilizer should be done only when the soil is moist otherwise it can burn the roots if the soil is dry. And a tortoise exposed to fertilizer may rinse itself, but the fertilizer gets in the water and then there's no relief. Also, most brands like Miracle Gro contain perlite, which, like sand, has the potential for impacting in the intestines if swallowed.

ChiKat said:
I'm mixing Nelson's coir with soil and I realized when I opened the bag that I bought Miracle Gro organic garden soil. It has a few tiny roots in it.
Is this okay? I haven't mixed it yet.

I assume it's fine because if Nelson lived outside he would just be on the dirt that's already out there...please let me know!



Some so-called organic topsoil is labeled that way only because it meets laws (based more on emotion than science) that require a distributor to use a high sand-to-dirt ratio which qualifies the topsoil as a regional eco-friendly mix. It doesn't mean, and you shouldn't assume, that the material used in the "organic" topsoil are any more pure, sterile, etc., than the dirt in a field. (And because sand is so cheap, the distributor says, "What the hell, why not? After all, it is the law.")

As other posts have noted, sand can and will beseige the poor tortoise who is stuck in such a habitat. Sand gets in cracks, crevices and, worst of all, its eyes. (Think of how you feel after a day at the beach with sand in your hair, clothes and crevices. A tort can't even scratch those areas!) Also, sand can impact the intestinal tract and this is a horribly show and painful way to die, left unable to eat or drink and in great and constant pain and discomfort -- a hundred times worse than any stomach ache. So don't even think about risking it.

Even if the tortoise tolerates and digests a bit of sand, as far as I know, only birds need such grit on a regular basis.

goodsmeagol said:
I just switched to soil, my Dog(as russian tort) seems to like it much better and has started digging a bit more too.
I am a fan!
 
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