Specific Seeds for Hermanns

EppsDynasty

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We have 2 Hermanns and are planning for their pens, separate of course. Since we live in the Desert this will be quite the project, to keep Humidity levels high. Our plan is to create a very humid substrate with lots of plants and grasses to help accomplish this. Are their some "Standard" plants we should include? Is there any good mixes of seeds we can plant? We already have Filaree growing in abundance and was planning to seed some of the bare spots with seeds specific to the Hermanns. Would a Tortoise Forage Mix be sufficient? Thank you in advance for your help.
 

SinLA

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Not sure if our climates are similar enough, but I had great success with this. The seeds grew fast and well:


that said, it was probably more grass than I would have liked, and now I buy more seeds directly (https://www.seedneeds.com/ I just tried, but haven't seen results yet).
 

Tom

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We have 2 Hermanns and are planning for their pens, separate of course. Since we live in the Desert this will be quite the project, to keep Humidity levels high. Our plan is to create a very humid substrate with lots of plants and grasses to help accomplish this. Are their some "Standard" plants we should include? Is there any good mixes of seeds we can plant? We already have Filaree growing in abundance and was planning to seed some of the bare spots with seeds specific to the Hermanns. Would a Tortoise Forage Mix be sufficient? Thank you in advance for your help.
Don't bother with seed mixes that have grass as Testudo are not grass eaters.

I've tried a ton of them over the years, and our climates are similarly hot and dry. The best for me by far is the Testudo seed mix from tortoisesupply.com. I don't know why, but it just grows more and does better than other options. I get cuttings from it time and time again. Some of the plants in it come back after winter too. Often I let it go to seed in fall, and it re-grows itself in spring time. Its awesome stuff.
 

EppsDynasty

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Not sure if our climates are similar enough, but I had great success with this. The seeds grew fast and well:


that said, it was probably more grass than I would have liked, and now I buy more seeds directly (https://www.seedneeds.com/ I just tried, but haven't seen results yet).
Thank You, you had posted about this place but can't find the bookmark. Lots of great seed options here.
Don't bother with seed mixes that have grass as Testudo are not grass eaters.

I've tried a ton of them over the years, and our climates are similarly hot and dry. The best for me by far is the Testudo seed mix from tortoisesupply.com. I don't know why, but it just grows more and does better than other options. I get cuttings from it time and time again. Some of the plants in it come back after winter too. Often I let it go to seed in fall, and it re-grows itself in spring time. Its awesome stuff.
Thank You Tom. This is exactly what I needed to know. Tortoisesupply.com looks like a great family too. I love to support those that are doing a good service, look forward to doing business with them.
 

Tom

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Thank You Tom. This is exactly what I needed to know. Tortoisesupply.com looks like a great family too. I love to support those that are doing a good service, look forward to doing business with them.
Tyler and Sarah are both terrific people and their kids help out too. I know them personally and have spent many days hanging out with them at reptile shows.

Its always nice to help out a friend, but I wouldn't recommend something that doesn't work, friend or not. That Testudo mix is awesome! I plant some every year.
 

Michael Bird

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For Hermann's tortoises that don't really eat grass, I would go with this seed mix from the same supplier instead of the one that SinLa linked to: https://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=162

It still has some grasses, but not nearly as much as the other mix.


I tried the Broadleaf Testudo seed mix from Tortoise Supply in the outdoor enclosure for my Hermann's tortoise last year and it did grow a lot of green stuff that he could eat, but I wasn't really happy with the results. Spreading the mix evenly I ended up with a LOT of Arugula (rocket lettuce) plants all over the enclosure, and a few scattered parsley and dill plants here and there. There was eventually a decent growth of red clover as well but those didn't actually sprout and bloom until late fall. The site doesn't specifically say, but the mix that I received contains seeds for Arugula, Coriander (cilantro), Dill, Parsley, and Red Clover. I never saw any Coriander sprout in the outdoor enclosure, and I only know that it is included because I did some careful testing by sorting out the seeds and planting them in my indoor greenhouse this winter to see what the different types of seeds would grow to help me reduce the number of Arugula that I plant outside this spring. It's not a bad mix, just not enough variety for my liking, and probably not to Hermes' liking either since he refuses to eat the Dill and Coriander...

I'm planning to get a package of that Russian Seed Mix from Carolina supply to add to the outdoor enclosure this year to give a better variety of things that he can eat while wandering around the enclosure.

Edit: Actually, I just did some poking around on the Carolina Supply site and I might go with this seed mix instead of the "Russian" mix in my first link. It's more expensive by weight, but has no grass at all. The one questionable bit is that it includes Purslane, which the mix listing says is good, but that the Tortoise Table says is not good... https://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=41&products_id=761
 
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Alex and the Redfoot

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> The one questionable bit is that it includes Purslane, which the mix listing says is good, but that the Tortoise Table says is not good...

TTT warns about purslane due to its high oxalic acid levels. However, it is less a concern with tortoises because of their anatomy traits. I've seen a better explanation here on forum, I'll try to find it and add the link here.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Post update time has expired, so here is the links to the posts explaining all that oxalates stuff:
1. This from Markw84: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/o...act-fiction-and-feelings.176854/#post-1759199
2. This one by Will from Kapidolo Farms: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/oxalates.176033/

Also, one of the concerns raised was forming of bladder stones (uroliths). While in mammals we can encounter uroliths made of calcium oxalates there are almost 0 cases of such in tortoises due to kidney anatomy differences. Tortoise bladder stones are by-product of high proteine intake.

That, of course, doesn't mean you can feed you tort bunches of purslane daily. But you don't have to pick up spinach leaves out of a Spring Mix bag. Variety is still the key.
 

EppsDynasty

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@Tom ...Thank you again. I love to help out fellow tort people so consider me a permanent customer.
> The one questionable bit is that it includes Purslane, which the mix listing says is good, but that the Tortoise Table says is not good...

TTT warns about purslane due to its high oxalic acid levels. However, it is less a concern with tortoises because of their anatomy traits. I've seen a better explanation here on forum, I'll try to find it and add the link here.
I really want to say thank you, your time spent does not go unnoticed. I am so grateful of this very valuable info. our torts will only benefit from your effort and time.
For Hermann's tortoises that don't really eat grass, I would go with this seed mix from the same supplier instead of the one that SinLa linked to: https://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=162

It still has some grasses, but not nearly as much as the other mix.


I tried the Broadleaf Testudo seed mix from Tortoise Supply in the outdoor enclosure for my Hermann's tortoise last year and it did grow a lot of green stuff that he could eat, but I wasn't really happy with the results. Spreading the mix evenly I ended up with a LOT of Arugula (rocket lettuce) plants all over the enclosure, and a few scattered parsley and dill plants here and there. There was eventually a decent growth of red clover as well but those didn't actually sprout and bloom until late fall. The site doesn't specifically say, but the mix that I received contains seeds for Arugula, Coriander (cilantro), Dill, Parsley, and Red Clover. I never saw any Coriander sprout in the outdoor enclosure, and I only know that it is included because I did some careful testing by sorting out the seeds and planting them in my indoor greenhouse this winter to see what the different types of seeds would grow to help me reduce the number of Arugula that I plant outside this spring. It's not a bad mix, just not enough variety for my liking, and probably not to Hermes' liking either since he refuses to eat the Dill and Coriander...

I'm planning to get a package of that Russian Seed Mix from Carolina supply to add to the outdoor enclosure this year to give a better variety of things that he can eat while wandering around the enclosure.

Edit: Actually, I just did some poking around on the Carolina Supply site and I might go with this seed mix instead of the "Russian" mix in my first link. It's more expensive by weight, but has no grass at all. The one questionable bit is that it includes Purslane, which the mix listing says is good, but that the Tortoise Table says is not good... https://www.carolinapetsupply.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=41&products_id=761
I appreciate your time spent on this as well. It was good info and will be used to keep up a varied diet with lots of different goodies. Thank you @Michael Bird
 

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