Spring planting ideas

thatrebecca

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
928
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles, CA
OK, it's almost time for spring planting here in Southern California. I'd love some suggestions of what to plant for food for my CDTs.

Last year I relied mainly on grocery store greens and veggies, supplemented by some hibiscus and weeds from the yard.

This year I have some giant clay pots in the torts' new enclosures (far too high for them to reach, but nice for them to hide behind) and I'd like to start Testudo mix in a couple. Another will be for opuntia cactus.

I'm also wondering if anyone out there has started a grape vine. The new enclosures are bordered by an 8-foot concrete wall on two sides, which seems perfect for some kind of vine. Is there a particular variety of grape leaves torts like?
 

keepergale

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
757
Location (City and/or State)
san diego
Great minds think alike. I just picked up a Chardonnay vine. I liked the look enough I may go back and get another.
It did pass the tortoise taste test too.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,597
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Plant as many grape vines as you have room for. Plant them in the fullest hottest most sunny part of the yard you can find. Then plant lots of lavatera. That stuff is great. I'm planning on starting a bunch from cuttings soon and putting it all over the place. Blue hibiscus works great and survives our climate well. If you put regular hibiscus in the right spot, it will usually do well down where you are. Plant it where it gets afternoon shade. Of course you can't have too many spineless opuntia stands either. No need to plant a mulberry. You are already surrounded with mature ones. Just find them and ask permission to "prune" them a little every once in a while.

Any of the testudo seed mixes will do well for you and where to begin with the flowers... Gazania thrive in hot dry climates like ours. Nasturtiums, pansies and roses are all good. Carnations. Monkey paw. Etc.

Then there are the succulent ground covers. Red apple, ice plant (several) varieties, jade plant... Don't forget your clover and alfalfa patches. Clover likes it cooler, so try to find a more protected area for that. Alfalfa likes full hot sun all day every day so great for the middle of the yard.

I think you should plant and grow all of this in huge amounts, and I will help you "get rid of" any extra that your two little ones don't eat... :D
 

T33's Torts

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2013
Messages
8,062
Location (City and/or State)
Neverland!
Re: RE: Spring planting ideas

tortoisetime565 said:
Are grape leaves really that good for tortoises?

I dont know about their nutritional value, but the torts go crazy for them. I would think they're as healthy as hibiscus leaves.
 

tortoisetime565

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
1,702
Location (City and/or State)
Oklahoma
We have a huge vine and all through the summer I would cut leaves for them in addition to giving them greens. They did indeed love them!
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,923
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
tortoisetime565 said:
Are grape leaves really that good for tortoises?

It's not just that they are good for them, but they grow well, spread, have lots of leaves that are easy to harvest and even to dry for winter feeding. They are hardy in just about all planting zones. With being a vine (which is hard to find a tortoise friendly one) they make good covering to give shade/hides and to hide the enclosure itself from people, while using space that is normally not used by many folks and thus wasted.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,597
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Jacqui said:
tortoisetime565 said:
Are grape leaves really that good for tortoises?

It's not just that they are good for them, but they grow well, spread, have lots of leaves that are easy to harvest and even to dry for winter feeding. They are hardy in just about all planting zones. With being a vine (which is hard to find a tortoise friendly one) they make good covering to give shade/hides and to hide the enclosure itself from people, while using space that is normally not used by many folks and thus wasted.

Well I was just going to say "yes", but I guess all of that is true too...

:p
 

tortoisetime565

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
1,702
Location (City and/or State)
Oklahoma
Jacqui said:
tortoisetime565 said:
Are grape leaves really that good for tortoises?

It's not just that they are good for them, but they grow well, spread, have lots of leaves that are easy to harvest and even to dry for winter feeding. They are hardy in just about all planting zones. With being a vine (which is hard to find a tortoise friendly one) they make good covering to give shade/hides and to hide the enclosure itself from people, while using space that is normally not used by many folks and thus wasted.

Okay! Thanks! :)
 

thatrebecca

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Messages
928
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks, guys! This is awesome info.

Question about ground cover: one problem I ran into with my previous enclosures was that watering enough to keep the plants healthy meant watering too much for the torts's needs. They'd burrow down and hit damp dirt. Fine on a hot summer day maybe, but not spring. That's why I'm switching to the giant clay pots.

But I would still like some ground cover for them to hide in -- I noticed they loved it once we hit the deep summer heat. I was thinking ice plant, cause it needs so little water. Any advice on this front?


Oh and Tom, you're always welcome to our garden! Hibiscus does well at our house.
 

keepergale

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2013
Messages
757
Location (City and/or State)
san diego
thatrebecca said:
Thanks, guys! This is awesome info.

Question about ground cover: one problem I ran into with my previous enclosures was that watering enough to keep the plants healthy meant watering too much for the torts's needs. They'd burrow down and hit damp dirt. Fine on a hot summer day maybe, but not spring. That's why I'm switching to the giant clay pots.

But I would still like some ground cover for them to hide in -- I noticed they loved it once we hit the deep summer heat. I was thinking ice plant, cause it needs so little water. Any advice on this front?


Oh and Tom, you're always welcome to our garden! Hibiscus does well at our house.



Creeping Charlie might work for you. In coastal San Diego it is pretty much a ground cover type plant. Fills a similar roll to ice plant. Once well started it needs little water. It has taken over a corner of my yard and the tortoises love it.


keepergale said:
thatrebecca said:
Thanks, guys! This is awesome info.

Question about ground cover: one problem I ran into with my previous enclosures was that watering enough to keep the plants healthy meant watering too much for the torts's needs. They'd burrow down and hit damp dirt. Fine on a hot summer day maybe, but not spring. That's why I'm switching to the giant clay pots.

But I would still like some ground cover for them to hide in -- I noticed they loved it once we hit the deep summer heat. I was thinking ice plant, cause it needs so little water. Any advice on this front?


Oh and Tom, you're always welcome to our garden! Hibiscus does well at our house.



Creeping Charlie might work for you. In coastal San Diego it is pretty much a ground cover type plant. Fills a similar roll to ice plant. Once well started it needs little water. It has taken over a corner of my yard and the tortoises love it.



Wrong plant MY bad Substitute Wandering Jew for Creeping Charlie


keepergale said:
thatrebecca said:
Thanks, guys! This is awesome info.

Question about ground cover: one problem I ran into with my previous enclosures was that watering enough to keep the plants healthy meant watering too much for the torts's needs. They'd burrow down and hit damp dirt. Fine on a hot summer day maybe, but not spring. That's why I'm switching to the giant clay pots.

But I would still like some ground cover for them to hide in -- I noticed they loved it once we hit the deep summer heat. I was thinking ice plant, cause it needs so little water. Any advice on this front?


Oh and Tom, you're always welcome to our garden! Hibiscus does well at our house.



Creeping Charlie might work for you. In coastal San Diego it is pretty much a ground cover type plant. Fills a similar roll to ice plant. Once well started it needs little water. It has taken over a corner of my yard and the tortoises love it.


keepergale said:
thatrebecca said:
Thanks, guys! This is awesome info.

Question about ground cover: one problem I ran into with my previous enclosures was that watering enough to keep the plants healthy meant watering too much for the torts's needs. They'd burrow down and hit damp dirt. Fine on a hot summer day maybe, but not spring. That's why I'm switching to the giant clay pots.

But I would still like some ground cover for them to hide in -- I noticed they loved it once we hit the deep summer heat. I was thinking ice plant, cause it needs so little water. Any advice on this front?


Oh and Tom, you're always welcome to our garden! Hibiscus does well at our house.



Creeping Charlie might work for you. In coastal San Diego it is pretty much a ground cover type plant. Fills a similar roll to ice plant. Once well started it needs little water. It has taken over a corner of my yard and the tortoises love it.



Wrong plant MY bad Substitute Wandering Jew for Creeping Charlie




Lets modify this again. Do not take my plant suggestions. I have just looked up both and found references to both plants being harmful.
What ever it is I have the tortoises like.


Back to lurking:cool:
 

New Posts

Top