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Walks in the yard, local plants help

Discussion in 'Plant Identification' started by Charles K, Sep 29, 2018.

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  1. Charles K

    Charles K New Member

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    Good morning everyone!

    I live in the panhandle of Florida and I think my little Marginated Tort is ready to start taking some little walks in the yard to graze (because I would swear I bought a horse with how much he eats!). I took some pictures of the plants I have growing in my yard and was hoping someone who lives in the area could give me tips on if there is anything local here to make sure he doesn't eat.

    Also, what do you recommend for keeping track of a little tortoise? He's only a few months old. I was thinking I would just make him a little harness out of twine or something and walk with him.

    All of the plants are laid out on standard printer paper so you can get a size reference

    IMG_20180929_081952.jpg IMG_20180929_082039.jpg IMG_20180929_082115.jpg
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  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hello and welcome!

    Hopefully someone will know some of your plants. If not, take samples to a local nursery and ask for the local plant nerd. Every nursery has at least one.

    If you don't want to lose your tortoise, do not turn it loose outside in the yard. That is a common mistake. It is very cheap and easy to make a safe enclosure for your tortoise. This will also keep your tortoise from eating plants it shouldn't by preventing access.

    Here are some enclosure ideas:
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/cheap-easy-simple-sunning-enclosure.14680/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/simple-sunning-enclosure.104351/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...table-but-safe-outdoor-baby-enclosures.30683/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-enclosures.121732/

    This thread might have some useful tips too:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
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  3. Charles K

    Charles K New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply! I had thought about the cinder block sort of pen for outside, but my guy LOVES to dig. I'm afraid he would dig his way under the bricks! I think it'd be ideal to keep the well established grass and random plants that are growing in my yard and build the pen over them. Any suggestions for making sure little Leif doesn't burrow his way out of there? Maybe something like aluminum sheeting drove down into the dirt 10" or something?
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  4. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I like the old red bricks (used for streets and sidewalks in the past) used as a foundation for my baby's deck and watering hole. And plants that you want planted in between the cracks. Then a simple enclosure on top of hs deck that is tall enough to contain an escape artist.
  5. Charles K

    Charles K New Member

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    Could someone tag a Florida (or south east US) person to see if anyone can ID those plants?
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Just a note of explanation if you don't get any takers - it's easier for us to I.D. plants when we can see the plant in situ.
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  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Are you talking about paving stones? If yes, this is not a good idea. They are too hard and abrasive. Over time they wear down the tortoise's plastron and the bottoms of their feet. I've seen quite a few tortoises living on concrete walking around with bloody feet. This is worse with larger heavier species, but can also happen with Testudo species. It is okay to have some concrete or some paving stones in the enclosure, but not the whole thing.
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  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I've not kept marginated tortoises, but I have kept Russians, CDTs and sulcatas which are all burrowers and diggers. Tortoises don't dig out like a dog might. They just dig down and then come back up through that same portal. They don't dig down in one direction and then dig back up in another.

    @Yvonne G has shown pics in the past where she lines the inside edges of the enclosure with bricks or pavers so they they cannot dig near the wall. She can elaborate, but this has prevented escapes for her.

    @tglazie is the man I go to with marginata questions. TG, how do you house yours outdoors? Ever had a problem with digging out?
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  9. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    No it's not cement bricks or paving stones. The bricks are probably 50 years old. I apologize because I didn't make that clear. The weeds have also covered the enclosure floor with dirt, more dandelion and wild plants. Our town still has a few of those roads and the older homes have them also as decks etc...again I apologize because I took it for granted that people would know that you still have to cover the bricks with dirt and plants.
  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Thank you for the further explanation. Sounds like you have a neat enclosure. Can we see pics? I think Charles the OP might gain some inspiration from seeing your enclosure floor, and I'm always looking for new ideas too.
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  11. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I will try. I'm not very good on the internet. I'll have to have my son help me do it. The enclosure even has a little tree in it that my tortoise likes to sit under. I'll probably have to remove the tree though unless I can figure out how to bonsai it.
  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    @ZEROPILOT
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  13. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I'm no botanist. But I've seen every one of those plants in my yard.
    My Redfoot pick and choose while they are allowed to graze. I can't say if they've eaten all of those plants. But I CAN say that I've never had a tortoise get sick because of anything they ate out there.
    So my take on it is: Redfoot can safely feed on an untreated Florida lawn.
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  14. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    After thinking about it...And I don't know anything about marginated tortoises...I would never allow my tortoise to be exposed to another animal that will burrow into his enclosure. Like moles etc... I do know this though...tortoises will cozy up to any animal but a tortoise or a hare.
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  15. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    In the case of Redfoot, they will EAT any animal that they can corner......
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  16. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Oh me oh my. That's another way for a tortoise to get worms.
  17. Redfool

    Redfool Well-Known Member

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    I can get you started
    Pic1:
    1 Pusley
    2 Camamile
    3
    4 Lantana

    Pic2:
    1 Sandbur (ouch)
    2 Spiderwort
    3
    4 Nutsedge

    Pic3:
    1
    2 Sow Thistle
    3
    4
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  18. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I think possibly no.3 on pic no.1 is daisy. I'm impressed Redfoot by your knowledge of plants. I'm still thinking about all that you've said. I need all ideas and I don't care if you have another take on a subject then me. I've made several improvements to my tortoise's digs since I found the forum.
  19. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    I really liked your feeding tiles and watering dishes. I bought a box of tiles for 99cents a couple of years ago for my tortoise. With your take on them...now I know how to use some more of them even more efficiently. Sorry, I know this post is not about plants but it is in a way also. They make great salad plates for a tortoise
  20. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Hoping and praying you guys are doing ok after hurricane Michael. Take care. I went through 4 in southwest Florida in 2004 while living in a wildlife sanctuary. I relate.
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