Dandelions

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Maria
Posts: 2
Joined: 19 Jan 2020, 19:34

Dandelions

Post by Maria » 19 Jan 2020, 19:50

HELP

I have two very very large sulcartas who will eat dandelions above and beyond anything else on the planet BUT I cannot grow them :|

I have tried everything I can think of - compost, manure, growing in pots, in the kitchen, in the greenhouse, outside in the garden, under a cloche. With/without manure, plant food, compost, peat, begging and even the odd swear word. Have tried virtually every means of growing stuff I can think off. I have brought seeds from umpteen different places, collected them from wild and even dug up full grown plants from my next door neighbours garden, and still nothing survives or grows. Should mention both my neighbours have gardens full of them but have dogs using garden as a toilet. So prefer to not use these if possible (I have almost an acre of garden and several thousand plants and large vegetable garden I have grown, all of which grow like jack's beanstalk except dandelions!). Does anyone have any ideas.

Have to mention I have a few small ones that start to grow in one flowerbed but they always die/disappear before they actually get any leaves or growth more than couple centermeters.

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Nina
Posts: 918
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Dandelions

Post by Nina » 19 Jan 2020, 21:14

Hi Maria,

I've read this post and your other one, and I do wish I had an easy answer for you! Sometimes Dandelion seeds can take a long time to germinate, as they prefer soil temperatures to be around 25C (77F), and they do have long tap roots, so if you are digging one up and transplating it to another place you need to dig deep to get all of the tap root. They certainly don't need fertilised soil, but if the soil is rich then that won't stop them from growing, as they generally aren't fussy at all about where they grow, so I'm at a loss. I was going to ask what country you live in (in case it's somewhere with an inhospitable climate), but from the way you spell 'neighbours' I can see that you probably live in the UK, so there really shouldn't be any problem in growing dandelions. Do you have plantain and sowthistles popping up in your garden -- is it only dandleions that won't grow?

I can't think of any easy answer here, but hopefully someone else will come in with the miracle solution for you! Luckily, Sulcatas are mainly grass eaters, so presumably you have lots of that for them to eat -- but of course it would be really nice for them to have treats of dandelions if they like them so much. I can think of lots of gardeners who would happily send you unwanted dandelions from their flower beds, but that's probably not practical ;)

Nina

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Nina
Posts: 918
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Dandelions

Post by Nina » 19 Jan 2020, 21:30

P.S. I've just spoken to my colleague Lin, who has long experience with Sulcatas, and she''s going to post something in a bit, butshe's asked me to ask you if it's possible to post a photo of your garden, showing where the sulcatas have access, and also whether they have access to all of the garden or is there an area where they can't get to. (I must say, I do envy you have an acre of garden -- I'm a keen gardener and would love to have that much space!

I also meant to say in the previous message that although dandelions and many other 'weeds' will often grow in fertilised soil, they much prefer really poor soil, and if given too rich a soil will grow more slowly and produce 'soft' weak plants rather than sturdy ones, so I wonder if the tlc you've been giving your dandelions has actually hindered their growth.

nina

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lin
Posts: 581
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Dandelions

Post by lin » 20 Jan 2020, 00:03

Hi Maria.
It’s odd how we spend most of our life keeping a garden free of weeds and then all,of a sudden take umbrage when they won’t grow - :lol:

Anyway, my idea - Yes, I have an idea....something is eating them...maybe rabbits, hares, mice, squirrels, snails, slugs or even the odd Sulcata. If it’s not any of those and you can be 100% sure, then because it’s only happening in the gardens that you have been living in, it can only be something you are doing or adding to the soils. If you pick off dandelion seeds from a dandelion puff ball and place them on the ground on plain old soil, just like nature would, then when the soil temperature is right the seeds will germinate.
As Nina has said, there is no ‘tender loving care’ in nature. Have a go at placing some form of protection around your next outdoor trial. Secure wire that Sulcata cannot move or rodents can’t dig under. Drop some seeds on your soil and leave them and wait. The wait could be a while but if it does not happen this year then it will next year. They will not germinate until they are happy with soil conditions.
Do you have any other weeds or wildflowers growing in your garden?
I would love to see a photo, just a long shot so I can get an idea of why this may be happening.
Hope this is helpful and good luck.

Lin

Starsks
Posts: 16
Joined: 21 Jan 2020, 15:12

Re: Dandelions

Post by Starsks » 22 Jan 2020, 01:02

Grow plants and shrubs harmless to you tortoise
No doubt the weeds will come most things which grow a flower attract dandelions

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