Garden centre friendly

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Charchar1985
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Aug 2019, 11:32

Garden centre friendly

Post by Charchar1985 » 15 Aug 2019, 11:46

Hello

I'm just about to get my new Marinated Tortoise hatching. I have a number of plants in the garden that are safe to feed but I was going to go a buy a few more tortoise friendly ones from the garden centre so stock up.

This may sound a daft question but are they safe to eat straight away? Wasn't sure if they might have been treated with anything that could harm a hatching.

I have lots of hebes in the garden that have been growing a few years and the only thing we have added to the soil occasionally is horse manure so I'm guessing I can feed these too?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Nina
Posts: 806
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Garden centre friendly

Post by Nina » 15 Aug 2019, 12:15

Hi Charchar (sorry, don't know your name), and welcome to The Tortoise Table! Congratulations too on getting a Marginated tortoise (they are a lovely species)! LOL, there was a very amusing typo in the first line of your message -- I do hope that your new tortoise is a Marginated one and not a Marinated one! :D

It is a very good question that you ask. Plants from garden centres have often been sprayed with insecticides and tortoises are particularly sensitive to insecticides, which can be lethal to them. So we advise not feeding any of the current leaves or flowers from the plants that you buy, but to let them grow and only feed new leaves and flowers. Also, sometimes plants have been grown in heavily fertilised soil (to bring them on more quickly), so we also advise transplanting either into the ground or into a pot with only topsoil or something like John Innes no 1 in it, as that has low levels of fertiliser. If you leave the plant in the pot for a good period of time, it will use up the fertiliser in the soil and you won't need to do anything.

Hebe should be fine to feed, but the leaves might be a bit leathery for a hatchling -- try it and see. If you have any dandelions, sowthistle, plantain, campanula, pansies, evening primrose in your garden, those are usually favourites. To check if a plant is safe, do consult the plant database on our website, and you can also use our filter tool to filter out all the plants that are not safe, so that you only see ones that are safe (instructions are in the how to use section, but if they aren't clear then let us know and we'll give you simple instructions on how to use it).

I'm sure it's an exciting time, preparing for the arrival of your new little one, and if you have time, do send us some photos (we never get tired of looking at photos of tortoises!), and please don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have. If you'd like a care sheet for Marginated torts we can send you a link to one.

Cheers,
Nina

Charchar1985
Posts: 2
Joined: 15 Aug 2019, 11:32

Re: Garden centre friendly

Post by Charchar1985 » 15 Aug 2019, 12:44

Thanks Nina

Im Charlotte :D Haha Im hoping its a marginated! not going to marinate it yet!!!! Thank you for the quick reply. I do have lots of things in the garden and we are very fortunate to live in the middle of the countryside and back straight onto woods so foraging for the new addition will be fun. I have downloaded the App you have to identify plants ect. Would like to get things prepped for next year so we have lots to be able to feed. I did think the Garden Centre plants would need to be established at home and be repotted. Im sure i will have lots of questions and the Forum is great to look at.

Char

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Nina
Posts: 806
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Garden centre friendly

Post by Nina » 15 Aug 2019, 16:15

Hi Char,

It sounds like you've got things well in hand and are going to be an excellent tortoise keeper! It's so good that you are doing your research and asking questions before you get your tortoise -- so many people don't and they end up with unnecessary problems.
Here's a link to a care sheet for Marginated torts, in case you don't have one.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

Cheers,
Nina

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