Planting for out door enclosure

Use this forum to discuss any aspect of tortoise housing and enclosures. Upload and show pictures of your set ups (enclosures).
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Summerills
Posts: 20
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Summerills » 05 Jun 2020, 12:36

Hi
Todays job is to dig out one of our flower boarders to make an outside run for our new tortoise in preparation for its arrival
I have dug everything out and now need to scree the soil and mix it with sand.
Trouble is, it now all looks very bare and so I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations for climbing plants that aren’t going to be toxic!
Thanks
In advance
Nic

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lin
Posts: 679
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by lin » 05 Jun 2020, 13:26

Hi Nic.
Climbing plants are ok but at first chance available tortoise will use them as a ladder to scale the areas they are climbing up.
You can always look in the database for the trees, shrubs and climbers category and have a sort through there if you like.
Lin

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Nina
Posts: 1117
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Nina » 05 Jun 2020, 14:00

I absolutely agree with Lin -- anything near the edge of the enclosure will be used as a ladder to climb out. I know they don't look like it, but tortoises are amazing climbers:
[attachment=0]climbing tortoise.jpg[/attachment]
What species are you getting? If Horsfield then they are burrowers too, so you need to ensure that they can't dig under and then out of a wall of the enclosure. Other tortoises will do that too, but Horsfields are the worst for digging!

Nina
Attachments
climbing tortoise.jpg

Summerills
Posts: 20
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Summerills » 05 Jun 2020, 14:45

Love that picture- they’re sneaky little things hey!

There didn’t seem to be any climbing plants that were safe to eat in the database, or would it be ok to plant something not safe as the tortoise wouldn’t be able to reach the leaves?
The flower bed is surrounded by patio and has brick sides 2 deep under the surface- we will build it up to 3 bricks height above the patio level. I tried to upload a photo but but it was too big!

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Nina
Posts: 1117
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Nina » 05 Jun 2020, 15:41

Gosh, you're right -- there aren't many climbers that are edible -- although we do have Grape Vine and Honeysuckle that are safe to plant. You could plant something that isn't safe, but there is a real danger leaves could fall into the enclosure and be eaten -- especially if it is a vine that loses its leaves in the autumn, or they can blow in from elsewhere.

Was the vine going to grow up a wall? If so then could you could maybe have hanging baskets on the wall. I'm assuming that the climbing plant is just outside the wall of the enclosure, not actually in it. What about runner beans or climbing french beans? It's not too late to plant them, or garden centres usually have pots already germinated. Then you would have the beans for you to eat and the odd leaf for your tortoise?
https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... tpYnud7m9s

Nina

Summerills
Posts: 20
Joined: 28 May 2020, 17:04

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Summerills » 14 Jun 2020, 13:34

So the outside enclosure is all finished and planted up.
I planted the rosemary straight into the ground but everything else is in pots so I can mix it up a bit. Baby tortoise will only be out here when we are and when it’s warm to start with but we will look to make a mesh cover for safety and include some kind of glass/plastic section for extra warmth next year.
I’m loving that it’s doubling up as my herb garden!

Anything wrong with this picture- anything missing?
Attachments
8C238775-378C-4640-9105-C65175A97B32.jpeg
8C238775-378C-4640-9105-C65175A97B32.jpeg (38.86 KiB) Viewed 295 times
6BBC0270-E03F-406A-8778-AD00139E4C44.jpeg
6BBC0270-E03F-406A-8778-AD00139E4C44.jpeg (37.95 KiB) Viewed 295 times

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Nina
Posts: 1117
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Planting for out door enclosure

Post by Nina » 14 Jun 2020, 16:53

That looks really great, and I can't think of anything else much -- I think you've done a super job!

I'm on my computer and can't enlarge the photos, so not sure, but is there a water dish in there?

Also, just to complete it and make it escape proof I think I would nail a little lip on the top of the boards that make the three walls of the enclosure. Just a thin piece of wood that is nailed on the top of the wooden walls that is flush with the wall on the outside but protrudes into the enclosure just half an inch or so, making it impossible for him to climb out if he tries and gets up that far (they use plants as ladders and right angles also as ladders).

Here's a link to a photo of a tortoise climbing a chain link fence https://tinyurl.com/y3edytm3 and have attached two photos of one of my torts using right angles and plants as ladders to make the great escape, and a good one of a Horsfield climbing a wall.
Nina
[attachment=0]Tortoise climbing wall.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]m_Climbing wall using plants.jpg[/attachment][attachment=2]m_Climbing where right angles meet.jpg[/attachment]
Attachments
Tortoise climbing wall.jpg
Tortoise climbing wall.jpg (34.54 KiB) Viewed 289 times
m_Climbing wall using plants.jpg
m_Climbing where right angles meet.jpg

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