Lawn spray

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winstonwantstoknow
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2020, 18:42

Lawn spray

Post by winstonwantstoknow » 07 Jun 2021, 13:09

Hi all,

So I'm really keen to take my Winston out for some fun in the garden sunshine, but I've learned that unfortunately the gardeners who came at the beginning of May had sprayed some 'Weed & Feed' down on the grass :cry:

I've got in touch to ask them the brand name so I can check ingredients, but I haven't heard back yet. It's rained a bunch since then and we've cut the grass back a few times.

In the meantime I've been taking Winston out on the terrace, but as I can allow him much more room to safely roam on the grass what are you thoughts on if it is safe to let him roam on it yet? Or how long I need to wait?

I adopted him in August last year, and had let him out on the grass then, and have only since learned that the gardeners had done the same thing when they came last May and he was OK. But obviously when I had let him roam last year it was later in the summer.

Any advice would be most helpful! Thanks in advance! 8-)

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Nina
Posts: 1526
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lawn spray

Post by Nina » 07 Jun 2021, 13:47

Hi Saurin,

This is a difficult one. Tortoises are notoriously sensitive to herbicides and insecticides, so I would be very cautious. It really does depend on what the ingredients are. If it is a surface weed killer then it's possible that lots of rain (and we did have lots in May) would have washed it off and it is safe, but if it is a systemic chemical, then it soaks into the individual leaves etc. of the grass and weeds and will remain there until the leaves are cut off and there is new growth.

Is there anywhere in the garden, other than the terrace and the grass, where he could roam? I think that if it were me I would definitely wait several more weeks at least before letting him on the grass. And maybe you could ask the gardeners not to use a herbicide on the lawn in the future, as Winston will eat the weeds and keep them at bay!

Nina

winstonwantstoknow
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2020, 18:42

Re: Lawn spray

Post by winstonwantstoknow » 07 Jun 2021, 21:43

Hi Nina,

Thanks for that, I am waiting for them to come back to me with the name so will investigate whether it's just a surface weed killer or not. The gardeners had just taken it upon themselves and hadn't checked with me, so I'll make sure they don't do that again!

In the meantime, I've fenced off a bit of the terrace, and I let him mooch around there for a couple of hours in the daytime. I have some raised beds at the back that have soil and plants in, but it's fairly dense with flowers and some are not safe feeds. Alternatively I'm looking into buying a raised bed to fill with topsoil/sand that I can let him dig around in but I am on the lookout for something inexpensive but large enough for him to not feel too 'hemmed-in'!

Thanks again for your help :)
Saurin

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lawn spray

Post by Nina » 08 Jun 2021, 09:06

Regarding a raised bed or other enclosre -- I once used one of those pre-formed plastic fish ponds as an outdoor enclosure (something like these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Sellers-G ... 4262946031 ) but you need to drill holes in the bottom so that water can drain out if you have a sudden heavy shower. Is there any reason why you need to have a raised bed for him? Could you just use bricks or breezeblocks and make an enclosure by just sitting on the terrace with the wall of the house as one side, and then dumping sand/soil in it?
You do have to allow for drainage though.

Someone has just sent me photos of a lovely little enclosure they've built for their tortoise on a patio, and I've written to ask them if they can post some photos of it here to give you some inspiration.

Nina

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lawn spray

Post by Nina » 08 Jun 2021, 12:45

Further to my post above, I've now heard from the tortoise owner, and they have given me permission to post their photos, so here they are. I did ask about drainage and they said:

It is set on concrete but I have put 4 rubber mattings on floor and attached green fence wire and weed control fabric to enclosure bottom so nothing can get in from underneath but water can drain away. I also put a large wavy perplex sheet on top of enclosure at night in case it does rain and for extra warmth. I remove it in morning before he wakes.

I think it looks like an excellent and safe outdoor enclosure.

Nina
[attachment=0]Shrek's outdoor enclosure2.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]Shrek's outdoor enclosure.jpg[/attachment]
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Shrek's outdoor enclosure2.jpg
Shrek's outdoor enclosure.jpg

winstonwantstoknow
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2020, 18:42

Re: Lawn spray

Post by winstonwantstoknow » 08 Jun 2021, 13:34

Thanks Nina,

For some reason the photos didn't save/upload properly, they open only with a tiny sliver of the image showing. Happy for you to direct message them to me if you can?

Unfortunately the wall of our house at the back gets no sunlight as the back garden is north facing (front of house is south facing). But the plastic kiddie pool idea could work - I'll only be taking him out in it during the day when I'm home, and then bringing him in during the evening. I could easily put holes into the bottom of it as well, and then it could sit on our terrace. Do you think it might be too small for him? I'm supposing though as it's only for short duration during the day it might be fine.

I found out the name of the weed & feed - it's Westland Aftercut All in One. I've googled it but can't see anything regarding tortoise safety. Have you heard anything about this brand?

Thanks again,
Saurin

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Nina
Posts: 1526
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lawn spray

Post by Nina » 08 Jun 2021, 15:09

Sorry about the images -- I'll send them to you by email. Regarding the Aftercut, I'm afraid it looks rather nasty. Here is the Safety sheet from Westland, listing the ingredients, the dangers, etc. It's rather long, but you can skim down it and get a feel of what it consists of. I think you need to be very cautious with Winston regarding this. I don't know if these chemicals wash off or are long lasting (I haven't read the sheet in detail), but you could always ring Westland and ask them (01480 443789).
https://www.gardenhealth.com/wp-content ... Killer.pdf (let me know if the link doesn't work.

Cheers,
Nina

winstonwantstoknow
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2020, 18:42

Re: Lawn spray

Post by winstonwantstoknow » 08 Jun 2021, 21:19

Hi Nina,

I did get the images, thank you - that enclosure looks so great! Did they say what the dimensions were? There is a chance I could make one to go along one side of our garden fence. Also I'm thinking if I bought a tarp of some sort to cover it when it's not in use/ when it rains that would alleviate the worry of drainage?

I had a feeling that the Aftercut was pretty bad. I'll call them anyway just to check on length of time I need to leave it alone. It may be that the lawn is out of commission for the rest of the summer :(

One side question- I've looked on the TT database re moss, and I can only find Sphagnum Moss listed- is this the same family as the moss that grows between cracks in terrace? Asking because there is a very small amount of moss in some spots on the terrace and I want to know if I need to remove it for when he wanders around on that for the moment.

Thanks again!
Saurin x

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Lawn spray

Post by Nina » 08 Jun 2021, 22:41

Hi Saurin,

No, I'm afraid I don't know what the dimensions are, but you can sort of guess by the size of the tortoise and the clear plastic propagator top that she uses for shelter. Obviously as big as possible is always the way to go.

Sphagnum moss is a little different from the green moss that grows in the cracks in your terrace, but I think it would be perfectly safe for Winston (as long as the spray from the lawn didn't also cover the moss). Although as that spray has a moss killer in it, I think the moss in the cracks would be dead by now if it was covered in that spray, so you're probably fine.

Nina

winstonwantstoknow
Posts: 14
Joined: 12 Nov 2020, 18:42

Re: Lawn spray

Post by winstonwantstoknow » 09 Jun 2021, 21:13

Hi Nina,

No problem, thanks again for sharing those. No, the spay wasn't used on the terrace thankfully, so good to know if he nibbles some of that moss he'll be fine.

Thanks,
Saurin

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