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RE: Blank Slate

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Posted by: Ivory Tortoise at Sat Oct 9 09:35:01 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Ivory Tortoise ]  
   

In my experience I prefer just good old Bermuda grass. My tortoises have done exceptionally well on it and because it has deep roots it hold up to grazing very well. Sometimes the tall fescue and St. Augustine will be pulled up or don’t survive the tortoises eating them down so close to the ground. The biggest problem with Bermuda is also the best quality for grazing tortoises and that is once it is established you can’t get rid of it. The other problem with Bermuda is that it goes dormant in the winter and fescue and St. Augustine don’t. A 16-inch tortoise can’t be picked up by any birds (I don’t think a California condor could even pick one up). The tortoise should be big enough that a stray cat or possum wouldn’t be a problem.

There are lots edible plants that could go in your yard but unless they are protected the tortoise will eat them down before they get established. I like to use tall grasses like fountain grass (we have several tall native grasses her that grow to about 2-feet tall that do well in my area). Don’t use grasses with saw like blades. I also grow spineless prickly pear cactus. Hibiscus flowers are great as well as grape vines. Desert trees can also add interest to your tortoise yard (check to make sure they are not toxic).

Good luck,

Richard Fife


   

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