New, soon to be tortoise keeper!

spbdds

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Jan 23, 2014
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Hi all, I'm Scott and I've been lurking for some time. I've read all the big threads (including 45 pages of pyramiding prevention), finally I thought it best to jump in.

I live in Northern San Diego and I'm currently laying plans and prepping my yard for an Tortoise. Not sure yet which species, probably a Sulcata or leopard (would love to have one of Toms, also from So Cal). The ones I've seen had great personalities. I like the idea of a Radiated but the breeding group I've witnessed at a local place here was not real active. An Aldabra would be terrific but its definitely got its pros/cons (probably more cons for me).

I'm planing on the spring to introduce one to my back yard, setting up a heated house and planting a few things that would seem delicious to a tortoise.

I had one question (for now)... I have areas with "Scotts" brand Black mulch that outline the grass and under the trees. Its the kind that comes in big bags from a big box home improvement place. Its been down over a year, any thoughts about its compatibility with a Tortoise?

Thanks for having me.
 

wellington

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Hello and Welcome:). Are you looking to adopt or buy, hatchling or adult? The Scott's mulch should be fine. Just don't use any more. All stuff now should be organic or at least pesticide and fertilizer free.
 

diamondbp

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Welcome to TFO! I think you would be good either way with a sulcata or leopard. But keep in mind that larger sulcatas tend to burrow so if that is at all a concern to you then possibly a leopard would be the better fit.
I too would LOVE LOVE to own Aldabras but when I look at the big picture of my life I don't think I could safely say that I could raise one for the next fifty years.
How large is that area that you will have dedicated to your tortoise? That too may play a factor in your decision. Sulcatas require much more roaming room than other species.

Anyhow welcome and we look forward to helping you out further ;)
 

spbdds

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Jan 23, 2014
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Thank you for the replies. I go back and forth between adopting or buying. There is a terrific Tortoise Society here in SD that has lots of animals that need homes. I would think giving one of them a good home would be immensely rewarding but I also like the idea of watching one grow.

I'd like to go straight outdoors with it so maybe subadult or young adult? I think raising a hatchling would be tough for me right now (with two little kids) and with no experience it might be best for me to leave the rearing of a young one to someone else.

The yard is a good size, maybe 1/3 of an acre (for San Diego, thats huge), some grass, some dirt, small trees. I've got some grapes and strawberry plants already started but there are few areas where I'll plant some bermuda grass and a couple other goodies.
 

Yvonne G

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I think your Scott's soil stuff would be ok by this time. Just keep in mind that your beautifully landscaped back yard will soon look like a disaster zone after the tortoises get through with it.
 

TortieLuver

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Hello and welcome to the forum:) leopards or sullies sound like good choices...your weather is great for them. There are a lot of older sullies on sd craigslist, even a 7 in right now.
 

Dizisdalife

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Welcome to the Forum. You will do fine here in San Diego with a sulcata. What I have done in my yard is to plant seed mixes to provide a bunch of different grasses and broad leaf plants for my sulcata. Oh, I have some bermuda growing too. What I like best for my sulcata is a horse pasture mix from Peaceful Valley Farms. You can see it here: http://www.groworganic.com/premium-horse-pasture-mix-irrigation.html
It grows and grows and grows. Lots of good grasses for a tortoise of any size.
To that I have added some clover seeds. Dwarf white clover is my favorite for growing, but I also have red or crimson, and some medics mixed in for variety. Another seed mix I planted that has worked out well is a broad leaf mix from Tortoise Supply.com. It's called testudo mix. It has carrots, cilantro, anise, chicory, and much more. Here is a link for that: http://www.tortoisesupply.com/TestudoMix
One other thing I would add if you don't already have some is opuntia cactus. They grow everywhere around here, but I bought some on line, from Tortoise Supply I believe, and started a few plants for myself. A couple of hibiscus plants would be a good addition as well.
 
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