Planning For Next Winter

Turtulas-Len

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I usually wait until later in the summer to start drying things to help supplement winter feeding my young tortoises. But recently I realized that I was missing out on the spring plants and blooms that disapere as summer goes on. I wish I had thought about it sooner because all the early chick weeds are gone. I started with the opuntia blooms which come and go pretty quick , which I had never collected before. I have been collecting tender mulberry and grape leaves before they get mature and a little tough. narrow leaf plantain, dandelion, a couple types of of thistle leaves, blooms from yuccas and my rose of sharon just started blooming with very large blooms that as time goes on and we get dry spells the blooms get smaller so now is the time to collect them. raspberry leaves too. Here's a couple pics of my hi-tech drying system that works great an simple to do. Picture 009.jpg Picture 025 copy.jpg Her is one ROS showing the blooms Picture 001.jpg
 

Chubbs the tegu

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I usually wait until later in the summer to start drying things to help supplement winter feeding my young tortoises. But recently I realized that I was missing out on the spring plants and blooms that disapere as summer goes on. I wish I had thought about it sooner because all the early chick weeds are gone. I started with the opuntia blooms which come and go pretty quick , which I had never collected before. I have been collecting tender mulberry and grape leaves before they get mature and a little tough. narrow leaf plantain, dandelion, a couple types of of thistle leaves, blooms from yuccas and my rose of sharon just started blooming with very large blooms that as time goes on and we get dry spells the blooms get smaller so now is the time to collect them. raspberry leaves too. Here's a couple pics of my hi-tech drying system that works great an simple to do. View attachment 298488 View attachment 298489 Her is one ROS showing the blooms View attachment 298490
Great idea!
 

Toddrickfl1

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I usually wait until later in the summer to start drying things to help supplement winter feeding my young tortoises. But recently I realized that I was missing out on the spring plants and blooms that disapere as summer goes on. I wish I had thought about it sooner because all the early chick weeds are gone. I started with the opuntia blooms which come and go pretty quick , which I had never collected before. I have been collecting tender mulberry and grape leaves before they get mature and a little tough. narrow leaf plantain, dandelion, a couple types of of thistle leaves, blooms from yuccas and my rose of sharon just started blooming with very large blooms that as time goes on and we get dry spells the blooms get smaller so now is the time to collect them. raspberry leaves too. Here's a couple pics of my hi-tech drying system that works great an simple to do. View attachment 298488 View attachment 298489 Her is one ROS showing the blooms View attachment 298490
I've gotten started already too. This is my fancy storage bin lid drying system. IMG_20200627_160505639.jpg
 

maggie3fan

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I usually wait until later in the summer to start drying things to help supplement winter feeding my young tortoises. But recently I realized that I was missing out on the spring plants and blooms that disapere as summer goes on. I wish I had thought about it sooner because all the early chick weeds are gone. I started with the opuntia blooms which come and go pretty quick , which I had never collected before. I have been collecting tender mulberry and grape leaves before they get mature and a little tough. narrow leaf plantain, dandelion, a couple types of of thistle leaves, blooms from yuccas and my rose of sharon just started blooming with very large blooms that as time goes on and we get dry spells the blooms get smaller so now is the time to collect them. raspberry leaves too. Here's a couple pics of my hi-tech drying system that works great an simple to do. View attachment 298488 View attachment 298489 Her is one ROS showing the blooms View attachment 298490
Wow, I thought that was MY tree...lookin good!
 

Maro2Bear

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I've gotten started already too. This is my fancy storage bin lid drying system. View attachment 298522

The PROBLEM with all of this “dehydrating storage” issue, is that our Sully would eat ALLLLL of that as a snack while I’m getting her real dinner ready. I need TONS of stuff put away for “Winter” ...
 

turtlesteve

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The PROBLEM with all of this “dehydrating storage” issue, is that our Sully would eat ALLLLL of that as a snack while I’m getting her real dinner ready. I need TONS of stuff put away for “Winter” ...

Yep. This looks great if you’ve only got one or two small tortoises....
 

Turtulas-Len

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Turtulas-Len

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Location (City and/or State)
Southern Md - Northern Neck Va
Yep. This looks great if you’ve only got one or two small tortoises....
A few years ago I had 5 adult sulcatas, (along with other tortoises) 3 females and 2 males and for winter feeding I bought an electric lawn mower with a bag. I cut my lawn, which I have been working on since the spring of 2006 to produce edible plants for tortoises. I dried the cuttings and re-moistened it during the winter months for a good food source for them. It worked great and wasn't that hard to do, Just a larger scale of what I'm doing now. When the females started laying eggs and for other personal reasons, plus I never aspired to be a breeder I cut back on the number of tortoises I keep. It can be done for more than one or two small tortoises, it may be a little more work and time but isn't hard to do.
 

Toddrickfl1

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I like the darker blue blooms. I haven't seen that color before.

I dry everything outside in the sun. After they are dry I store them in paper bags in a dry area.
The blue ones are the same as the pink ones you see they've just been sitting longer. For some reason they turn blue when they dry out.
 

turtlesteve

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A few years ago I had 5 adult sulcatas, (along with other tortoises) 3 females and 2 males and for winter feeding I bought an electric lawn mower with a bag. I cut my lawn, which I have been working on since the spring of 2006 to produce edible plants for tortoises. I dried the cuttings and re-moistened it during the winter months for a good food source for them. It worked great and wasn't that hard to do, Just a larger scale of what I'm doing now. When the females started laying eggs and for other personal reasons, plus I never aspired to be a breeder I cut back on the number of tortoises I keep. It can be done for more than one or two small tortoises, it may be a little more work and time but isn't hard to do.

So I have actually thought about trying to collect and store grass clippings, but I have about a hundred different types of weed in my lawn including some not edible or toxic (nightshades). I’m afraid I’d get some of that mixed in...
 

turtlesteve

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My pink ones turn light blue not deep blue like yours. I thought you had a color I had never seen.

The bummer with rose of Sharon is that relatively few colors are available - pink, purple, and white. Some of the purple can trend towards blue but there is no pure blue or pure red, or any other colors. The reason is that they will not hybridize with the tropical species hibiscus rosa-sinensis, which has been widely hybridized with other species to create new colors. I’m going to be attempting to hybridize some with some other hibiscus species, but who knows if it will work or not. There are other non-tropical hibiscus hybrids with better colors, but they are all die back perennials - and I much prefer the woody shrub (or small tree).
 

Turtulas-Len

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What I put out the last couple days were dry enough to bag up so late this evening I started drying more ROS blooms,and some of the large mulberry leaves ( from the trees i cut way back that paniked some people when I posted about it) along with some ginkgo leaves. Picture 005.jpg I covered them with screens in case the wind picked up tonight. Picture 007.jpg Next will be some wild violets which are doing great this year Picture 008.jpg Picture 009.jpg
 

Turtulas-Len

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The bummer with rose of Sharon is that relatively few colors are available - pink, purple, and white. Some of the purple can trend towards blue but there is no pure blue or pure red, or any other colors. The reason is that they will not hybridize with the tropical species hibiscus rosa-sinensis, which has been widely hybridized with other species to create new colors. I’m going to be attempting to hybridize some with some other hibiscus species, but who knows if it will work or not. There are other non-tropical hibiscus hybrids with better colors, but they are all die back perennials - and I much prefer the woody shrub (or small tree).
I got seeds from another forum member to start what I have now. 2 colors pure white and what I call pink but is more red in color though. Now I have 3 colors the thrid is what I grew up with in the 1950s, white with a red center. I guess because of cross pollination of the 2 original colors.
 

maggie3fan

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A few years ago I had 5 adult sulcatas, (along with other tortoises) 3 females and 2 males and for winter feeding I bought an electric lawn mower with a bag. I cut my lawn, which I have been working on since the spring of 2006 to produce edible plants for tortoises. I dried the cuttings and re-moistened it during the winter months for a good food source for them. It worked great and wasn't that hard to do, Just a larger scale of what I'm doing now. When the females started laying eggs and for other personal reasons, plus I never aspired to be a breeder I cut back on the number of tortoises I keep. It can be done for more than one or two small tortoises, it may be a little more work and time but isn't hard to do.
Well, there must be something wrong with my lawnmower then, cuz neither of mine will eat it cut with a gas mower, but will if the same grass is cut with scissors
 
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