Gardening with Turtles

 

There are hundreds of kinds of tortoises and even more kinds of turtles, but my experiences have been limited to but a few. I have found they make excellent garden companions. Did you know that the box turtle can be a great gardener friend? Yes, these beautiful animals can help keep those pests away from your beautiful flowers! The box turtle’s diet can consist of

Slugs

Flies

Grubs

Snails

Grasshoppers

Crickets

Box turtles will eat most bugs; essentially, if they can catch it, they will eat it. The rest is their diet is made up of fungi, moss, and berries.   If you can, please welcome box turtles in your garden. Invite box turtles into your garden by planting their favorite fruits; mulberry, blackberries, and elderberry. In sunny areas, encourage dense clusters of brambles, and let the ripened berries fall. Choose species that fruit at different times during the season. Also be aware that these cute creatures have a well-known penchant for raiding vegetable gardens, especially for cantaloupes and tomatoes, so erect a little box turtle barrier. Leave large, continuous areas of natural leaf litter mulch beneath the trees on your property, where the animals can remain camouflaged and forage for prey. Build brush piles over soft, loose soil by layering branches and leaf litter, where they can spend the night or overwinter. Any moist place, whether swamp, damp forest depression, or simple water garden, will help turtles survive the hottest parts of the day.

Should you be fortunate enough to witness a turtle nesting in your garden, identify and protect the site from any dogs or cats. If you can identify the species of wild turtle that has graced your garden, report it to your local fish and wildlife office. The common box turtle is not so common nowadays. Even these masters of retreat, temperature regulation and patient waiting for dangers to pass are not faring well in a quickly changing climate. Being stolen from the wild to be kept as a pet or sold in a pet store is another major impact that they can’t recover from quickly. Fresh water, and safe corridors for wild turtles to travel to fresh water, is increasingly scarce. Box turtles are listed as vulnerable, one step away from endangered, on the IUCN Red List because of these hazards and more.

So the next time you are in your garden or plan to create one think about this cute slow moving gardener friend!

Flymeawaycreations Etsy shop has two unique 3D printed planters that are designed as a cute bronze colored tortoise and a mint green adorable sea turtle! You can follow the links below to check out both styles!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/667570566/sea-turtle-planter-for-indoor-gardening

https://www.etsy.com/listing/129676347/tiny-tortoise-planter-for-small

 

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