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I've recently posted a question about raising a few leafy greens, and turns out quite a few favor cold temperatures and will turn sour (bolt?) when exposed to heat. Our temperatures here should vary between 70-90 F.

I'd like a list of heat tolerant greens that are both nutritious and relatively basic in care requirements. I need high fiber and calcium, low protein and oxalic acid greens, so if you can also list them based on the most nutritious then that'd be great. Other than that I'd like to know the basic care requirements for these greens.

  • Keep in mind the plants that you want to avoid like greens that contain high amounts of oxalates (such as spinach, and maybe kale though it's not as bad). The oxalates will bind with calcium, taking it away your turtle. – The Flash Sep 19 '14 at 18:54
  • @MattS. Thanks for the advice, I've been constantly researching the low oxalate greens, and I've stumbled upon very contradicting values with no idea who to trust. I've figured the only way of providing an appropriate diet is to provide a wide variety of the weeds and greens they naturally encounter. – user37026 Sep 19 '14 at 19:49
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I wonder whether turtles mind bitter greens? What we find unpalatable might be just fine with them. And some of the most nutritious greens out there aren't the ones we tend to prefer the taste of. Also, from what little I understand of tortoise diets, getting the proper balance of nutrients through appropriate foods for your particular type of tortoise is very important.

  • Molokhia (Corchorus species) is a common green in the Middle East, is high in calcium and iron, and grows very well in the heat. It gets rather slimy when you cook it, so is an acquired taste for humans, but raw for a turtle? It may taste just fine.
  • Kale tastes better to us after a frost, but it grows just fine in the heat. I keep kale plants growing all summer without any trouble.
  • Amaranth leaves are also high in Calcium and vitamins C and A. It's also easy to grow and can take the heat.
  • Dandelions have a ton of nutritional value, and I think it goes without saying how easy they are to grow.
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  • I suppose they don't mind any greens at all, in the wild they practically feed on all greens they encounter, ensuring the needed variety. Thank you for the info, I'll be sure to check these out. – user37026 Sep 16 '14 at 19:35
  • Michelle's answer is wonderful! Amaranth!!! Dandelions...absolutely! – stormy Sep 16 '14 at 23:13
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My desert tortoise loves bean leaves, and will eat kale if he's hungry enough. But I prefer to feed him native plants. I let him go for walks in the yard and observe what he eats, then tend those plants and try to propagate them. I don't actually know the names of all the plants he likes, but one of his favorites is globe mallow. I let one globe mallow take root in my irrigated garden, and it keeps him fed when other food sources are scarce.

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    Thanks, it's nice to have an answer relating the plants to tortoises. Globe mallow appears to be a good source of fiber for the tortoise. – user37026 Sep 17 '14 at 14:56

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