Growing dandelions




Dandelion is a very nutritious plant for grazing tortoises and all vegetable eating reptiles. Contains a vast realm of beneficial compounds and plant carotenoids, including caffeic, linoleic, linolenic, oleic, and palmitic acids, as well as the minerals potassium, iron, silicon, magnesium, sodium, and zinc, and the vitamins A, B, C, and D.

To start use a good well draining seed starting mix.  Make sure it does not contain perlite or vermiculite if you are going to put your animals in the container for grazing.  I use small peat pots.  Moisten thoroughly the soil and the pots before starting seeds.  Soil should be moist not soggy wet.  put 2 to 3 seeds in each pot and press lightly into soil. Do not cover the seeds with additional soil, they need light to germinate.  After planting the seeds cover with plastic wrap or a mini greenhouse cover.  Put them in a warm sunny, or under lights, location.  Average germination time is 14 to 28 days but can take up to 60 days depending on conditions.  The ideal germination temperature is 68°F. Once germinated remove the cover.  Make sure the soil stays moist through.  After they sprout thin to 1 per pot.  You can transplant them in deeper pots or outside after they have 2 new sets of leaves.  They lover cooler weather, early spring and fall. They will generally die back in the heat of the summer if you are growing outside.  You can grow them in side under grow lights to keep them going all year. 

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