Building a Uromastyx Garden Part 4: Sit & Wait

It’s been hot, dry & windy, and we’ve learned some stuff about planting things.

Transplants on a slope don’t work so well. The water drains really quickly, hillsides erode and roots become exposed. Best to plant seeds or put a trailing plant at the top of the hill and let the runners grow down.

Plants from seeds seem to be better adapted than transplants. Their roots probably grow deeper in.

Some seeds grow well in the shelter of a nurse plant; a lot of the mixed salad greens we scattered have appeared growing next to some of the transplants.

Cinder block walls reflect heat onto the nearby plants, making it hostile territory.

Our clay soil gets baked by the sun during the day, perfect for our intended inhabitants but not so pretty as a traditional backyard garden.

Bermuda grass will never die.

Here are some before an after pics. We hauled in a felled tree from our front yard to add visual interest and a climbing spot for the Egyptian Uromastyx.

Before:

Reptile Garden Backyard Remodel

Contoured bare ground

Early Plantings

Backyard Reptile Garden

Adding plants

Established Growth

Backyard Desert Reptile Enclosure

Plants grown in from seeds & transplants


Outdoor Uromastyx Enclosure

Some plants like it hot, others not

Lots of new growth in some areas

Desert Plants for Tortoises

Desert plants growing well

Reflected Heat from Wall Stresses Plants

Block wall reflects heat that "cooks" some plants

The last step before obtaining our new friends is wire fencing to enclose the space. This will keep the reptiles in and other animals out.

Tricolor Hatchlings!

Bad news, and good news.

Sadly, last month we lost our beloved tricolor male, Lucas. We discussed with our vet, but it was too late for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. It’s possible our humidifier overcompensated for our record low humidity we’re having in AZ – we found a strange white mold in the food. Or he could have been injured by his mate, Bento. We just don’t know, and may never know. Any death is hard to deal with, either explained or unexplained. He was a beautiful gecko with an awesome, calm personality.

The GOOD news is that one of the eggs from Lucas and Bento has hatched out an amazing little baby!

Tricolor Project Hatchling Gecko

Little Baby Bento X Lucas

Late April also brought us this little beauty from Fandango X Scaramouche!

Tricolor Project Hatchling Gecko

Baby from Scaramouche, sired by Fandango

These two little ones have helped ease the pain from Lucas’ passing, and hopefully we will have continued success in this year’s Tricolor Project.