I bought a fifty pound bag today. Aside from using them as a side dressing for my roses, what else do you recommend them for? Tell me all your tips and secrets. I'm excited about introducing them to my garden.
Good question, so I googled. This is what I found.
Here is a link that might be useful: alfalfa tea
Kathy thank you and Steven for posting this. The 2nd recipe sounds like just the thing. I am going to start with that this next week. c
Without having to make the tea, alfalfa pellets are an excellent organic lawn fertilizer, too - simply broadcast by hand. For all kinds of info, use the search feature on either the composting or organic lawn care forums.
I have just put down the pellets before and just watered them in. I first learned about the benefits of alfalfa pellets from a lady who owned an iris garden. My iris love them too.
Anything that likes nitrogen can use alfalfa. Brugs suck the stuff up, so do tomatoes and the aformentioend roses.
I make alfalfa tea, it stinks like the barf of a drunk old man but it sure does a heck of a job on your plants and veggies. I pour the sludge off into my compost heap. The smell is horrid.
GGG...guess we need stinky to make sweet :) LOL . I'll get a very tight fitting lid on the container !! c
My roses, hydrangea & hibiscus loved alfalfa. I did pellets throughout the growing season and tea mid-summer. Just as an experiment, I put some pellets around 1 of 10 dianthus in the spring, and that 1 dianthus didn't bloom until fall.
Does anyone have any experience w/alfalfa & trees?
DO NOT put a tight fitting lid on your alfala tea. It WILL explode. Ask me how I know. ;o)
I use the alfalfa pellets on any plant that likes to be fed, and also make the tea to use on roses, tomatoes and tropicals.
On a 60 x 200 lot, I go through roughly 10 of the 50 pound bags a year, sometimes more.
Looks like I'll be heading to the feed store up the road to get some alfalfa pellets, I've done the extraction of comfrey juice which was really great but never done the alfalfa thing. I'll give it a try.
Thanks for all the great feedback! I'm going to make the tea next weekend. I used about a quarter of the bag while planting today (I put in about 75 new plants). I mixed the pellets in with my compost and hand tilled it into most of my beds. I like the fact that pellets incorporated this way provide a relatively slow nitrogen release. I'm also going to broadcast some pellets on the lawn next weekend. That should still leave us with about two thirds of the fifty pound bag. Not a bad 10 buck investment.
There is a lot research underway in the agricultural community about methane emissions from cow burps. I'm trying not to laugh too hard while I type this as it is a serious top for global climate change.
There are field trials underway to test alfalfa pellets as cow food versus other grasses.
I would worry more about whale flatulence than methane emissions from cow burps.
Newbie here with a quick ?. Do you find alfalfa pellets at the feed mill or at gardening centers? Is it more pricey than other fertlizers?
minsue - check the feed stores/mills. I pay $10 for a 50# bag there. I'd wager much more cost effective at feed stores than at any of the garden centers, if they even carry it. The big boxes tend to carry it only in the pet food department (ie rabbit food) - small bags between $3.50 and $5 a pop.
Another thing, in the event someone has some reservations, I've personally never known wildlife to eat the broadcast pellets before they disintegrate and become one with the landscape. So alfalfa doesn't appear to be any kind of draw - even the big brown bunny I see in the spring and fall leaves them alone. Maybe someone else has a different story - but have never read anything to the contrary on the composting or organic forums.
I don't use fertilizers - well, Miracle-Gro every once in a while when I remember, so I don't have any comparisons. My insticts tell me alfalfa pellets are cheaper than commercial fertilizers.
I buy the third cutting alfalfa. Very hard to get Farmer like it for livestock. But mix it in with veggy and flower beds.Sure makes the soil nice.I have n't making tea with it. Do make compost tea. We get the big bales. One fills back of pickup.
Thanks, I'll be shopping for it at the mill next time I'm there and give it a try this year.
here's a dumb question folks..
I don't know what a "feed store" is. I live in NJ.. I guess I don't really have much of that around me? anyone know the name of a place i could try this? roses are the only thing i fertilize commercially and i'd really rather not use chemical fertilizers.. this sounds great
Here in Iowa Feed store is where people buy live-stock feed. I also get my bird seed there. Can get it there lot cheaper -like sunflower seeds for birds. $1450 for #50 sack.
Just Google feed and grain stores in New Jersey - the top entry claims to have an a to z city listing. Bet your phone book has a list too.
Some of our here have all kinds of interesting things - whole range of gardening products, seeds, bulbs, bare root rose bushes, any kind of animal food, hay bales, the nice chip bushel baskets you can never seem to find anywhere else...
friend, where in Jersey are you? I'm in central and there are several places around me that sell Alfalfa. It's really cheap and THE BEST stuff around. As some have said, once you use it and see its effects, you'll never buy expensive fertilizer again.
Go to Yahoo Yellow Pages, put in your zip code and look for "Lifestock". If nothing comes up, call one of your local farms, and ask them where you can buy Alfalfa. :)
Alfalfa tea will make you GAG. It is horrible to smell. But things seem to love it, so grab a clothespin for your nose. You will have flies materialize out of nowhere also. : -)
"Alfalfa tea will make you GAG. It is horrible to smell"
And that's putting it mildly. lol! Steven, you should have made some of it when you had those "pig people" living across from you. ; )
Duluth, come to So.Cal. and I'll introduce you to our native rabbits that love those pellets, plus just about anything else they can sink their teeth into. grrr
Thanks everyone- i will google it.. jersey Wendy- i'm up north a bit.. Morris County. My sis lives in Central- down by lincroft/monmouth county..
I will try to searc the way you say. we have farms aroudn so there shoudl be something!!! thanks guys
The pellets will really heat up a compost pile if you can't find enough UCG or grass clippings.
Can it be used as a foliage spray as well?
todances, maybe others have a different opinion but I wouldn't use it as a foliar spray simply because of the residue. I also think of it more for the soil anyway.
BTW I think the tea smells gross, but I wasn't blown away like a lot of people. It seems some people have putrid smelling tea, and others not so bad.
I used the alfalfa pellets this year for the first time. I did not make the stinky tea but just put the pellets around my roses along with epsom salts. They must have liked it cause they are just showing out now. I plan to put some around the iris today. This is some good fertilizer!!!!
I mix compost, manure and alfalfa pellets, let it steam a bit, then spread all over the garden. My larkspur are six feet tall this year.