Alfalfa pellets?

northspruce(z3a MB CDA)February 3, 2013

Anyone know where to buy large bags of alfalfa pellets for cheap? Are they from farm stores or what?

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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Check with UFA farm stores, alfalfa cubes,...are you making a fertilizer drink?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Pudge 2b

My first check would be at Peavey Mart. If they don't carry it (and I'm sure they do) then maybe they'll know who in your area carries it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:24PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

LOL we don't have either of those. I was hoping it wouldn't just be farm stores because the nearest one that I know of is 50 km in a direction I don't often go.

Yeah, I was hoping to use it for fertilizer.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:29PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I use alfalfa pellets all the time but the place I get them from is not carrying them anymore because the cubes are easier to store. :( Smaller bags. Of course the cubes will work just as good I guess.

Some of the large pet food places may carry them. Good luck. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

PS A small scale feed and farm supply store that just happens to be very close to me and they are not cheap anymore :(. UFA is only in Alberta.

Ginny

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:36PM
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nutsaboutflowers(2b/3a)

Are you near a small town?

I would imagine there'd be a chance that the local Co-op store may carry them or know where you could buy them.

I did see them last year at a nursery, but it was a small container and I'm sure fairly expensive.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 9:29AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

The closest small town that I know has an Ag Store is Teulon. I might have to make the trip. I can't imagine paying pet food prices for fertilizer, I used to have a bunny and alfalfa food was EXPENSIVE!

I found out our city has a Viterra. I might check there, although I think they only sell seed and chemicals.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:26PM
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marricgardens

I use the cubes because I can't find the pellets here. I find the cubes hard to use because they are really compressed and hard to break apart. We collect rainwater so I fill a bag with cubes, immerse it in a barrel of water and let it sit for a few days. I use it for watering my plants. Now I just have to figure out how to get them into my big potable water storage tank so they won't clog up the works. Marg

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 1:41PM
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beegood_gw

What does all this do for the plants? My parents used manure tea to water the garden but not grass products. Just asking.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 7:19PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

It's a good natural fertilizer that has a form of nitrogen with a high rate of uptake by the plants, as well as minerals and some phytochemicals that help root development. It also improves the soil structure.

In the past I have used steer, sheep and mushroom manure but it's fairly expensive and inconvenient. If I can't get alfalfa I might hit up my friend's mom for some horse manure from her stables.

Marg, where do you buy your alfalfa cubes?

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:17PM
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beegood_gw

Thanks Mite try it. Got several feed mills just down the road.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 10:53PM
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marricgardens

I buy the cubes at the Town and Country store, used to be the Co-op. I don't know if you have those out west, I'm in Ontario. I think any feed store should carry them. Marg

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:50AM
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beegood_gw

I have Master Feeds and Co-op as well as UFA

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:10AM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

Ingrid, G&E carries both pellets and cubes in 25 kg bags. Pellets are $15.00 no tax and cubes are $12.50 no tax. Always in stock. Guess I will have to drive across the river to get mine now since All Care isn't carrying the pellets anymore. :)

The irises love them and I just dig them right into the soil. :)

Ginny

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:16PM
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weeper_11(2b SK)

One thing I always wonder about using stuff like this: is this extra on top of other fertilizer, or do you fertilize with something else that doesn't have nitrogen, or how do you do it? How would you figure out when your plants have had enough or too much nitrogen?(other than not many flowers and excessively lush growth!)

I was top-dressing my garden with well rotted sheep manure, but it had so many weed seeds in it, I quit. That is one plus for horse manure, I think it has less nitrogen, but they are picky-er eaters, so there should be less weed seeds. Now I just fertilize a couple of times a year, mainly in spring. I do have a big compost pile in development though, lots of horse and cattle manure around here! And it can't be producing soon enough, our soil structure seriously needs organic matter...

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:00PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I had a brainwave - my parents used to buy alfalfa cat litter! It doesn't have to be feed grade, so I bet if I could find that still it would be cheap. :)

I remembered because we've had deer in our yard this winter and I was remembering how my folks would throw the alfalfa litter in the bush and deer would come and eat it, cat doots and all. :/

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 10:26PM
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sengyan

I use cubes. Pet store pellets contain other nutrients meant for animals and are more expensive.
Sengyan

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 11:16PM
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luckygal(3b)

Don't visit this forum very often so just saw this thread. I've used alfalfa pellets for years and the benefit of it besides as a source of nitrogen is that alfalfa plants are deep rooted so bring up lots of minerals which otherwise regular plants don't have access to and which may be lacking in many soils. I only use alfalfa and homemade compost to feed my perennials. Sometimes use a fertilizer for annuals but didn't last year and they did fine with just alfalfa tea.

There are 2 sources of alfalfa pellets in our backwoods area and one has the big bags for $10 and the other for $12. Any feed or Ag supply store should have either the pellets or alfalfa meal. I'd use the meal except they don't stock it here. The pellets are used for rabbit, sheep, and horse feed.

As someone else mentioned irises do very well with this product - many professional iris growers use it.

I used to make alfalfa tea which can go anaerobic and really smell bad. However I don't do that any more, just steep it enough to dissolve the pellets.

The pellets I get say they only contain alfalfa.

Should have mentioned that one of the really good things about alfalfa is that the earthworms really love it and since their castings are one of the best fertilizers I like to feed my worms well!

This post was edited by luckygal on Tue, Feb 12, 13 at 21:14

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:11PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you all,..some good information on this subject, that deep rooting with more minerals, luckygal mentioned does make sense.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 9:59PM
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matthiola(5a)

Just to add my 5 cents if I may. I used alfalfa pellets for a few years, now. I get them at feed store. They are plain alfalfa pellets with nothing added. I use them mainly for my roses as alfalfa tea.
The only problem I'm having with alfalfa pellets - they are getting more expensive every year.
For a more economical version I would highly suggest stinging nettles. Stinging nettles have the same nutritional value as alfalfa, if not better. You can brew them just like alfalfa for watering your plants.
And the best part - they are absolutely free.
Just put on your gloves on and wear something with long sleeves and go for it.
By the way dry stinging nettle leaves make delicious tea - not just for your plants, but for you.
I don't know about you guys, but I'll be looking for some nettles this spring.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 10:53AM
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luckygal(3b)

Matthiola, I agree that stinging nettle makes a very nutritious tea for plants. However IMO alfalfa pellets are very good value as a bag makes a lot of alfalfa tea. It's easy to use and even diluted a lot is a good fertilizer. I don't think I've ever used even 2 bags a year for my large garden and grass and am using less recently. I doubt I used even 1/2 a bag last year which would have cost $5. Pretty inexpensive fertilizer. IMO many of us fertilize more than necessary and I'm testing that out by using less and my plants so far are fine.

I used to have some stinging nettles on my property but they seem to have disappeared. Probably have some down near the swampy area but that's a long walk and the pellets are so much easier.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 1:35PM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

My garden is definitely not over fertilized. At my old house we had clay and I could get away with rarely fertilizing, but here the soil is very silty and light, and doesn't hold water or nutrients long. The importance of fertilizer is just dawning on me as I've noticed an immense difference when DH fertilizes the lawn once a year.

Even if alfalfa is a *bit* expensive I'm sure it's cheaper than chemical fertilizers... wow are they pricey nowadays!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:20PM
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bdgardener(3 AB)

If anyone is interested, I noticed on "nations" trade list, which is posted on the canadian garden exchange that they have 'stinging nettle seed"
The post is under Have medicinal herbs.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Stinging nettle and thistle used to be very invasive when I started the veggie garden. Some nettles I still pull out very year in the asparagus. Oh..how about top grow'th asparagus tea?

I killed allot with roundup at this place, not all because I knew that they have medicinal values, also food for some butterfly caterpillars.

Nettle tea was alway's on my mind, but now matthiola is saying that it's acctually good, I should go ahead and try,...thank you!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 11:38PM
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beegood_gw

Gee I'll have to try the tea. I got loads of stinging nettles all over my place.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:59AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

I have one nettle plant, but it won't spread because it's where the dogs run back & forth along the fence and it gets trampled constantly. I've left it there because the young leaves are really excellent to eat, but I haven't had the nerve to try it yet. Apparently they don't sting once they've been steamed or boiled.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 9:16AM
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intotheark

we are veganic growers, so we like alfalfa pellets
and use it in our comfrey fertilizer/foliar tea,
and as a soil amendment
the pellets will be a slower release compared to meal

we use 'western alfalfa milling co. ltd.' pellets from norquay, saskatchewan
they are organic, and if you have enough need/friends you can buy it in bulk from them directly
if not your local store might carry them,
or ask them if their is a supplier in your area

i get mine from all seasons hydroponics in edmonton,
and it is $10/bag (sorry i can't remember exact size, maybe 15 lbs or so)

Here is a link that might be useful: western alfalfa milling co. ltd.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:09PM
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donna_in_sask

I used alfalfa pellets in my vegetable garden last year. I bought a couple of 50 lb bags at my local feed store (Early's); it was around $12. It is good for improving the soil structure because it adds organic matter, and as far as I know, it doesn't do anything to acidify the soil (like peat moss).

About the stinging nettle tea: my husband had a hippie friend who served him some of this tea without telling him beforehand about the diuretic effects...

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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matthiola(5a)

Donna, almost all herbal teas have this effect. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It helps to flush toxins from the body. It also lowers high blood pressure. Stinging nettles are also high in iron. As for the alfalfa pellets, I live in Ottawa so if anybody knows a place that sells them for $10 or $12 nearby, I would be grateful for that information.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 12:27PM
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fiat84

UFA Prostock brand in northern Alberta sells 20KG bag for $12.99. Turns out these are the dehydrated Alfalfa Pellets made from freshly harvested alfalfa(dark green color), packaged for UFA by http://www.alfatec.ca/alfalfa-products.html , and have higher protein, more nutrients, grown locally compared to the Suncure Alfalfa Pellets made from baled alfalfa hay sourced further away.

Was told alfalfa, even if not organic, is never sprayed with any chemicals(not economical) after the first year unless for grasshoppers.

First time using alfalfa pellets last year in the garden soil and later as a liquid fertilizer noticeably improved our vegetable yields.

Here is a link that might be useful: UFA source for Alfalfa Pellets - dehydrated

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 1:22PM
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luckygal(3b)

Thanks for that link fiat84, gives me another local source I didn't know about so I can compare prices.

Also good to know alfalfa is not routinely sprayed with chemicals as I try to be as organic as possible.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 4:32PM
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