Alfalfa Pellets with Sodium Bentonite

skoot_catMarch 6, 2008

I looked at the ingredients on the bag of Alfalfa pellets I recently purchased and it contains Dehydrated Alfalfa and Sodium Bentonite.

Sodium bentonite is a natural sealant and is environmentally safe with no chemicals, no additives, and nothing toxic. Used for sealing stock and recreational ponds, dairy and sewage lagoons, and city landfills. Sodium bentonite swells 15-18 times its dry size when wetted by water. (see link below for further info

I have sandy Florida soil and I was planning on using these pellets on my lawn/landscape.

Are they okay to use? Would you use them?

Here is a link that might be useful: Sodium Bentonite

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Yes and yes. There isn't enough to really matter, and it's a natural clay anyway.

I have no idea why they add those to pellets. Deflocculant, maybe?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 11:09AM
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The link I posted says they use it as bonding agent for feeds.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 2:13PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

This was posted over on lawns, too. I would keep a sealing type of clay out of sand. Maybe this has something to do with the big sand/clay controversy.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 9:49PM
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Im worried about the sealing effect it has, thats why I posted here. I was planning on applying the alfalfa to my lawn @ 12lbs per 1000sqft.

Would a little amount of this stuff harm/impede water in my sandy soil? What do you guys think. I got 1 yes and 1 no.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 8:48AM
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Without knowing the precise percentage, my no is more of a probably not. I don't think I'd hesitate once (well, on my clay soil, not ever), but I wouldn't want to do it every time.

I'm figuring a max of 10% (probably very high), with 30 lbs/K ft going down (very high), so 3 lbs of clay particles per thousand square feet.

Or, in sandy soil, figure about 50,000 pounds for the top six inches per thousand square feet (probably close or a bit low), or a clay percentage shift of around 0.006%. Doing this 100 times would, ignoring everything that would move the particles well out of the top six inches, raise your clay percentage by 0.6%.

Clumps will, of course, yield higher percentages.

If that's an acceptable number, go for it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 9:33AM
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I have recently used bentonite without the alfalfa on very sany very alkaline soil. I used cat litter made of bentonite which is just a clay. Rate used was about 10gms per sq. metre which is not much. I applied it as a slurry using a watering can and it has helped to clump the sand a little and to hold more moisture. I have not measured yet its affect on the soil Ph. Its works in well with compost and generally I would regard it as beneficial. So far I can see nothing risky about it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 3:55AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

In retrospect, I don't see a problem with this. What was I thinking? The clay is probably the binder that makes pellets hold together.

Scoot cat if you're reading this, how's your lawn doing. I know it was gorgeous when you renovated. How has it held up and what advice would you give to other Floridians?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:10PM
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Hey Skoot Cat, this is really old... but I wanted to go get more SBM today and they were out. All they had good was Dehydrated Alfalfa w/ Sodium Bentonite. I'm curious if it was fine. Anyone else who know, please chime in, too.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Alfalfa w sodium bentonite is fine.
The bentonite is just a binder to make the pellets.
You throw them on the lawn, water when you can, and they break open immediately and disentagrate.
I used them twice this season on my grass, gave it gorgeous color.
I'm going to try the SBM early next week also because my dirt (can't even call it soil) is so poor in quality.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 9:51PM
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