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alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Posted by Ibanez540r none (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 22, 12 at 17:12

After much reading over the past year, I've decided to go organic this year. I plan on spreading alfalfa pellets at 10-20lbs per 1000sq.ft.

My question is when everyone refers to alfalfa pellets, are you referring to Horse or Rabbit, or does it not make a difference?

I've called a few places and the best I've found is $14 for 50lb bag. The brand is "alfa green" which I believe is for horses. The guy on the phone read the bag and said it doesn't seem like any additives. From the alfa green web site the pellet size is about 1/4" tubes by about 1" long.

I'd imagine rabbit pellets are smaller, but are they more expensive? Will the above size work?

I'm hoping to get them broadcast spread through my scotts spreader.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

The pelleted rabbit food we purchased, many years ago, would not flow through the drop spreader we had, they might flow through the broadcast spreader. The Alfalfa pellets we purchased for the horse were even larger. Since the pelleted rabbit food is meant to be a complete food, not just alfalfa, it has additives in it.
Read the labels before you purchase any.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Go for the rabbit... it will spread in the broadcast spreader... plus the horse food i have seen is in large cubes.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

I ended up getting the horse pellets as they are pure alfalfa and I've gotten mixed reviews online about rabbit pellets and the additional additives that come in them.

Luckily, they ended up going through my scotts standard broadcast spreader at the largest setting. I had to pass over the yard several times to get down the amount I needed down, but I know it's even. Went a little lighter than I wanted at 100 lbs on about 6000sq.ft. which should be somewhere between the lower end of 10-20 lbs/1000. It was getting hot and running out of time before work.

We'll see how she goes..


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Where else online are you reading about alfalfa pellets for the lawn? Everything I read is about rabbit or chinchilla pellets.

The horse pellets I've seen are bigger than my thumb. They also have molasses (a good thing). Due to the size they won't go through any spreader.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

I believe this is the product they are referring to.

http://www.alfagreensupreme.com/

I have used this product as well. The pellets are like 1/4" at most. I spread/applied them by hand.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

"Where else online are you reading about alfalfa pellets for the lawn? Everything I read is about rabbit or chinchilla pellets."

- Just a ton of googling various terms. Everything refers to them just as "alfalfa pellets" for the most part, but all the rabbit food I was looking at was some alfalfa with a tons of other stuff. When I started looking into the other ingredients, there were mixed reviews on whether they were good for the lawn or not. So, i just assumed when people say alfalfa pellets, they meant pure alfalfa and that's what I found in the horse pellets.

Yes the above site is the product I purchased. Dehydrated alfalfa. They were not 1" long, some as small as 1/4" to 1/2" in length. $14 for 50lbs. Went through the spreader, got rain last night and they are completely broke down.

Now wait to see results.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

I get my 50# bag of alfalfa (100%) pellets at Tractor Supply for about $14: http://www.tractorsupply.com/producer-s-pride-reg-alfalfa-pellets-50-lb--5050165

The pellets went through my spreader, but I found it was easier just to toss by hand (I have about 1000 sf. lawn)


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Looks to be the same stuff except that is 14% protein and the alfagreen is 17% :-P

My local TSC and the feed store I got the alfalgreen from are almost the exact same distance. So I'll stick with the higher protein stuff.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

I'm new to organic fertilizing but I'm curious about the alfafla. Will this make the lawn green up as fast and nice as a chemical/scotts product? Or is it hit or miss when it comes to this stuff? Also how many times would you use fertize with alfalfa? every other month, once a month, etc? Thanks


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

I'm no expert and this in my first year going organic, but I have read my fair share. ... it will not green up as fast, but will be much longer lasting. The scotts stuff instantly goes to the plant, gets used up, and is gone. The organic on the other hand takes some time to break down and be processed before its available to the plant. However, it's establishing microorganisms that are bettering your soil and will be continually enhancing the quality of the grass. I've heard the first application takes abut 4 weeks to see results.

The other nice part is that you cant overdue it or burn the grass. Some sources say just to apply in the spring and again in the fall. Others go as frequently as every month.

..the other benefit is you can be spreading "fertilizer" with your kids or dogs following behind trying to eat it. Try that with some scotts.

Go to the Organic Lawn Care FAQ page for more in depth info.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Organic fertilizing with alfalfa is not hit or miss. It is a home run every time as long as you use enough. Enough is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Better is 30 pounds. Best might be 40 pounds. Too much is 80 pounds because at that point you are pouring a layer of alfalfa on the grass and smothering it.

Here is a picture of a zoysia lawn taken last June and posted here at GW by mrmumbles. He fertilized with alfalfa in May. Note the improved density, color, and growth.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

What types of grasses does this work best on? Or if most grasses is the answer, are there certain types that don't respond to the pellets?

Very interested in trying this on my KBG front lawn and our drought tolerant back lawn that is coming in.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

It will work wonders on your KBG. Just now seeing the results from my first application on my KBG/Perennial Rye lawn. Definitely thickening things up.

..the only grass I have heard organic doesn't not work well on is one of the warm season grasses (maybe Bermuda?)and its not that it doesn't work, it's more that it requires so much it's not worth it.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

^^ I have hybrid Bermuda cut @ .75. When I start the season off with the first feeding of alfalfa pellets followed by a steady dose of Soybean meal the grass grows thick and maintains the dark appearance. Organics do work for warm season grasses and its certainly worth it :)


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

My lawn is a thin layer (3"max) of top soil over clay. It is over 45 years old and was Chem Lawned for 10 years before I took over it's care.
I use powdered alfalfa meal in a drop spreader and haven't ever used pellets. This is the best fertilizer I have ever used. I applied green sand (only once every 8 years), then a thin topping of composted horse manure and finally the alfalfa meal . Best time for the gs and compost is late fall so that it penetrates into the ground over the winter. I apply the alfalfa meal in the spring heavy enough that I can see it on the grass as a thin dust, just as the spring rains start. I don't apply it any more during the season, however, it could be applied more often.
What I have observed is that at the end of the season I have lots of worms in the soil, my lawn keeps getting better and it starts better each spring. I've done this 3 years running and I doubt I will go back to chemicals.
I think I paid $14 for a 50# bag of meal at a farm & feed store which I use to cover my lawn and garden. Green Sand was $18 for 40#'s. Composted horse crap was free as I have a farmer friend. Overall it is cheaper than Scott's Turf builder and seems to work better.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

My lawn is a thin layer (3"max) of top soil over clay. It is over 45 years old and was Chem Lawned for 10 years before I took over it's care.
I use powdered alfalfa meal in a drop spreader and haven't ever used pellets. This is the best fertilizer I have ever used. I applied green sand (only once every 8 years), then a thin topping of composted horse manure and finally the alfalfa meal . Best time for the gs and compost is late fall so that it penetrates into the ground over the winter. I apply the alfalfa meal in the spring heavy enough that I can see it on the grass as a thin dust, just as the spring rains start. I don't apply it any more during the season, however, it could be applied more often.
What I have observed is that at the end of the season I have lots of worms in the soil, my lawn keeps getting better and it starts better each spring. I've done this 3 years running and I doubt I will go back to chemicals.
I think I paid $14 for a 50# bag of meal at a farm & feed store which I use to cover my lawn and garden. Green Sand was $18 for 40#'s. Composted horse crap was free as I have a farmer friend. Overall it is cheaper than Scott's Turf builder and seems to work better.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

My lawn is a thin layer (3"max) of top soil over clay. It is over 45 years old and was Chem Lawned for 10 years before I took over it's care.
I use powdered alfalfa meal in a drop spreader and haven't ever used pellets. This is the best fertilizer I have ever used. I applied green sand (only once every 8 years), then a thin topping of composted horse manure and finally the alfalfa meal . Best time for the gs and compost is late fall so that it penetrates into the ground over the winter. I apply the alfalfa meal in the spring heavy enough that I can see it on the grass as a thin dust, just as the spring rains start. I don't apply it any more during the season, however, it could be applied more often.
What I have observed is that at the end of the season I have lots of worms in the soil, my lawn keeps getting better and it starts better each spring. I've done this 3 years running and I doubt I will go back to chemicals.
I think I paid $14 for a 50# bag of meal at a farm & feed store which I use to cover my lawn and garden. Green Sand was $18 for 40#'s. Composted horse crap was free as I have a farmer friend. Overall it is cheaper than Scott's Turf builder and seems to work better.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

The pellets or alfalfa meal sounds great. I'm about to put down KBG/rye mix sod in a few days. The yard was covered in concrete for nearly 50 years so I'm having it rototilled and amended with compost to counteract the clay soils around here. Would people suggest using these alfalfa pellets or meal to amend the soil before laying sod? I love the idea of starting organic since we are putting the lawn in for my one year old to play on. It would be nice to not have him crawling through fields of Monsanto and roundup!


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

There is a reason why the manufacturers of synthetic fertilizers tell you that they need to be applied 4, or more, times a year. Most of what you pay for in those products gets washed out of the soil and pollutes the ground water and will eventually come back to you as that water is recycled.


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

All of this information is such great advice!

I just bought a house that has bermuda grass and was wanting to fertilize it organically because my dog is very sensitive to chemicals but didn't know which product to use.

I plan on using the alfalfa pellets and I can get those at a farm store near by for $18 for a 50lb bag. But I noticed that another member, redvq 7 also uses soybean meal to accomplish a great look. How many lbs/1000 sq ft should I be applying the alfalfa and soybean meal? Is there a specific time of day that is best for me to spread the fertilizer?

Also, this might sound silly, but I have my lawned trimmed once a week. Is it OK if my gardener continues to trim my lawn after the initial application of the alfalfa pellets or should I stave him off for a few weeks?

Thank you for all of your help!


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RE: alfalfa pellets - quick response please

Alfalfa should go down at about 20lbs per 1000sq.ft. Although with organic you can vary greatly. You could go as high as 30-40 pounds per 1000. It just adds more to the soil. No negative effects. If 10lbs per 1000 is all you can afford, etc. that works too.

No need to stop mowing. The pellets will swell up after they get wet, then crumble and break apart. Sometimes mowing will actualy speed up the process.


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