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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  cyclonegardener 11/15/2013, 12:56 pm

Anyone ever used alfala meal/pellets on their gardens?
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 11/15/2013, 1:22 pm

Yes, I buy Alfalfa meal from Concentrates, Inc. in Portland, OR :  http://concentratesnw.com/our-store-and-products/ .  Usually, I mix it with bone meal, blood meal, guano and kelp meals and use the mix as side dressings on veggies after they've been growing about 2 months.  I also use it around garlic about the end of March and again the first week in June.   The mix also finds its way into the home-made compost to refresh Mel's mix for another growing season, being as how the generous Oregon rain has a tendency to leach nutrients from the soil.  Must work as I have some kale plants that are over 3 feet tall.  Nonna
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Post  dsfin 11/15/2013, 10:55 pm

@Nonna

Thanks for the link to Concentrates NW.

What are the percentages of the different parts of your fertilizer mix?

Is this your standard organic mix you use for everything?  Or do you vary the mix sometimes for certain crops?

Thanks  ---Dave
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino 11/18/2013, 12:34 pm

Dave, Sorry for the late response (I was on the North Washington coast where cell reception is nonexistent).  The combination of meals is roughly thirds: 1/3 bone/blood meal mixed, 1/3 mixed guano/kelp meal, and 1/3 alfalfa meal.  Will probably cut back on alfalfa meal in this spring's mix because of more leaf compost being produced this winter (fingers crossed).  I do know garlic benefits from the bone and/or fish bone meal used for a Spring side dressing.   Nonna
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Post  boffer 11/18/2013, 5:01 pm

cyclonegardener wrote:Anyone ever used alfala meal/pellets on their gardens?
A forum member (sorry, I forget who) said that she's been using alfalfa pellets as mulch. It helps keep down weeds, retains moisture, helps stabilize soil temperature, and as she waters, the pellets begin to break down over time and gradually add nitrogen.

It's on my list of experiments to try out.
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Post  sceleste54 11/18/2013, 10:09 pm

I bought a huge bag of alfalfa pellet horse feed and have been using it to layer in my compost.  I smells wonderful and breaks down pretty quickly. Will find out if it improved my compost in the spring...Smile
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Post  llama momma 11/19/2013, 6:46 am

When I was pricing activators to make hot compost in a hurry - Soybean Meal was Very inexpensive and powerful stuff. I would use it again if I needed a cornell hot heap style of composting.
 
Last year it was only $5.00 for 10 pounds. Keep in mind it is not a substitute for greens, but it will cook things rather hot and fast so there needs to be a lot of 'fuel' for it to cook, say in a 12 cubic ft. heap.  I used this information straight from the book, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide.  Other activators such as cottonseed meal, dry dog food, rabbit feed, are also very good choices but will cost more than twice as much as soybean meal --  from my experience.
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Post  OhioGardener 12/3/2022, 5:27 pm

While picking the Swiss Chard in the greenhouse today, I was contemplating maybe adding some nitrogen sources to the soil, and thought about making a batch of Alfalfa Meal Tea to water the plants with in about a week.  This led me to do a search of the forum for Alfalfa Meal to see if there had been a discussion on it. Found this old thread, and thought it might be worth bringing it to life again.  I have a local source for Organic Alfalfa Meal for $17.50 for 50#, and find it a very useful additive for firing up compost as well as making the tea to water plants.  Our rose bushes especially love the Alfalfa Mea.

Others use Alfalfa Meal?

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Post  yolos 12/4/2022, 11:12 am

For the first time, I made some Alfalfa Tea a couple weeks ago. I used alfalfa pellets that I sometimes use in the winter to give my compost pile an additional bunch of nitrogen.  I have no idea how it worked or if I made it correctly.  But things were just not growing as fast as I wanted so I thought I would give it a try on my broccoli and peas.  The bed was too crowded and the peas too entangled to use compost so I thought a tea would be ideal.
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Post  OhioGardener 12/4/2022, 12:03 pm

yolos wrote:For the first time, I made some Alfalfa Tea a couple weeks ago. I used alfalfa pellets that I sometimes use in the winter to give my compost pile an additional bunch of nitrogen.  I have no idea how it worked or if I made it correctly.  But things were just not growing as fast as I wanted so I thought I would give it a try on my broccoli and peas.  The bed was too crowded and the peas too entangled to use compost so I thought a tea would be ideal.

Let us know what, if any, changes you see after applying it.  When I make it I use one cup of Alfalfa Meal in a 5-gallon bucket of water, and let it set for about 3 days. (Note: One site recommended using 4 cups of pellets to equal 1 cup of meal, but I have no experience using pellets.)  I try to stir it once a day, but not sure that is required. In addition to the nutrients and minerals in the Alfalfa, the tea is very high in microbial life which is infused into the soil. I find this very useful for jump starting new compost mixtures used in Mel's Mix beds.

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Post  sanderson 12/6/2022, 2:40 pm

Just a question. Why not liquid kelp or a pinch of blood meal for a nitrogen boost?

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Post  OhioGardener 12/6/2022, 3:11 pm

sanderson wrote:Just a question.  Why not liquid kelp or a pinch of blood meal for a nitrogen boost?

Several reasons for me:

1. Don't have any Kelp Liquid or Meal on hand
2. Alfalfa Meal is slow release, while Blood Meal is quick release
3. Cost difference (50# of Alfalfa Meal for $15.70; 50# of Blood Meal for $69.00)
4. Plants can be burned with overdose of Blood Meal, but can't happen with Alfalfa Meal.

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