Daylilies forum: Alfalfa Pellets

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Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jul 30, 2014 3:31 PM CST
I have been reading the forums on using alfalfa pellets for Daylilies as a fertilizer. I really would like to try this but can find no mention of how many to use for each plant. I would like to know how much to use for new or established plants, and what time of year to do it. How many times a year can you do this, and is it ok to do it now (July). The tea that is mentioned would not be an option for me, so I would be using the dry pellets.
Thanks for any help as I am anxious to get started.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Jul 30, 2014 4:17 PM CST
@cookies4kids I try and put them down 3-4 times a year. When I initially plant a daylily I add it to the hole and mix around; I put a big handful in there. Then I top dress with it as well. There has been some already added to the beds and tilled in if the bed has been emptied. After that I put it down in between the rows of daylilies. Just don't put it right up next to the fans.

So new plants a handful or two
Established plants I use about 20 lbs for a 30' bed but then I use a lot.

Really you can put it down as often as you feel it is needed. Once it is gone and you can no longer see it then you can put down more. This will vary depending on how much you water, how much it rains, or how fast the worms eat it up. Once I put it down I water it really good so the pellets break down faster.

Opinions will vary on this about putting it down in July but I have and do and have never had a problem doing so.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 30, 2014 8:45 PM CST
Michele, do you use any additional fertilizer along with, or in between application of the alfalfa?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Jul 30, 2014 9:10 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Michele, do you use any additional fertilizer along with, or in between application of the alfalfa?


Here's an article I wrote in 2012 about fertilizing and it tells what I use in the beds
http://garden.org/ideas/view/tink3472/1002/Amending-Soil-and...
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Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jul 31, 2014 6:07 AM CST
I am finding your articles so interesting, Michele. I am thinking that maybe I haven't been using enough Milorganite when I do use it. I am an avid baker, so I need to know how much in terms of cups, lol. If I am planting a new fan or top dressing a larger, well established clump, how much Milorganite should I be using. I am off to buy alfalfa pellets this morning, so do I use those in addition to the Milorganite or alternate their use. We have what I call black sand for soil, so nothing stays very long. Your remark about watering, and watering some more is so true as I learned this year. A grower some place said that if you could choose only one thing, water or fertilizer, you should take water!!!! I thought I was watering enough, but with our wettest ever spring, I have the best flowers I have had yet.
Thanks again for your help.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Jul 31, 2014 6:16 AM CST
Welcome Cookie. Welcome!
Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jul 31, 2014 6:25 AM CST
Thanks, Gleni. I look forward to chatting with all of you and learning!!!.
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Jul 31, 2014 6:34 AM CST
Welcome! Cookies!!!
Lighthouse Gardens
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Jul 31, 2014 6:58 AM CST
Cookies4kids said:I am finding your articles so interesting, Michele. I am thinking that maybe I haven't been using enough Milorganite when I do use it. I am an avid baker, so I need to know how much in terms of cups, lol. If I am planting a new fan or top dressing a larger, well established clump, how much Milorganite should I be using. I am off to buy alfalfa pellets this morning, so do I use those in addition to the Milorganite or alternate their use. We have what I call black sand for soil, so nothing stays very long. Your remark about watering, and watering some more is so true as I learned this year. A grower some place said that if you could choose only one thing, water or fertilizer, you should take water!!!! I thought I was watering enough, but with our wettest ever spring, I have the best flowers I have had yet.
Thanks again for your help.


Here's the conversion chart on the Milorganite site for flowers http://milorganite.com/Gardening/Flowers/Flower-Application-... it tells you in pounds and then at the bottom of chart it says how many cups equal a pound.

Yes you can use then together; I use everything together whether in the hole, tilling in the bed, or top dressing.

We water every day with sprinklers and leave them on for about 30 min per section even if it rains unless it is a long hard rain. We use the misting type sprinkler heads
Thumb of 2014-07-31/tink3472/edf978

Not a good photo (taken with phone) but you can see the height of the sprinklers in this photo but it doesn't show a good depiction of the misting. The misters will spray up to 15' depending on how much water pressure there is and how many sprinklers are on the line.

Thumb of 2014-07-31/tink3472/90eca4

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Name: Karen
Minnesota (Zone 4a)
Region: Minnesota Garden Art Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Cookies4kids
Jul 31, 2014 7:24 AM CST
Thanks for the greeting Hemlady. Thanks for the answer again, Michele. I think I am all set!!
Happiness is doing for those who cannot do for themselves.
Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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chalyse
Jul 31, 2014 9:20 AM CST
Last night I bumped into a helpful FAQ on the American Hemerocallis Society website after searching for info on "daylily summer dormancy." What I was looking for was included in a section on "What diseases affect daylilies?" and just below the nod to summer dormancy there was an entry for rust which mentioned avoiding excessive nitrogen and inadequate potassium nutrition. I don't know what level would be considered "excessive" (??), and I'm sure the nitrogen/alfalfa mentioned here must not even be in the same realm as what is meant, but the juxtaposition caught my eye and may make others wonder, too?

So, now I'm curious about what the possible link might be between rust and high nitrogen or low potassium, because I was also planning to use some nitrogen sources like alfalfa or chicken manure. Having had some fertilizers "burn" plants after use, I try to be careful about possible impacts, and if the "excessive" use of mild fertilizer mixtures can do that to my plants, I wondered if other sources of nitrogen might also?

I suppose it is possible the information has been superseded, since rust is also referred to as a "new" disease, so it may have been written almost 15 years ago. Does anyone know, though, where that association may have come from? Hate to bother @sooby again but hoping she might be able to clarify for us?

The section appears about 3/4 of the way down the page here:
http://www.daylilies.org/AHSfaq2.html
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[Last edited by chalyse - Jul 31, 2014 9:37 AM (+)]
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Name: John
Marion County, Florida (Zone 9a)
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farawayfarmer
Jul 31, 2014 9:55 AM CST
tink3472 said:

Here's the conversion chart on the Milorganite site for flowers http://milorganite.com/Gardening/Flowers/Flower-Application-... it tells you in pounds and then at the bottom of chart it says how many cups equal a pound.

Yes you can use then together; I use everything together whether in the hole, tilling in the bed, or top dressing.

We water every day with sprinklers and leave them on for about 30 min per section even if it rains unless it is a long hard rain. We use the misting type sprinkler heads
Thumb of 2014-07-31/tink3472/edf978

Not a good photo (taken with phone) but you can see the height of the sprinklers in this photo but it doesn't show a good depiction of the misting. The misters will spray up to 15' depending on how much water pressure there is and how many sprinklers are on the line.

Thumb of 2014-07-31/tink3472/90eca4



Do you lose more water to evaporation with misting than with impulse sprinklers? That is, if such a thing can be calculated.
John
Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Jul 31, 2014 10:49 AM CST

John raises a good point in this era of shrinking water sources everywhere.

72% of overhead irrigation water is lost to evaporation. Misting would likely loose even more.
Plus this is putting lots of water on plants for fungus to grow.

For my own purposes, I'm doing a water set up using flex hose with holes put where needed, but will not spray on plants.
Also lots of mulching and adding of organic material.

Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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tink3472
Jul 31, 2014 12:09 PM CST
farawayfarmer said:

Do you lose more water to evaporation with misting than with impulse sprinklers? That is, if such a thing can be calculated.


I wouldn't know how to calculate it but Fred (spunky1 ) used the bigger impulse sprinklers and he would have to water for a hour versus 20 minutes with the misting sprayers. It doesn't spray a fine mist that would evaporate or blow away with a mild wind sort of like what gets sprayed on produce at the grocery store, it's stronger than that. It is a more uniform spray versus a impulse sprayer.
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Hockeyrabbit
Jul 31, 2014 12:15 PM CST
Hi-

I was wondering if someone can take a picture of the alfalfa pellets they are using. Are store carries two kinds. An actual pellet (looks like a woodstove), and then small squares which are like tiny bales of hay. Just wondering what kind you use?

I'm also thinking about spreading milorganite in the fall. I live in a zone 5 climate. What are others doing in the fall to prep garden for winter?
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jul 31, 2014 12:25 PM CST
Xenacrockett said:
John raises a good point in this era of shrinking water sources everywhere.

72% of overhead irrigation water is lost to evaporation. Misting would likely loose even more.
Plus this is putting lots of water on plants for fungus to grow.

For my own purposes, I'm doing a water set up using flex hose with holes put where needed, but will not spray on plants.
Also lots of mulching and adding of organic material.



I know we don't lose 72% of the water to evaporation with our sprinklers, there is just no way. We would have to water each area for hours to get everything saturated if this was the case. I've tried other ways to water and they don't work as well. I've done it by hand (would take me 2 full days to actually get it water properly) and I've tried drip hoses (don't last one full season), I've made drip lines from PVC but since we use pine bark for our snoring medium it does not saturate the area but goes right through the bark where the holes are). Plus 50% of our plants are in pots and overhead watering is the only way to get them watered good.
During non-bloom season we water early in the morning so nothing stays wet very long for it to cause issues. Even watering early evening they don't. The plants stay wetter for longer from the natural moisture here than when we water.

[url=www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com]www.pensacoladaylilyclub.com[/url]
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jul 31, 2014 12:28 PM CST
Hockeyrabbit said:Hi-

I was wondering if someone can take a picture of the alfalfa pellets they are using. Are store carries two kinds. An actual pellet (looks like a woodstove), and then small squares which are like tiny bales of hay. Just wondering what kind you use?

I'm also thinking about spreading milorganite in the fall. I live in a zone 5 climate. What are others doing in the fall to prep garden for winter?


Here's a photo of what I use
Thumb of 2014-07-31/tink3472/9c2e60

Sometimes they are smaller or bigger depending on the brand
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jul 31, 2014 1:06 PM CST
ok well I may be mistaken, but I have never used these pellets for my dl, but they look to me like what the bulk feed store sells as ... rabbit feed?
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
Birds Butterflies Container Gardener Hummingbirder Garden Ideas: Level 2 Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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tink3472
Jul 31, 2014 1:50 PM CST
This is alfalfa pellets that is sold as horse feed. It is nothing but dried alfalfa in it. The rabbit feed usually has things added to it like salt.
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Name: Pat
Near McIntosh, Florida (Zone 9a)
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Xenacrockett
Jul 31, 2014 2:37 PM CST
tink3472 said:

I know we don't lose 72% of the water to evaporation with our sprinklers, there is just no way. We would have to water each area for hours to get everything saturated if this was the case. I've tried other ways to water and they don't work as well. I've done it by hand (would take me 2 full days to actually get it water properly) and I've tried drip hoses (don't last one full season), I've made drip lines from PVC but since we use pine bark for our snoring medium it does not saturate the area but goes right through the bark where the holes are). Plus 50% of our plants are in pots and overhead watering is the only way to get them watered good.
During non-bloom season we water early in the morning so nothing stays wet very long for it to cause issues. Even watering early evening they don't. The plants stay wetter for longer from the natural moisture here than when we water.



Perhaps your situation is different. I have sat through several Water Management District meetings and this 72% irrigation water loss number was given by knowledgeable speakers. This was in objection to a request by a Florida landowner to withdraw initially 13.5 million gallons of water per day to irrigate grass for his cattle. Perhaps it was for this irrigation type:

Thumb of 2014-07-31/Xenacrockett/6fb5a7

A fast Google search did say this about homeowner sprinklers:

"Sprinklers waste 30 to 50 percent of water through evaporation and other factors. Water from sprinklers evaporates before it reaches the ground and from the soil surface...

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/type-irrigation-loses-water-eva...

Hand Watering
Losing little water to evaporation, hand watering is more efficient than automatic irrigation with timers. Households that water with watering cans and garden hoses use 33 percent less water outdoors than homes with automatic sprinklers or drip irrigation systems."

I have been hand watering, but know this can't continue as I get more plants.
Fortunately, I have good soil that doesn't dry out quite as fast as some.

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