Daylilies forum: Alfalfa

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Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Lalambchop1
Jul 27, 2015 6:17 PM CST
I have questions for those of you who use alfalfa. I want to do all I can to help my DL grow well. I've used alfalfa in the planting holes but when do you top dress with it? Do you do it more than once a year?

Thanks! Thank You!
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 27, 2015 6:47 PM CST
The problem I have with Alfalfa...there seems to be no limit to how much you can use. That may sound strange, but I have yet to see any recommended rate of application. Every time I read an article they say put it in the hole, put in around the plant, top dress with it and broadcast it in your beds.
I read how Tink uses it also and that was the same conclusion I came to. So I have found that if I have a bag sitting around I tend to just use it till its gone.
I now look at it more as worm food and soil conditioner than fertilizer, I love the stuff, but it can delete your daylily buying budget pretty quickly if you're not careful.
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Lalambchop1
Jul 27, 2015 6:48 PM CST
Larry, I mulched my beds in early spring. Would it do any good to apply it on top of the mulch?
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

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onekindacowboy
Jul 27, 2015 6:50 PM CST
Seedfork said:, I love the stuff, but it can delete your daylily buying budget pretty quickly if you're not careful.


Not for me...I just have to clean out the barn but I do get a few weed seed that way!

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 6:51 PM CST
Leslie, when I plant daylilies, I put a handful in the hole, and top dress right then as well. I always top dress in the fall, and then again in the spring. My plants are healthy, and I've been told that you can't use too much. Twice a year makes it easy, and I really can't imagine doing it more often than that. But, you could if you wanted. I just haven't seen a need for doing it more often.
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 6:52 PM CST
Lalambchop1 said:Larry, I mulched my beds in early spring. Would it do any good to apply it on top of the mulch?


I put mine on top of the mulch, because it is way too much work to remove the mulch, and then put it back down! It just waters in without any problems.
Natalie
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 6:53 PM CST
I think I've cross posted with half of you! Hilarious!
Natalie
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jul 27, 2015 6:57 PM CST
My daylily beds are actually made from decomposed leaves and grass, and mulched with leaves and grass, and I throw the alfalfa right on top, use my rake or potato hoe to work it just under the surface. I do it as a precaution. I have opossums, Raccoons, armadillos, rabbits (very few) and deer, so I try to persuade myself I am not attracting them with the alfalfa. I have never seen any of the critters eat it, even when I sometimes did leave it on the surface. What they really like to do is dig up my daylilies to get at all the earth worms. I had to replant two yesterday morning, the earth worms love to cluster right in the center of the daylily roots and the critters have figured that out.
Just left on the surface it sometimes takes the pellets a while to degrade, put under the mulch where the worms can work it, it disappears pretty fast.
Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
Garden Photography Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Daylilies Lilies
Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover
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Joy
Jul 27, 2015 7:09 PM CST
Maybe worms are what the raccoons were after here. I thought it might be the alfalfa. I had potted up some plants to sell later. The following day, I went out and all the pots were dumped. Plants were thrown around here and there. Or at least that's what it looked like to me? I'm sure it was the raccoons. Saw their foot prints. Darn things.
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson
Name: Leslie
Chapin, SC (Zone 7b)
"As for me and my house, we will se
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Keeps Sheep Daylilies Irises Hostas Hybridizer
Cat Lover Hummingbirder Birds Region: South Carolina Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Lalambchop1
Jul 27, 2015 8:05 PM CST
Grrrr. Joy, they sound as destructive as my deer. I hate that! Folks who know me know that deer is a four letter word around here. I had to laugh, but not really, well almost not really, when someone hit one and it landed right in front of my mailbox like it was a delivery.

I've finally decided to redo the yard with deer "safe" plants and just keep the daylilies that I want to breed with. We're going to put an electric fence around those. It gets costly putting out milorganite every 2-3 weeks.

Thank you to everyone who posted. I'll use your suggestions.
Leslie

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
Garden Photography Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Daylilies Lilies
Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover
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Joy
Jul 27, 2015 8:37 PM CST
I'm sure I wouldn't be thinking kindly towards deer either if they were eating my plants Leslie. So far, I've been lucky. Hope it continues, I've seen the around.
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson
Name: Pat Strong
Stone Mountain (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Dragonflies Ponds Cut Flowers Dahlias Birds
Orchids Butterflies Garden Photography Houseplants Hummingbirder Daylilies
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Pat236
Jul 27, 2015 9:37 PM CST
I recently purchased alfalfa pellets from my local Tractor Supply store, and plan on using them in the fall. I plan to top dress my ground planted daylilies, and I will place some in the hole when I ground plant my new cultivars which are potted for now. For those of you who have used alfalfa pellets before, should I be concerned about burning. I read that you should not place the pellets near the crowns because of burning. I would hate to lose any of my dayliles...especially trying to do something to help them along. Any advice to this newbie would be appreciated.
Pat236
[Last edited by Pat236 - Jul 28, 2015 6:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 9:43 PM CST
Pat, just dig the hole a little deeper than you normally would, and cover the pellets with some dirt. I can't tell you how much dirt to put on the pellets, but I just toss some dirt over them. I top dress with the pellets around the daylilies afterwards, but I've also tossed them on the daylilies many times, and I've never lost one due to that. I've never had any burn, or any problems.
Natalie
Name: Pat Strong
Stone Mountain (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Dragonflies Ponds Cut Flowers Dahlias Birds
Orchids Butterflies Garden Photography Houseplants Hummingbirder Daylilies
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Pat236
Jul 27, 2015 9:54 PM CST
Thank you...that's what I needed to hear. I didn't want to over do it and lose my investment albeit small. The most I've paid for a daylily fan is about $35.00, but I'm addicted. During bloom season it's like Christmas everyday. I wake up early to see what has bloomed and what is about to bloom.
Pat236
[Last edited by Pat236 - Jul 27, 2015 9:57 PM (+)]
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Name: Joy Wooldridge
Kalama, Wa. (Zone 8b)
Sunset Zone 6, Heat zone 4,
Garden Photography Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Daylilies Lilies
Bulbs Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Seed Starter Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader Cat Lover
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Joy
Jul 27, 2015 10:26 PM CST
Pat, that's exactly how I've explained what growing Daylilies does for me. How we felt on Christmas morning as a kid explains it very well. And when you grow them from seed, it brings back the feelings you had when your children were born each time a new seedling blooms. Nothing like feeling these ways over and over again each season. Smiling
No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden. ~Hugh Johnson
Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 27, 2015 10:39 PM CST
Joy, thankfully there are no labor pains! Just wallet pains! Hilarious!

Pat, don't get too stressed out over the alfalfa pellets. They are pretty much harmless. I've actually forgotten to put dirt over them in the hole when planting, on more than one occasion, and the daylily had no problems at all. I've dumped a bunch of pellets right on top of a clump, too, because I wasn't paying attention, and there was zero burn. It really isn't going to hurt anything. But, I still like to put dirt over it in the hole, in case it does create some heat. Better to be safe than sorry, I guess. I feel really safe using it. If you want to do something else organic, try seaweed fertilizer. I use that also, but not as regularly as alfalfa pellets. Here is the one that I buy.
http://www.burpee.com/gardening-supplies/fertilizers/sea-mag...

I like it because it doesn't stink, and the plants seem to really love it. I'm never consistent with it, but it does work. Wait for it to go on sale this fall though! I think I got it for 1/2 price the last few years.
Natalie
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
Frogs and Toads Birds Roses Region: United States of America Peonies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Lilies Irises Hummingbirder Hostas Garden Art Echinacea
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daylilydreams
Jul 28, 2015 7:41 AM CST
I also use alfalfa not just on daylilies which they love, it also works well on shrubs seems like it gives plants a boost. I had a shrub that just didn't grow well so one day I had some extra pellets and sprinkled them around all the shrubs, that weakling shrub now looks great.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Pat Strong
Stone Mountain (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Dragonflies Ponds Cut Flowers Dahlias Birds
Orchids Butterflies Garden Photography Houseplants Hummingbirder Daylilies
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Pat236
Jul 28, 2015 7:53 AM CST
I've been reading information this forum trying to get a good routine for my new plants. If I receive them in the heat of the summer, I pot plant them until fall. I don't think I'll be ordering anymore during the heat of the Georgia summer. Next time I will order early spring or wait until the fall. When I ground plant them in the fall I use Miracle Grow potting soil and place alfalfa pellets and milorganite in the hole first. In the early spring I think I should fertilize again. I will continue to ask questions and try to learn from those with more experience than me.

Pat236
[Last edited by Pat236 - Dec 17, 2015 11:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
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Natalie
Jul 28, 2015 9:16 AM CST
Pat, why do you use potting soil when you are planting them in the ground? If you need to replace the soil, Miracle Grow makes a garden soil that you can use to mix in with your own soil, which makes more sense to me, but I'm no expert. Potting soil is for pots, which is why I'm confused.
Natalie
Name: Pat Strong
Stone Mountain (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Dragonflies Ponds Cut Flowers Dahlias Birds
Orchids Butterflies Garden Photography Houseplants Hummingbirder Daylilies
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Pat236
Jul 28, 2015 9:53 AM CST
I stand corrected....I amend my ground soil with the Miracle Gro garden soil. I don't completely replace the ground soil with the Miracle Gro. I pot plant the new fans until I can ground plant them. I use the Miracle Gro potting soil on these unitl I can ground plant them when the temp drop in my area.
Pat236
[Last edited by Pat236 - Jul 28, 2015 9:59 AM (+)]
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