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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Aug 8, 2016 3:14 PM CST
Notice that a lot people talk about using alfalfa pellets in their garden, always looking for new and improved methods for my plants. Hosta wise do you just scratch them into the soil, do you make a slurry mixture...what works best. Currently I use 10-10-10 in the spring and milorganite intemittently through out the summer, sometimes nothing...my results seem to be about the same. Thanks
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Aug 8, 2016 4:51 PM CST
I just sprinkle alfalfa pellets around in my gardens in spring before growth starts, also in the shrubbery beds. I don't work it in at all rain will make it fall apart and it soaks into the soil. Really makes a big difference in plant growth in my gardens.
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Aug 8, 2016 4:56 PM CST
daylilydreams said:I just sprinkle alfalfa pellets around in my gardens in spring before growth starts, also in the shrubbery beds. I don't work it in at all rain will make it fall apart and it soaks into the soil. Really makes a big difference in plant growth in my gardens.


Thanks for the info, do you use it other times of the year?

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 8, 2016 8:08 PM CST
I amend the soil with alfalfa pellets whenever I plant anything, even in pots. A cupful or so for a small plant, and more for a bigger plant. At least once per summer I make alfalfa porridge by putting about a quart of pellets into a watering can with 2gal. of water and let it sit in the sun for a few hours, then mix and water it onto anything that needs a boost for the rest of the season. We have a really long season here, so a slow-release nutrient rich amendment is perfect for boosting late summer growth.

I'll top dress with a cup or two any time I see any peaky looking foliage as well. I also broadcast the pellets under my fruit trees after the fruit is harvested again for another shot of slow-release nitrogen for healthy new growth.

Can't say enough about the great growth my plants show with this nice, natural amendment.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
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crawgarden
Aug 8, 2016 8:24 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:I amend the soil with alfalfa pellets whenever I plant anything, even in pots. A cupful or so for a small plant, and more for a bigger plant. At least once per summer I make alfalfa porridge by putting about a quart of pellets into a watering can with 2gal. of water and let it sit in the sun for a few hours, then mix and water it onto anything that needs a boost for the rest of the season. We have a really long season here, so a slow-release nutrient rich amendment is perfect for boosting late summer growth.


Thanks!

Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Aug 8, 2016 9:33 PM CST
I usually do mine once a year seems like there is never enough time to do more than one application.
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: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 8, 2016 11:36 PM CST
Where do you buy pure alfalfa pellets? Rabbit foo on stores have "biscuits" added to it. I got tired of picking them out!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Aug 9, 2016 12:56 AM CST

Plants Admin

I buy 50-pound bags at the local feed store. It's the alfalfa for horses. The rabbit food has salt in it, which you don't want in your garden.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Aug 9, 2016 11:51 AM CST
Thank You!
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
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Barbalee
Aug 9, 2016 12:35 PM CST
zuzu said:I buy 50-pound bags at the local feed store. It's the alfalfa for horses. The rabbit food has salt in it, which you don't want in your garden.


I do that, too. Whenever I'm planting a new plant, I toss a handful in the hole. I also top dressed twice this year so far. I'll do it again come fall.
Name: J.R. Baca
Pueblo West Co. ( High Dessert (Zone 6a)
josebaca
Aug 24, 2016 3:56 PM CST
I use it as a nitrogen supply for my compost. If you use alfalfa bales be aware that seeds are present, both alfalfa and weeds.
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 24, 2016 5:02 PM CST
I have been using alfalfa meal for a long time because it contains a growth hormone. To get the meal I ask my feed store to special order the bigger bag. Right now that is double the price of horse pellets. I have debated which route to go. I have success with the meal and it does not attract rodents or wild life. I slightly dampen it so it is not a flyaway and stir it into manure or compost. Besides the wild life issue, the reason I will stick with meal is because it is not processed. I think the growth hormone would be better closer to the natural younger state of alfalfa. Usually the premium young prebloom alfalfa hay is what is turned into meal. It is the most nutritious. Older alfalfa hay becomes the pellets, and it's nutritional value is way different. I could not find a scientific study that proves the the growth hormone Triacontanol is unchanged in the pellets. If anyone has any info on nutrition and pellets, I would like to read and learn! Many blessings for a joy and happiness in your life!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 24, 2016 5:27 PM CST
Sharon, according to this EPA article the alfalfa is chopped, dehydrated in a gas-fired drum, made into a meal that is then extruded as pellets. It then says if the alfalfa is to be shipped as meal, the pellets are ground into meal in a hammermill. So it seems both go through the same basic processing.

https://www3.epa.gov/ttnchie1/ap42/ch09/final/c9s09-4.pdf
Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 24, 2016 6:04 PM CST
Thank you Sue! My understanding was that the chopped is younger better quality alfalfa with a different nutritional value. Younger exercised horses do better with early alfalfa hay or just the chopped. Older less exercised horses are okay with pellets. I will go back to the feed store and inquire with this new info. Probably will ask more direct questions.
Twice the price for the same quality of alfalfa Sighing! Maybe that is why they want twice the price, it was pellets once? D'Oh!
Again Thank You! for all the help you give! You are a very valuable resource! May many blessings come your way!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 24, 2016 6:38 PM CST
I always had to special order the meal when I fed it to my animals and yes, it did cost more. The other available option locally was alfalfa cubes which were too big for foals and lambs. This is going back many years though. I'd have thought alfalfa for pellets is generally cut young unless the weather is awful because there is hopefully more than one cut per season to be squeezed in. If your product has a manufacturer label on it maybe you could give them a call.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
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RickCorey
Aug 24, 2016 6:51 PM CST
Altheabyanothername said: ...
Twice the price for the same quality of alfalfa Sighing! ...


I've learned to avoid the shelves in "feed stores" or "coops". I think they make all their profit from that.

I was looking for crushed granite grit once, and found a one-quart or half-gallon bag on a shelf. It was a very pretty bag, with bright colors and pictures and maybe a re-sealable lip. It weighed somewhere around 5-10 pounds and cost around $7-8. It had glowing descriptions of the quality of that granite grit (??) It didn't have dancing girls, but that was the only marketeering hog-wash that it lacked.

Something made me ask the clerk.

Instead of the pretty-pretty-rip-off-bag, I got the 50 pound bag "from the warehouse" for $10.50.

The "consumer packaging" made it cost almost 5-10 times as much!
Or, you could say the warehouse gave you an 80% to 90% discount.

The consumer culture knows no bounds of decency or reasonableness. When Star Trek invented the Ferengi, they were SUPPOSED to be an exaggerated caricature of greed, conscience-less heartlessness, and crassness.

I think instead that business schools saw those episodes and got ideas they had not previously thought of.
Now the only difference between a Ferengi and the typical CEO is the big ears.






Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Aug 24, 2016 8:27 PM CST
Sue, I will check. A long time ago I remember asking about if anything could sprout, he told me not to worry. So when I saw your article it made sense. It was processed. But it really was not disclosed to me that this was once pellets, and that we had a discussion about. I will nicely try to find out if there is a more natural product with out going to the actual hay. Maybe because of sprouting he ordered this. But if it is all the same, I will switch to pellets. I just hate the thought of the odor of letting the pellets, milorganite, and water sit in a closed container. I have to make the alfalfa undesirable to the voles and rodents, before I use it. I just lost a wonderful rose to voles. The moles and voles have been terrible but I will not poison them. Though I hear those new worms work. We have beautiful owls and vultures here. Many blessings to you and your garden for bountiful successes!

Rick -- I may have had the opposite problem. The shelf was cheaper, but they could sell a custom order. We live and learn.
Many blessings to you and your garden for bountiful successes!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 26, 2016 12:27 PM CST
>> The shelf was cheaper,

Wow! That is a learning experience!
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Shy_gardener
Aug 26, 2016 2:44 PM CST
I've even been putting a half a hand full of pellets in my large container plants outside.
It takes a while for them to completely break down, and nothing's burned yet..

Wish I would have known about how great Alfalfa pellets were a long time ago...

I've been using Tractor Supply's

Standlee Premium Western Forage Premium Alfalfa Pellets, 40 lb. Bag

They are always on sale, and 100% Alfalfa....
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[Last edited by Shy_gardner - Sep 7, 2016 9:30 AM (+)]
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Name: Sharon Rose
Grapevine, TX (Zone 8a)
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Altheabyanothername
Sep 6, 2016 10:14 PM CST
@sooby It took me a little bit, but I went to a different feed store. They were having a sale on 100% alfalfa pellets. I bought 2 bags. I took one bag and I layered it with milorganite. I made the top and bottom and a few in-between layers of milorganite. Poured some water over the top and sealed it up. 95 degree days here. Have twice poured more milorganite over the top and added some water. Alfalfa pellets are swolen and falling apart. Hope the odor of milorganite absorbs in and keeps rodents away.

While I was at the feed store I saw alfalfa meal that was ground from pellets. That type of ground alfalfa meal is not what I had purchased. My meal was just ground alfalfa hay, so I did get what I paid for. But now their product has gone to being just ground pellets. The info you provided helped me make the decision to purchase the less expensive pellets because there is not a difference now!

Thank you so much for your info Sue, it helps to be an informed consumer! May you have a safe and wonderful September!

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