Soil Booster - Knowledgebase Question

Castlebush, BC
Question by sisfeld
July 1, 1998
I have been told that alfalfa pellets/meal is a good NATURAL source of nitrogen for the soil. I would appreciate your opinion on this.


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Answer from NGA
July 1, 1998

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Alfalfa meal is a good, natural source of nitrogen but it is very, very high in nitrogen. Along with Cottonseed meal, it is probably among the highest in nitrogen content. I like using longer-acting organic fertilizers such as a dried fish product that not only contains nitrogen, but also phosphorus; and greensand, which provides potassium as well. . Alfalfa meal and cottonseed meal also supply all three nutrients but, as I mention, are highest in nitrogen. Nitrogen, is the easiest of the three "Big Boy" nutrients; nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, for the plant to access, so, it's easier to overfertilize if you use a product high in nitrogen. Nitrogen also leaches quickly from the soil into the ground water below, so, if you are going to use something like alfalfa meal or pellets, apply them right before planting.

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