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Alfafa fertiliser

pinkskyinthecitypinkskyinthecity Nottinghamshire, England Posts: 95
I saw online from a regenerative flower farmer in the US using alfafa as a fertiliser. They soak the alfafa pellets (bought from pet food stores) soak them for 24hrs, this will then turn to mush and you mix it with homemade compost. This is then use as a feed for your plants. They say alfafa is very high in nutrients. 

Does anyone use this at all? 

Posts

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,908
    I’m trying it this year. I didn’t soak the pellets, I just put them straight on the beds, in March. @Nollie had used them for roses and I am trying in his recomm. Seems ok so far but hard to try to compare results to other fert methods. I’ll experiment and contrast In coming years. 
  • pinkskyinthecitypinkskyinthecity Nottinghamshire, England Posts: 95
    I may try it out too. I don't have enough compost for my needs so I thought this could be a good way to make more. 

  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 744
    Is this like rabbit food pellets? I got rid of one bag when my fussy rabbit turned her nose up at it. I figured it would be all veggie based so would be ok in the compost. I did soak it though and it turned to mush. I was afraid it would have grass seed weeds in it but seeing as weeds get in everywhere regardless I guess it doesn’t matter. I didn’t think it could be put straight into the border. I also worried that rodents might be attracted to the food so it got mushed and then well mixed into the compost heap.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,908
    I probably should have read the instructions 😆
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 744
    I didn’t read instructions either @Fire 🤔, maybe I should have added the mush to almost ready compost rather than the heap if there’s goodness there
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 13,908
    I suspect the pellets will break down over time - perhaps more slow release if you don’t soak them. 
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,571
    Just to say it needs to be 100% alfalfa with no additives, especially sugar which is often added to rabbit alfalfa. Alfalfa pellets for horses is much cheaper, comes in big sacks and shouldn’t have any additives, but check the ingredients carefully in whatever form it comes. I didn’t find any weed seeds germinating from it.

    I fermented alfalfa hay into a liquid tea the first year in a black dustbin in sun, stirring occasionally. When it was ready I added fish emulsion, magnesium and iron to make a more rounded feed. The leftover strained hay was a good mulch for around trees and shrubs.

    This year I managed to get pellets (easier to handle) and just spread them around the roses as an early season boost, especially of nitrogen. I will make the tea from the pellets for the next feed in summer and apply in between rose flushes. The pellets spread directly broke up pretty fast with rain/watering.

    The fermentation process theoretically releases a growth hormone which is meant to be alflafa’s wonder ingredient. NPK can vary but is roughly 3-1-2. It does have some mineral content, mainly calcium, but some of the other nutrients in traditional feeds or micro nutrients in seaweed may be lacking.
  • pinkskyinthecitypinkskyinthecity Nottinghamshire, England Posts: 95
    Nollie said:
    Just to say it needs to be 100% alfalfa with no additives, especially sugar which is often added to rabbit alfalfa. Alfalfa pellets for horses is much cheaper, comes in big sacks and shouldn’t have any additives, but check the ingredients carefully in whatever form it comes. I didn’t find any weed seeds germinating from it.

    I fermented alfalfa hay into a liquid tea the first year in a black dustbin in sun, stirring occasionally. When it was ready I added fish emulsion, magnesium and iron to make a more rounded feed. The leftover strained hay was a good mulch for around trees and shrubs.

    This year I managed to get pellets (easier to handle) and just spread them around the roses as an early season boost, especially of nitrogen. I will make the tea from the pellets for the next feed in summer and apply in between rose flushes. The pellets spread directly broke up pretty fast with rain/watering.

    The fermentation process theoretically releases a growth hormone which is meant to be alflafa’s wonder ingredient. NPK can vary but is roughly 3-1-2. It does have some mineral content, mainly calcium, but some of the other nutrients in traditional feeds or micro nutrients in seaweed may be lacking.
    Thanks for the tip about getting 100% alfalfa. 
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