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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old June 17, 2016   #1
cjp1953
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Default ALFALFA PELLETS

I have just about used up my #50 bag of cotton seed meal.I also use gardentone for my tomato and peppers.I was thinking of changing and using alfalfa pellets and garden tone next season.I think the cost would be about the same.Anyone out there use alfalfa meal or pellets?This year I have only tomato plants that I grew from seed and they are really looking great.I just put down a 6" mulch of straw in the garden.I'm going notill this year.I also had a winter crop of hairy vetch and farmers rye that I mowed down and planted into.Looks like a great start so far.I wanted to add something different to the soil.The earthworms really love it.I also put some gypsum in last year to help the clay soil.Don't think I'll add anymore as this seems to be working.
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Old June 17, 2016   #2
zeuspaul
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I tried alfalfa pellets but I had too much trouble with critters.
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Old June 17, 2016   #3
Barbee
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I used the pellets this year for my watermelons. I tilled them in
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Old June 17, 2016   #4
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Last year I dug in some generic alfalfa mix livestock feed pellets just before planting my tomatoes in the garden. Figured the sweet feed part would help feed the soil. Didn't realize til after the fact that they had whole oats as part of the formula. I had messy oats sprouting all over my tomato patch that summer. I was going to use up the rest in the fall, so they could sprout and winter kill, but I forgot.
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Old June 17, 2016   #5
Starlight
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I tried alfalfa pellets. I got from the feed store one that was pure alfalfa though. I do recommend tilling it in though. I just scattered mine all over the top of the ground right before we was supposed to have a good soaking rain. Not one of my better ideas.

I freaked when I saw the pellet mushy mess that was everywhere. I had a mess in the yard for days and days til the pellets all broke down good and got absorbed. Rabbits came and enjoyed the pellets though.

If you go no till, maybe make a tea from the pellets and water the ground good with it.
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Old June 17, 2016   #6
cjp1953
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I tried alfalfa pellets. I got from the feed store one that was pure alfalfa though. I do recommend tilling it in though. I just scattered mine all over the top of the ground right before we was supposed to have a good soaking rain. Not one of my better ideas.

I freaked when I saw the pellet mushy mess that was everywhere. I had a mess in the yard for days and days til the pellets all broke down good and got absorbed. Rabbits came and enjoyed the pellets though.

If you go no till, maybe make a tea from the pellets and water the ground good with it.
I was reading up on that.While I don't have a tiller I do turn the ground over with a garden fork when I put the cotton seed meal out.I was going to do the same with the pellets.I'm going to see about the alfalfa meal,I just thought the pellets would be dust free.
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Old June 17, 2016   #7
Keiththibodeaux
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I have used Alfalfa pellets, just spread on top of the ground with great results on many plants. Got to be careful tilling them in and that decomposition does not overheat the soil.
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Old November 5, 2016   #8
Gardeneer
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I am amending my sandy garden soil for 2017.
Have added fall leaves, pine straw and wood ash.
Thinking about adding one or both of cotton seed meal and alfalfa pallets.
I have about 500 sq-ft to amend. I wonder how much stuff cost at the feed store (yet to be located ) ?. And how much of the is needed to be affected , say per sqr-ft basis ?
Thanks much.
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Old November 6, 2016   #9
greenthumbomaha
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I saw your post in the Sandy Soil thread as well. Have you considered growing cover crops to improve your soil. Easy and cheap for adding organic matter.

- Lisa
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Old November 6, 2016   #10
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Originally Posted by greenthumbomaha View Post
I saw your post in the Sandy Soil thread as well. Have you considered growing cover crops to improve your soil. Easy and cheap for adding organic matter.

- Lisa
Hi GT.
Yes, I have been thinking about planting rye and let it over winter. I have to find seeds for it.
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Old November 6, 2016   #11
cjp1953
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Hi GT.
Yes, I have been thinking about planting rye and let it over winter. I have to find seeds for it.
I plant cereal rye and hairy vetch as a winter crop and mow it down in the spring.Last year I did that and then planted tomato plants right into it.Just dug each hole and put the dirt in a 5 gal. bucket and made sure the soil was very loose.Put cottonseed meal in the bottom of the hole and planted the tomato plants deep.You should be able to find the rye seed at your local feed store.It will stay green though the winter months and start growing when the temps get onto the 40's in the spring.Check with your local feed store and find out what's best for your region.
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Old November 6, 2016   #12
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I work alfalfa pellets into our raised beds each fall, scattering them heavily on top of the existing soil and tilling (or turning with a shovel) them in. They break down some before winter sets in and almost completely by plant out in spring. The worms seem to like the amendment because they’re multiplying rapidly, and that’s a big plus for me so I’ll continue using them. One thing I learned the first year was that the deer LOVE those pellets, hence the immediate tilling/turning. I’ve thought about also adding beet pulp, but worry about attracting ants and other critters so will stick with the alfalfa.
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Old November 6, 2016   #13
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You can buy alfalfa meal as meal/powder in 50 lb. bags, and is usually cheaper than the alfalfa meal pellets (pelletizing adds to the cost).

It is actually one of the components in Epsom's line of organic "-Tone" fertilizers.
Deer won't be able to eat the meal powder and it breaks down and works in faster than the pellets.

Cottonseed meal is another amendment that is cheap when bought at a feed store in 50 lb. bags (don't buy the stuff labeled for garden or lawn use, it's way more pricey.)

Worth wrote a whole diatribe about cottonseed meal and its marketing some time ago.
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Old November 6, 2016   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TC_Manhattan View Post
You can buy alfalfa meal as meal/powder in 50 lb. bags, and is usually cheaper than the alfalfa meal pellets (pelletizing adds to the cost).

It is actually one of the components in Epsom's line of organic "-Tone" fertilizers.
Deer won't be able to eat the meal powder and it breaks down and works in faster than the pellets.

Cottonseed meal is another amendment that is cheap when bought at a feed store in 50 lb. bags (don't buy the stuff labeled for garden or lawn use, it's way more pricey.)

Worth wrote a whole diatribe about cottonseed meal and its marketing some time ago.
Always looking out for my friends and the best price available.
I never will forget the look on that girls face at the feed store when she compared prices.
1 pound garden cotton seed meal $10.00 50 pounds cow food $10.00.
dont even get me started on pickling lime garden lime VS builders lime AKA Calcium Hydroxide, the same stuff you make hominy with.
Hydrated lime 50 pounds 8.91.
Garden lime 5 pound 8.95.
Pickling lime 1 pound 4.68.

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Old November 6, 2016   #15
TC_Manhattan
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My feed co-op sells powdered dolomite lime for $5.00/50 lbs. bagged.
Same thing in pelleted form is $6.00/50 lbs. bagged.

I'm not familiar with anyone who uses hydrated lime in gardening or farming.

I had 24 Tons of dolomite lime delivered and spread on my hay fields this spring for something under $800. total. It was well worth it. My fields greened up amazingly, and that was with a very hot and dry (for us) summer.

I think the garden lime Espoma sells (in the little 4 or 8 lb. bags) is dolomite lime also.
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