Since we started offering organic feeds to our friends and neighbors, the use of organic alfalfa pellets as a soil amendment and fertilizer has been a frequently asked question. Alfalfa pellets are most often sold as a feed for horses and goats, but many master gardeners have sought us out solely for their gardening needs. In the last 3 years I’ve met some awesome organic growers in Arizona and I’ve asked a lot of questions. Below is what I’ve learned about using alfalfa pellets in your garden:
Most know that alfalfa is a rich source of nitrogen, but alfalfa also offers many other nutrients including: phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, boron, iron and zinc.
Alfalfa is an awesome compost booster, because it decomposes rapidly it creates heat which helps other organic matter break down quicker. Your compost will also have a higher nitrogen content when using alfalfa, so you end up with more nutrient-dense veggies and fruits in your garden.
Alfalfa acts like a sponge, which has two benefits; it helps reduce soil compaction and it helps retain moisture and promotes drought resistance.
Alfalfa is also a growth stimulator. Want more blooms? Sprinkle alfalfa pellets on your roses. As alfalfa breaks down, it creates a fatty alcohol called triacontanol, which is an incredible plant-growth stimulant.
Alfalfa has been proven to reduce the infestation of root-knot nematode on tomato plants and cyst nematode on carrots and increase the yields for both tomatoes and carrots.
Alfalfa pellets are easy to use just sprinkle by hand over you soil and around your plants. Pellets offer a slow release of nutrients over time, perfect for flowers, veggies and others plants, especially roses.
How to use Alfalfa pellets in your garden
Broadcast pellets by hand or with your fertilizer spreader at 25-50 lbs per 1,000 square feet before planting or apply directly around the base of your plants later in the season for plants that require additional nitrogen.