Alfalfa meal is an organic fertilizer produced from the alfalfa plant which is a member of the Fabaceae pea family referred to as Medicago sativa which was known to have originated in the Middle East and now grows throughout most parts of the world.
Alfalfa meal which is a constituent of hay, alongside clover and Bermuda grass also happens to be organic fertilizer. Alfalfa meal is mixed into the soil while tilling a garden or after tilling a garden and this meal helps in re-energizing its potential.
Due to the fact that growing can strip the dirt of essential carbohydrates, proteins, and minerals, alfalfa meal helps to replace levels of folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin A as well as the required combinations of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.
Certain factors determine the amount of alfalfa meal that should be added to the soil and one of these factors which is very important is the length of time the soil has been utilized for growing.
Also, the climate is another factor. Here, the climate may be arid or fertile and so, it should be considered. Generally, about half a cup of alfalfa meal should be used for each plant and as for an entire garden or field, about 2.4kg of alfalfa meal should be used for every 100 square feet.
Alfalfa is a plant material that provides a good NPK boost and lots of micronutrients. Alfalfa meal begins by drying out adult plants after which they are then ground into a fine powder.
It can also be fermented first before pressing into pellets or cubes. Alfalfa meal fertilizers possess multiple benefits in the garden. Many trace elements are present in this meal which make plants thrive. Also, vitamins such as vitamin A, B, and E are available in alfalfa meals,s and likewise magnesium and iron.
1) Should I grow my Alfalfa?
Yes, you should. Alfalfa is a good cover crop that grows fast and puts down extremely deep roots which act like natural tillers, breaking up clay soil and aerating it.
Growing a crop of alfalfa is quite easy. This can be done by broadcasting your seeds over the surface of the soil and covering them with a thin layer of soil. Ensure to water adequately.
Alfalfa crop growth can be slow at first but when it reaches 3 feet in height, they start putting up foliage. The adult plants should be cut down and fermented once they are at full size and have begun to flower.
Anaerobic fermentation is the mode of fermentation implemented here and during fermentation, the sugars are converted to acids such as lactic acid. Once Alfalfa is ground into meal, press into pellets or cubes as an easy-to-store feedstock.
Ensure to always store your alfalfa meal properly as they can be susceptible to rodents.
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2) Benefits of Alfalfa Meal for Plants
Alfalfa is known to contain triacontanol which is a naturally-occurring component that helps plants in promoting healthy root development. Not only that, but it also improves the yield in crops, aids in nutrient uptake, and helps in nitrogen fixation as well.
Alfalfa meal is a natural compost pile booster so, if you are having a cool or not too warm compost pile, add some handfuls of alfalfa meal to kick start the healing process.
Also, alfalfa meal is rich in micronutrients and a high amount of trace minerals are present in it which can benefit your garden.
Alfalfa meal also helps to hold moisture in the soil. Thus it can help to improve moisture retention.
Read also: How to Make Alfalfa Meal Step By Step
Alfalfa meal is absolutely a great fertilizer with very significant benefits and should be incorporated in your garden.