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Fertilizing and Watering

Subject:  Fertilizing question

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Glenoma Kins

Southwest WA

I found the best price on nitrogen to be ammonium sulfate from Walmart 21-0-0 $14 for 40 lbs. I don't have a farm store near me any more so I don't have many other options.

But one thing I do have is... Locally a 1,000 lb. large bale of alfalfa would cost just under $100. If alfalfa comes in at 2.5-.5-2 or something like that, thats not very high but its only 10 cents a pound. So this would be equivalent in cost to a fertilizer that was 25-5-20 and cost $1 per lb. But getting "really scientific" here, the alfalfa has other benefits like tricho whatevers and calcium... It's like kelp-of-the-redneck...??

It seems crazy to throw good dry alfalfa into the dirt but at ten cents a pound and with a good nutrient profile, is this a "sane" option??

I know the standard advice of use quality aged compost and get a soil test done...

1/23/2018 8:02:56 PM

Glenoma Kins

Southwest WA

Which would grow a bigger kin... 1,000 lbs of dry alfalfa or 2,500 lbs of manure? Because factoring in transportation these would be about the same in $.

1/23/2018 8:24:04 PM

andy W

Western NY

That's a good question. I use alfalfa meal (and corn meal) - any feed mills within driving distance?

1/23/2018 9:08:34 PM


Dillonvale, Ohio

The biggest issue I see with the alfalfa is, it's not straight alfalfa, there are weeds in there too. My plan, and I think you're better off, is to get the bale, lay it on it's side, cut any netting off and fill it with water.

1/23/2018 10:32:16 PM


Dillonvale, Ohio

Then cover the bale with plastic and let the sun heat the bale up and kill any seeds in it during the summer. Till the bale into the patch in the fall and get all the benefits in the spring.

1/23/2018 10:35:33 PM

Glenoma Kins

Southwest WA

Yes... Ideally I would let any material sit awhile and germinate any weeds. I agree about raw materials being risky for various reasons. I'm going to try to create a very healthy "compost". That's the goal.

I'm actually more worried about using manure because it's hard to know what the nutrients are going to be without testing it. I made a big mess of my truck getting chicken manure that.... It turns out had almost zero nutrients in it. It was a waste of time and money too because I offered the guy ten or fifteen bucks for a truckload. Should have known because the grass around the pile was ordinary looking, it was not emerald green and two feet high like it should have been (in March)... I learned the hard way to pay attention to if you are getting something good or not.

Thanks guys.

1/23/2018 11:02:33 PM


Anamosa, IA BPIowegian@aol.com

Watch any lawn fertilizer to make sure it doesn't have any herbicides in it. The problem with chemical forms of nitrogen is that they leach through the soil quickly. So if you use it and get a bunch of rain you could lose it. Organic sources stay in the soil better.

1/24/2018 10:17:03 AM

Glenoma Kins

Southwest WA

yeah sounds like the sulfer can wash extra positive cations like mg and ca out...i'll try to be careful with it.

i have had them do great on organics. . .soil at 20 % OM grew our pb so not afraid to go that route.

1/24/2018 3:50:09 PM

Total Posts: 8 Current Server Time: 8/21/2019 9:20:01 PM
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