UsageAlfalfa is a protein feed for livestock and offers the same benefit to organisms in the soil. It contains approximately 17 percent crude protein, which translates into 2.75 percent nitrogen. Alfalfa meal also contains fiber and other substrates that make it a diverse food resource for soil organisms.As a compost pre-activation ingredient, we suggest adding 4 cups per 5 gallon pail of compost. The pail should have numerous 1/2 inch holes drilled into the sides and the bottom to aid in sufficient aeration and gas exchange. Keeping the pail partially covered will help preserve moisture but also allow additional air circulation. Pre-activation times can vary based upon compost moisture and temperature, however you should see the growth of fungal mycelium within 7 - 10 days under the right conditions.
Application RatesAs a compost tea ingredient, we suggest adding 3-5 ounces per 50 gallon batch at the beginning of the brew cycle. This substrate must be added into the extraction chamber of the compost tea brewer. If you do not, you risk clogging application equipment and nozzles. We suspect that as a compost tea additive, Alfalfa meal acts predominantly as a bacterial food resource.For direct soil applications, rates are typically 10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Our experience has been especially positive when using Alfalfa meal in turf grass management as well as vegetable production.
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