Top Questions About Alfalfa

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Questions About Alfalfa

Asked by
Anonymous on
May 17, 2011

Q. How Do I Grow Alfalfa At Home

How do I grow Alfalfa at home?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 18, 2011
Certified Expert
A.

Growing alfalfa in your garden is easy. You can purchase the seeds from garden centers or feed stores. There is no need to start them in flats. Simply sprinkle the seeds in the prepared area where you want them to grow and cover lightly with soil or peat moss. Water well. This can be done in early spring or fall. Within a week to ten days, you should see new alfalfa plants popping up. Here's an article that will help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/alfalfa/growing-alfalfa.htm

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Asked by
Lareyn on
September 14, 2014

Q. Advantage over planting alfalfa over timothy for baling resale

We have a 3 acre lot and we sell hay. We want to replant with either timothy or alfalfa. Any advantage to growing one over the other?

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
September 15, 2014
A.

Since this is a gardening forum, you would be able to find better information from an agricultural or farming source. However, as I grew up on a horse farm, and my dad grew lots of hay, I'll share my personal experience. Part of your decision of what to plant is based on your market, what kind of animal the hay is meant for, and what kind of hay people want to buy. Agricultural studies are not in total agreement as to the best hay for horses. I learned that 100% alfalfa was not good because it could cause digestive problems, and we always used a mix of timothy and alfalfa. Hope this is of some help to you, but I really recommend you do some research on the farming and university sites.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
December 22, 2014

Q. Alfalfa

I’m growing alfalfa for my couple of cows. I was wondering how long I should wait to put them in the field with it or do I have to wait a few years before it’s okay for them to eat it. When I say put them on it, I mean in the field with it growing.

Answered by
Nikki on
December 23, 2014
Certified Expert
A.

You should not turn them out into an alfalfa field, as they tend to overeat it that way and will bloat up and can die from it. They will at the least get severe diarrhea. The alfalfa will start to form little purple blooms and is ready to cut. Let it dry in the cut rows for a few days then have it baled or rake up and stack into a mounded stack. Then it can be fed to your cows with less problems and they will still get loads of nutritional benefit from it.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
January 1, 2015

Q. Alfalfa is a Cool-Season Perennial

How can you call this a cool season perennial when I see it growing in the Central Valley in full sun at over 100 degrees?

Answered by
theficuswrangler on
January 6, 2015
A.

The term cool season perennial doesn't refer to the climate required for growing, but the temperature required for germination. These plants need cool temperatures and short day length to induce sprouting. They are usually planted in the fall in milder climates, and in the spring in colder climates. Alfalfa is quite hardy while maturing, withstanding high temperatures and drought. While it's not a grass (it is a legume,) this article can explain a bit more about cool season and warm season: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/lgen/what-is-cool-grass.htm

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Asked by
jjmyu on
May 24, 2015
Herndon, VA

Q. plant Alfalfa

In your “Growing Alfalfa – How To Plant Alfalfa” article, I have a couple questions:

1. Which regions is called by “cooler area” in USA?
2. And which kind of soil is best to plant Alfalfa?

Answered by
Nikki on
May 25, 2015
Certified Expert
A.

Alfalfa plants adapt fairly easy to most climate and soil conditions but to answer your questions:

1. Cool-season simply means the plants typically grow better in cooler conditions during spring and fall, such as the northernmost states in the U.S. That is not to say, however, that alfalfa cannot be grown in other areas like the South.

2. As for the soil, alfalfa prefers soil that is deep and well draining with a pH of around 6.5 to 6.8.

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Asked by
Anonymous on
June 7, 2016

Q. planting alfalfa seeds in garden

We are located in Zone 9. Can we plant anytime of the year?

Answered by
Downtoearthdigs on
June 7, 2016
Certified Expert
A.

Since Alfalfa is a cool cover crop you will want to plant in the fall in your region.

Here are a few links with more information.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/alfalfa/growing-alfalfa.htm

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Asked by
Anonymous on
October 5, 2017

Q. club root

What can I grow in club root infected soil? Can I plant alfalfa ? Could I have been infected by heirloom seeds?

Answered by
Downtoearthdigs on
October 5, 2017
Certified Expert
A.

Club root disease affects only plants in the Brassicaceae family (cruciferous vegetables), so you can safely plant anything from other plant families, including alfalfa.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/vgen/cruciferous-vegetables.htm

Avoid growing any Brassicaceae in the infested soil, because the organism that causes the disease is though to survive in the soil for years (some say 10 to 20 years!). Here is more information about this disease:
http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/Crucifers_Clubroot.htm

According to the linked article, legumes like Alfalfa and a few other plants can also carry the disease, but it doesn't damage those plants' health.

Seeds can spread clubroot only if they are dirty when they arrive, but the most common methods of spread are by wind and by transport of soil.

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