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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 01-11-2009, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Alfalfa pellets

Any one use alfalfa pellets as fert? I saw it at this website:

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Old 01-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

Alfalfa meal and/or pellets have excellent proportions of nutrients for bananas and many other fruiting plants (citrus is one of several exceptions). The problem is that alfalfa meal/pellets are 2-0-3, so you will need (1 lb divided by 2% nitrogen) = 50 pounds per year per plant in the ground.
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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Originally Posted by Michael_Andrew View Post
Any one use alfalfa pellets as fert? I saw it at this website:

Sleeping with Bananas

I love this site. Check it out!
sleeping with bananas....sounds like what i did the first winter i had my nanas inside. i pulled the futon chair out the closet and slept there everynight for a week just to be near my nanas. kind of sad isnt it? thats a great site thank you for sharing it.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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Alfalfa meal and/or pellets have excellent proportions of nutrients for bananas and many other fruiting plants (citrus is one of several exceptions). The problem is that alfalfa meal/pellets are 2-0-3, so you will need (1 lb divided by 2% nitrogen) = 50 pounds per year per plant in the ground.
Alfalfa pellets aren't chemical fertilizers so this analysis would only work in a sterile environment that remained sterile for the life of the plant.
The purpose of using this type of thing in the garden would be to feed the soil organisms that, in turn, would feed the plant/s.
Try putting a cup of alfalfa pellets in a vat of water. After a week or so, the ammonia would be very obvious from it's smell. This would eventually be converted to nitrogen by other bacteria.
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Old 01-12-2009, 03:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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The purpose of using this type of thing in the garden would be to feed the soil organisms that, in turn, would feed the plant/s.
I mostly agree with that, although the soil organisms cannot provide the plants with elements that are not already in the soil media. But as food for the soil organisms and a compost starter, I believe alfalfa meal and pellets are an excellent choice.

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Originally Posted by Lagniappe View Post
Alfalfa pellets aren't chemical fertilizers so this analysis would only work in a sterile environment that remained sterile for the life of the plant.
Now this isn't true. The forms of nitrogen and potassium found in alfalfa meal/pellets are one of the three kinds present in many water-soluble fertilizers. Until more recent times when the demand (and price paid) for alfalfa became high, alfalfa was the fertilizer of choice as a side-dressing for row crops. Thousands of acres of carrots are still raised this way near Taft, CA.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

My point is that , though the nitrogen is 2% in the analysis, the end quantity would be much greater.

I almost added some pellets to my oranges. I'm glad I read your post. Will the [pellets] harm my citrus?
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:59 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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My point is that , though the nitrogen is 2% in the analysis, the end quantity would be much greater.
The end quantity will not be greater. There is no way for any organism to produce elements that are not already present in the soil. You are describing a magical process!

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I almost added some pellets to my oranges. I'm glad I read your post. Will the [pellets] harm my citrus?
At the time you replenish the mulch on your citrus -- or just about any plant that produces fruit or tubers, consider adding up to 1 pint (1/4 pound) per square foot before you put down the new mulch.

Keep in mind that citrus do not need or care for the high potassium levels used with bananas, pit fruits, and so on. So after applying 4 or 5 pounds of alfalfa meal or pellets, wait 3 weeks before continuing with a standard feeding program. For details, see: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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The end quantity will not be greater. There is no way for any organism to produce elements that are not already present in the soil. You are describing a magical process!



At the time you replenish the mulch on your citrus -- or just about any plant that produces fruit or tubers, consider adding up to 1 pint (1/4 pound) per square foot before you put down the new mulch.

Keep in mind that citrus do not need or care for the high potassium levels used with bananas, pit fruits, and so on. So after applying 4 or 5 pounds of alfalfa meal or pellets, wait 3 weeks before continuing with a standard feeding program. For details, see: PTP_2008_12_Fertilize_II
O.k., a friend just explained to me that the analysis would be derived from the end product of decomposition. Is this correct? I would certainly have thought that a product containing 15% protein would yield much more nitrogen than a puny 2% (over time).
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

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O.k., a friend just explained to me that the analysis would be derived from the end product of decomposition. Is this correct? I would certainly have thought that a product containing 15% protein would yield much more nitrogen than a puny 2% (over time).
The 2% includes the nitrogen-hydrides in the protein molecules.

Alfalfa meal (or more often, milled whole alfalfa) is viable for tuberous row crops and some fruiting row crops because small plants have a smaller capacity for nutrients. But as you are noticing, it is not viable or even tractable to meet the capacity of a single fruit tree with alfalfa meal alone.

The price paid for fresh alfalfa is currently at record highs -- as our companion Harveyc will point out. Why would anyone use it as a side dressing fertilizer? The answer is that within certain production limits, the profit made for growing a combination of alfalfa and certified organic carrots is greater than the profit from the same acreage combination of alfalfa and regular carrots. This production-optimization question is typically (and easily) solved on an annual basis by the Simplex method.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Alfalfa pellets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagniappe View Post
O.k., a friend just explained to me that the analysis would be derived from the end product of decomposition. Is this correct? I would certainly have thought that a product containing 15% protein would yield much more nitrogen than a puny 2% (over time).
Yes, a molecule of ammonia (NH3) weighs more than a nitrogen atom itself but there is no more nitrogen than there was before. Analysis of the elements stays the same.

The amount of nitrogen in there is the amount of nitrogen in there, whether is is immediately, quickly, or slowly available to a plant. Nitrogen is an element and you won't get more of it by letting it combine with something else. {Unless you have the use of a fusion reactor or the core of an old, late stage star.}

As for the nitrogen in the protein, in Big Round Numbers (tm), nitrogen is typically about 15-16% of the weight of protein. If alfalfa is 15% protein (I will take your word for it), 0.15 x 0.15 = 0.025 = 2.5% hmmmm that's the 2% N we were talking about. I doubt that you will find much nitrogen in alfalfa outside of the protein.

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