Organic Alfalfa / Lucerne (Medicago sativa)
- Alfalfa is a very deep rooting green manure with vigorous roots that can draw up sub-surface minerals and break up soil pans.
- Will overwinter once well established and will grow for a year or more.
- Alfalfa does better in dry conditions - avoid acid or wet soils, likes dry soil best.
- Attractive lavender flowers.
- It fixes nitrogen from the air in its root nodules and releases it once dug into the soil. It is a hardy annual that can be sown from April to July and can be grown for a few months or a year. If grown long term, Alfalfa should be cut down 2-3 times a year to encourage new growth, the cuttings can be composted or left on soil surface as a mulch.
- Alfalfa green manure will add a lot of organic matter to the soil but it should be dug in whilst plants are fresh and green as older woody growth does not decompose as readily valuable nitrogen is lost trying to break down the tough stems. It is part of the legume family and should be treated as such for crop rotation purposes.
- If grown long term Alfalfa should be cut down 2 to 3 times a year to encourage new growth, the cuttings can be composted or left on soil surface as a mulch.
- Sow in a fine seed bed in early summer about 1cm deep.
- Coverage - 20-25kg per hectare. 1kg will cover 500sq.mt