How many pounds of Alfalfa Pellets for Leaves

foodeefish(z8SC)January 13, 2014

I have a pile of shredded leaves that is 5 feet high, 5 feet wide and 6 feet deep. I obviously need to add Greens to them and get them wet so the Pile can start heating up.

I have 2 chioices of Greens this time of the Year.

1) Go to Tractor Supply and buy Alfalfa Pellets but I need to know how many pounds to add to this huge mound of leaves. I have used these in the past and they really work good, but a 50# bag cost $16.00

2) I can pull weeds from the bottom of our lake but it will be a bit of work and I believe the Alfalfa Pellets would wok better and faster.

Your Opinions Please.


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My tendency is to do whatever is the cheapest. But sometimes that means a lot of work.

Twelve years ago it was much easier to get older produce from grocery stores. I stuffed my hatchback with dumpster fruit and veggies. Then after several years, grocery stores closed off that method of securing greens, and my only source was one chinese seafood store. I could get ten huge bags of older bok choy, or other stuff in my subcompact.

But cutting all that up was a lot of work.

I also had access to lake weeds, our family had a medium size lake for a few years. I did wonder how much crop pesticides from the neighbors fields would affect the weeds. Seaweed seems to be a wonderful compost ingredient, maybe the best possible?

Fresh cut grass is your best bet if you can wait until spring. I have two large bins full of fall leaves waiting for spring grass to be mixed in with the leaves.

But making compost just for composts sake may be a big mistake. My main gardening interest is growing tomatoes, with other stuff like spinach, peppers being secondary.

I have noticed that tomato production the first five years was way better than the last five years. Over the years I added compost in-ground and as mulch, to my clay-ish soil. So I am thinking that articles like Mother Earth News are correct about some pesticide products that can harm plants up to four years later.

I only use my grass and that of neighbors that do not have companies spray stuff on their lawn. Found out that one neighbor was bring home from work a spray because the weed killer he got at the retail store 'wasn't strong enough'. This was after I used his leaves for two years.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2014 at 3:49PM
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The Carbon to Nitrogen ratio of Alfalfa meal (most likely the same for pellets) is 15:1 as compared to cattle manure that ranges from 10 to 30 to 1, so probably enough of the pellets to cover about 6 inches of those leaves with about an inch, maybe two, should be the equivalent of 2 inches of manure.
Proven over many years is a ratio of high carbon material to a high nitrogen of 3 to 1, ie. 6 inches of, say, leaves, to 2 inches of your nitrogen source.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 7:39AM
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So how would the pellets be used? How much water would have to be added to them? I desperately need to heat up my struggling compost pile

    Bookmark   January 14, 2014 at 10:32PM
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