kelp meal vs. alfalfa meal

west9491(6)May 4, 2009

i've read that alfalfa meal is about the best organic fert. for a lawn, and i've been using it for over a year now, seems to be working, i know that the tea i make definitely works, my soil is actually sustaining worm life, something i once thought would take years but took less than 1.

anyway, would alfalfa meal be better for a lawn than kelp meal? and would kelp meal be better for a veg. garden than alfalfa??

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I think a variety is probably best and no single material is best.

Where did you read that alfalfa is best for a lawn? I've been reading organic forums for years and have never read that.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:19AM
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swanz(z5NH)

A bit pricey to be using on a lawn IMHO.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 7:15AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

My lawn gets a heavy mulch of OPBL in the fall, last fall I had lots of free hay so that was mulched in also. I've put UCG's on the whole lawn a section at a time. I also apply the teas for the garden to the lawn.

I'm pretty sure that kelp has more of the micro nutrients needed by a garden, but like DC said a mixture is always going to be good. As long as you don't mix up TNT.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 7:46AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Given the prices I'd not use either one. When I did use them I saw no difference in the plants where they were used than where my own compost was used.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:10AM
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west9491(6)

I shoulda mentioned, dchall, i was referring to the 'meals' that i have read that alfalfa was best. what would you recommend fertilizing with? i have been shredding leaves into the lawn, my composting is pretty much tied up in taking care of my landscape plants and veg. garden currently.....

and alfalfa (based on using the recommended amount per sq. ft. is quite comparable to using commercial synthetic and organic lawn fertilizers: where a bag of alfalfa pellets runs me about 12 bucks for a 50 lb bag....kelp meal on the other hand, IS expensive, i've seen it on the net for about 35 to 40 bucks for a 50 lb bag, that price doesn't include shipping.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 12:31PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

If you're looking to fertilize turf in a conventional manner I think that soybean meal would be best. If you're recycling clippings and adding shredded leaves, the relatively high amount of nitrogen in SBOM would help to hasten the breakdown of the leaves and feed the organisms in your soil. Kelp is quite pricey and high in micronutrients. Your leaf applications should help in that regard. In my area conventional fertilizer prices have risen to the point that using SBOM is pretty cost-competitive with the synthetics with all of the organic benefits not enhanced by the synthetics.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 1:06PM
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west9491(6)

i am mulch mowing, and, i'm gonna try to mulch in some leaves about once a month.
the prob. w/ soybean oil meal is that i can't seem to find it around.....but i can get alfalfa right down the road, how much better is sbom??

yeah, i need the organics, my soil has very little organic matter in it, until i can redo the lawn and get some organic matter deeper down into the soil mechanically, i'll provide microbes w/ some materials to do it for me.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:10PM
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anubis_pa(z5 PA)

I'd never heard of SBOM so maybe it's not the same thing as soybean meal, but from what I understand soybean meal has approx twice the equiv N per pound as alfalfa, so less should be needed on a lawn.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:22PM
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coffeehaus(7a Central VA)

SBOM is soybean meal. It is the high-protein by-product following the removal of the soybean oil. It is roughly twice as high in nitrogen as alfalfa meal and it can be purchased at any farm feed store. My farm coop is Southern States but in your area it might be AGWAY or possibly a private concern.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 11:20AM
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