There are more and more people who are encouraged to have their own garden in the garden to plant vegetables, vegetables… If you are looking for how to plant alfalfa and you want a guide to help you answer the main questions that may assail you, you have come to the right place.
Next we are going to give you the keys so that you can plant alfalfa easily and have a good harvest. Go for it?
When and where to plant alfalfa
Alfalfa is a leguminous plant that is widespread throughout all countries with temperate climates, so you will not have any problem planting it in areas where the climate is temperate throughout the year.
Now, the best time to do it is in autumn, since during that time (autumn and winter) the plant germinates and grows to hit the growth spurt for spring.
That’s not to say you can’t plant them in cooler climates. You can, only instead of sowing alfalfa in the fall, you have to wait for spring.
In fact, it is a plant that does not tolerate cold at all, but neither does extreme heat. For this reason, you have to try to plant it and make it grow quickly before the sweltering heat arrives.
If we now focus on the place where you should plant it, you should know that alfalfa needs direct sunlight, so always choose a place where it has a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight. In addition, you have to watch the temperature, in such a way that it is always between 18 and 28 degrees.
Does it mean that if it is lower it is not going well? No, actually, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 2ºC you won’t have a problem because it will germinate, just that it will do so more slowly than if there are more degrees Celsius. In fact, there are some varieties that can tolerate down to -10ºC and during this time of extreme cold what they do is stop their evolution until temperatures start to rise.
Of course, from 35ºC the plant begins to suffer.
How to plant alfalfa
Now we are going with the steps that you must control to plant alfalfa and have a very good harvest.
Our recommendation is that you pay attention to these keys that we are talking about:
choose the seeds
As we have told you before, there are many varieties of alfalfa and, therefore, also of seeds.
The best thing is that you pay attention to the weather that you have to choose one or the other, because that way you will have more success with the harvest. If you choose a very delicate one and you cannot give it all the necessities it needs, then you put the plant at risk and you may leave disappointed.
Prepare the land
Although alfalfa is a plant that adapts to whatever you throw at it, the truth is that if you give it a very light substrate (in terms of having a lot of drainage) and deep soils, it will thank you, and a lot. .
That means you have to make sure it’s at least a meter deep. If you have less, it will be difficult to plant alfalfa and have it turn out well.
Regarding the soil, choose one with a pH of 7.2, which is the most suitable for this plant. In addition, you have to watch that it does not fall below 6.8 because then the harvest will not come out as rich as if you took this into account.
Obviously, you will need the substrate to be nutritious to meet its needs.
Time to sow alfalfa
Before putting the seeds, we recommend that you slightly moisten the soil so that the water helps the seeds to germinate more easily.
Next, put the seeds and cover them. In general, if the soil is heavy, you will have to do it at 1.25 centimeters so that they germinate well; but if it is light, the depth of the seeds will be fine at 3 centimeters or less.
Now, you do not have to put an exact amount of seeds. It is done by throwing the seeds into the air so that they spread. Then you cover with the earth and it will be ready.
Some experts recommend that, in addition to adding nutritious soil, it doesn’t hurt to add some fertilizer with the first watering you use. Of course, it must be a fertilizer that is low in manganese and aluminum, but rich in phosphorus and potassium, as well as calcium.
water the earth
It is not about flooding it, but you will need to water it because the seeds will take about a week to germinate.
In general, alfalfa is irrigated once a week.
Beware of pests and diseases
In addition to providing it with its daily hours of sunshine, and irrigation, another care that you will have to watch out for is that pests and diseases do not attack it.
Alfalfa usually suffers from aphids, weevils (or weevils), flies (alfalfa), larvae, bugs… In addition to diseases such as rot (due to excessive watering) and alfalfa freckle (also due to excess water).
When can the alfalfa crop be harvested?
Now that you have seen all the steps you need to take to have more luck and a high probability of an alfalfa harvest, it is time to think about when you will be able to enjoy your harvest.
Well, if everything goes well and you give it all the care it needs, you will have the harvest ready 3 months after planting it. That means that:
- If you planted it in October or November, by January or February you should be harvesting it.
- If you have planted it in February or March, then you will have it by May or June.
As you can see, these are dates prior to the most intense heat of summer, and we do not recommend reaching those dates because it can weaken the plant and in the end you do not harvest anything (especially since the heat can burn it, especially considering that it has from being in a lot of daily sunlight).
To know if it is ready to pick or not you have to look at the leaves and stems. In the first case, the leaves must be green and leafy. For their part, the stems will be thin and very flexible.
If you follow the recommendations that we have given you to plant alfalfa, it is possible that you will get a good harvest. Do you have any other tips you want to share with us?