Organic Alfalfa Meal – NPK 2-1-2
All rose growers have heard "you have to use alfalfa on your roses." Well there's a reason behind that claim, and it has to do with a few key benefits:
1. Alfalfa meal naturally contains triacontanol, an amazing growth hormone that increases yield and growth in plants (see below).*
2. Alfalfa meal is an excellent microbial food. It's a perfect addition to any soil mix, compost bin, and garden as a way to increase microbial activity and nutrient cycling.
3. It is found in almost all organic fertilizers for a reason. Why spend the money on expensive brand names when you can source the raw ingredient yourself and see the same benefit for pennies.
Try it for yourself. Just toss a handful in your compost pile or sprinkle it in your worm bin. You can mix it in with your finished compost as a bio-activator to give it a boost before using in your garden. It also works great to feed the microbes in aerated compost teas.
Seriously, alfalfa is the best! Just make sure you get certified organic so you know it hasn't been sprayed with any herbicides or pesticides that may damage it's benefit from a microbial perspective. Here's a video I made a few years back of our organic alfalfa meal added to our fungal compost:
*Alfalfa contains the growth stimulant triacontanol. It is a naturally occurring plant hormone that acts as a growth promoter. Alfalfa is a natural source of the plant growth promoter triacontanol. The International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) tested the effects of triacontanol on growth and yield of different horticultural crops. ISHS found that the yield per treated plant was significantly higher. Triacontanol has been called "the most potent growth hormone ever used on plants." (Great Lakes Region Newsletter, Fall Edition-1993, page 9 submitted by Clarence Owens and taken from a lecture by D.L. Hinerman, M.D.)