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Alfalfa - Plant

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Lucerne or alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a deep-rooted, temperate, perennial pasture legume.
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Description for Alfalfa

Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world.
Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, also called lucerne, is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world.

Common name Flower colours Bloom time Height Difficulty
lucerne violet - 1 m Easy

Planting and care

It is also drought resistant. Not just a bit either. Once established, the root structure is vast and deep. Ploughing in a lucerne crop is an education in itself.

Sunlight Soil Water Temperature Fertilizer
full sun A well-draining area with a pH level between 6.8 and 7.5. - - -

Caring for Alfalfa

  • Whether undersown or direct drilled (without cover), the seed should be sown into warm soil so that rapid germination occurs otherwise weeds may become a problem.

Harvesting

When alfalfa is to be used as hay, it is usually cut and baled. Loose haystacks are still used in some areas, but bales are easier for use in transportation, storage, and feed. Ideally, the first cutting should be taken at the bud stage, and the subsequent cuttings just as the field is beginning to flower, or one-tenth bloom because carbohydrates are at their highest. When using farm equipment rather than hand-harvesting, a swather cuts the alfalfa and arranges it in windrows.

Typical uses of Alfalfa

Special features: The seeds, leaves and stems of the alfalfa plant have important properties- derived from the root of the plant which reach up to 12 meters in the subsoil and absorb the elusive trace minerals from the depths. The most important this trace minerals is manganese which is vital to the human digestive system in its manufacture of insulin.

Culinary use: Alfalfa is an outstanding alkalizing food.

Medicinal use: Alfalfa build up for a healthy and vigorous old age and resistance to infection.

References

  • https://www.cotswoldseeds.com/seed-info/lucerne-also-known-alfalfa

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