What can I do with Alfalfa Seeds?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Timedess, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Timedess

    Timedess Guest

    Someone gave me oodles- I mean OODLES!- of alfalfa seeds for sprouting. They are kinda old (their description, LOL!) and the first trial I ran at sprouting some, didn't get much of them sprouted at all. I don't know if it's because my daughter, who had asked to help, forgot to rinse them, or what. They are vacuum sealed in "nitrogen pack" in #10 cans. I guess someone went nuts preparing for y2k? :p I had been thinking of using some of them to sprout and eat, and plant some as winter covering in the garden, to cut and give to the chickens and rabbits later on.

    Is there anything I could do that might help them along a little? If they are indeed "dead", what else could I do with them to not "waste" them? Can the chickens eat them? Scatter them on the ground and hope some of them will grow into "lawn"? Compost them for the garden? Sprinkle them on salads for the "crunch"? LOL!

    Seriously- I need some ideas on what I can do with ALL THESE SEEDS! I have 14 cans full of them! :eek:
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    I would try again to sprout them. I've had viable seed not sprout due to things like forgetting to rinse, letting them get too dry or having them mold etc. I've been pricing alfalfa seed lately! Yikes! Stuff's expensive. Try again!
     

  3. Timedess

    Timedess Guest

    OK, I'll try again tomorrow. The stuff looked like a wet mass of ooze- I think dd first forgot to water it, then put too much water in the jar and didn't drain it! Thanks.
     
  4. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    I would do a germination test. Put 20 seeds on a wet paper towel, roll it up, and put it in a zip lock bag. Put the bag in a warm spot and wait for the proper number of days. I would give it a week. After your week is up check to see how many seed sprouted. Every seed is 5%. So if 10 sprout, you have a 50% germination rate. If 2 sprout its 10%. This way you will know if its going to be worth it or not. If they are no good for sprouting you could always feed them to the chickens.

    Sylvar
     
  5. rj_in_MA

    rj_in_MA Well-Known Member

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    This may be obvious, but make sure it's not innoculated seed (it's an orange-ish colored powder on the seeds). If they're meant for consumption, then they won't have this on them.
    -rj
     
  6. Timedess

    Timedess Guest

    ty, rj- they are meant for sprouting. there are nutrision facts for so many tblsps of sprouts on the cans. but that is a good point- well taken into consideration when wanting to sprout any seeds!


    i still haven't tried them again- i think i'll try the 'percentage sprout' trick of the paper towel in the plastic bag first.
     
  7. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    you can always just plant them, and animals will eat it. or you. but I think you can just plant it. does anyone know?
     
  8. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Alfalfa is about the most expensive seed you can find.... they are, if I remember correctly a legume, which that when they are planted, they will enrich the soil in nitrogen....but they may never get that far if you have chickens....they will love them and will give them so many vitamins, etc...and they will also enrich the soil as the best green manure plant.......something you turn under to feed the soil....they also make the most nutritious and expensive form of hary....but a lot of people can't afford alfalfa....so consider yourself the recipient of a great gift.....even so... I'd still be sprouting them for family.....I have kept alfalfa seeds for years, and still have excellent germination for sprouts.
     
  9. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    Alfalfa is about the most expensive seed you can find.... they are, if I remember correctly a legume, which that when they are planted, they will enrich the soil in nitrogen....but they may never get that far if you have chickens....they will love them and will give them so many vitamins, etc...and they will also enrich the soil as the best green manure plant.......something you turn under to feed the soil....they also make the most nutritious and expensive form of hary....but a lot of people can't afford alfalfa....so consider yourself the recipient of a great gift.....even so... I'd still be sprouting them for family.....I have kept alfalfa seeds for years, and still have excellent germination for sprouts.kathrynlmv
     
  10. kathrynlmv

    kathrynlmv Well-Known Member

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    that was supposed to read....expensive form of hay.....your rabbits will love them too.....who doesn't love alfalfa sprouts....they are the most delectable....even if they're dead....they still can be composted or fed to chickens and rabbits.....kathrynlmv