Alfalfa, Hardy OGMedicago sativa Perennial legume. Up to 3' high. Alfalfa was first cultivated in ancient Persia; it was adopted by the Greeks when they were invaded by the Persians in 490 BCE, and was brought to California from Chile in 1850.
Hardy is best suited to light well-drained soils; establishment and winter survival will be inhibited by heavy or wet soils because alfalfa’s taprooted structure makes it susceptible to heaving. This variety has limited disease resistance. Seed at 25#/acre, 15# in mixes, ½#/1000 sq ft. Certified organic.
As perennial hay: Multifoliate variety with good leaf-to-stem ratio and higher-than-average protein levels. Typically interplanted with grass in organic systems. Often rotated with field corn on livestock farms (2–3 year alfalfa stand followed by 1–2 years of corn).
As cover crop: An excellent choice to build organic matter and nitrogen in fields that will be taken out of production for more than one year. Regular mowing will help deter quackgrass and annual weeds.
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