What to do with Alfalfa

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

I have 3 acres in alfalfa that I want to turn into gardens and some grass areas. How can I get rid
of the alfalfa? Should I hire a local farmer to till it all under, or should it be killed off first.

Any suggestions would be great.

Waddy, KY

I think it would be a case of either/or. I guess it depends upon your agenda. I assume you'd be working your beds. That should kill off the alfalfa there. In areas your going to seed into grass I would assume again that you'd be disturbing the surface of the ground to prepare a seed bed. That or no tilling the seed. If you no till and get a stand of grass, the constant mowing of the grass should eventurally kill out the alfalfa as it wouldn't be able to store up food reserves due to being regularly mowed.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks Kydaylilylady. I wasn't aware that cutting the alfalfa regularly would kill it off.
I was starting to have nightmares about the alfalfa. lol

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

KILL THE ALFALFA!!!! Use Roundup when it starts to green up in the spring. If you don't kill it, you will be fitting a losing battle with it AND the grass.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I meant "fighting" a losing battle. Darn iPad keyboard.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks Anna. It was hard to walk thru it last fall, and it was quite tall.

Paris, TN(Zone 6b)

Send it all to me.....I would love to have some non-GMO alfalfa around. It makes great compost to line raised beds with, excellent compost tea, great fodder for animals, I eat the sprouts...I have alfalfa envy LOL!

And NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO don't round up anything. Please. Please.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Well, I'm here to tell you that cutting it "regularly" will NOT kill it.........it just grows back.........or we wouldn't get 4 cuttings off of it every season. If you want to garden in it, you have to get rid of it. My husband practiced no-till corn and soybeans, and you cannot no-till a corn crop into an alfalfa field unless you have killed it in the fall and expect any crop off of it. A garden would be unthinkable........Tilling it under would work if you put plastic or something else down to keep it from growing back up into your garden, but 3 acres????

Richmond, TX

If you hate Monsanto use one of the other glyphosate herbicides and add a surfactant if they don't already contain one.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Sure hoping round up has a sale in spring. I'm going to need alot of it.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Go to a farmer-utilized place..........Co-Op, Landmark, someplace like that. Spousal Unit will look in his paperwork today and see what the crop consultant recommended for burndown. He never did his own, had Landmark come in and spray with their rig. I'll let you know later today.

Fowlerville, MI(Zone 5b)

For whatever it's worth.....
We have 20 acres that a dairy farmer leases to grow alfalfa on. Near the end of the alfalfa's life-cycle, which I've been told is about 6-7 years, they use a Round Up type of product to kill it, along with all the weeds, grasses, etc., before tilling the ground until it looks like fine brown sugar, and planting another crop.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks Glenda
Life cycle of 6 to 7 years is nice to know. I have not been able to get any local farmer
to do anything to it. They are all busy doing their own plantings etc. So I have been
mowing it, at least it looks short and green.
Where I am doing garden beds I have been using roundup and its doing its job.

none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

crazy4brugs we get our stuff from A.M. Leonard if you have a venders license or a farm Exempt you can buy from them. but i think you can find large concentrated stuff at Tractor Supply ? if you have one in your area .
sometimes we have to go chemical if its a large area. we have 8 acres in hay and 2 acres in gardens.
we just renovated our garden, due to the weeds have won the last two years.
we don't have goats yet to help this problem. LOL nor a working employeed staff.... just me and a dog that is scared of everything !

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks for you reply taynors. Yes there is a Tractor Supply in the area, I'll check that out.
Tho the Round Up is working, it is expensive.
I've been rototilling then adding a soil conditioner and composted manure where I'll be planting my flowers.

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

crazy4brugs..........if you can get your Round-up at a chemical supply place where the farmers get it it will be MUCH cheaper. I think I paid 20 some bucks a gallon for the concentrate. If at all possible, do not buy the ready to use........you are much better off getting the concentrate and mixing your own. JMHO............

Richmond, TX

There are also other equivalent glyphosate herbicides without the "big name" that are not as expensive: Eraser, Kills All, Big and Tuff, and others.

Kansasville, WI(Zone 5a)

You all are great helping me out with this. I will look for something other than RU when it is gone,
that will save some $$

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