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Sainfoin- forage better than alfalfa  RSS feed

 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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We planted 4 acres of sainfoin last year in a "ghetto" way. We used the box scraper on the tractor to scrape the dirt up, hand broadcasted the seed and then scraped the dirt back over. The planting location was highly compacted, dead ground. Over grazed by who knows how many horses for who knows how many years. The sainfoin rooted but never grew over an inch high.

It's come back this year and has already surpassed last years growth. It is denser than we remember it last year and so far is doing really great.

Will keep ya updated over the summer on how it does.
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Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1273
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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food preservation greening the desert solar trees
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Wow, great, thanks for sharing! I want to try this. I had seen something about sanfoin and noted down that it might work as a possible fodder plant here. Currently jthe main fodder plant is alfalfa, and a bit of annoying melilot ("sweet clover") sneaks in. We've had a terrible time getting alfalfa to start -- years ago we would buy extortionately expensive seed and plant it, and the partridges would dig up every seed within 24 hours. in recent years since we have cows and buy in dried alfalfa hay for them, we sweep up the crumbles at the bottom of the hay storage and plant them, seeds and broken leaves and all. But even so very few seem to make it, and many of the canals among our trees are still barren desert, begging for a leguminous fodder plant.

Okay, I'm gonna get a hold of some sanfoin seed now!
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 105
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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Why does the title state better than alfalfa
 
Kelly Smith
Posts: 715
Location: In a rain shadow - Fremont County, Southern CO
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Ray Moses wrote: Why does the title state better than alfalfa


im assuming here...

sainfoin is a N fixer (same a alfalfa) but it wont bloat ruminants like alfalfa can


we planted it along with alfalfa in our pastures. we didnt get much growth. i suspect it would prefer not to be irrigated - as it cmae up better in the unirrigated spots than the irrigated.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Rebecca Norman wrote:Wow, great, thanks for sharing! I want to try this. I had seen something about sanfoin and noted down that it might work as a possible fodder plant here. Currently jthe main fodder plant is alfalfa, and a bit of annoying melilot ("sweet clover") sneaks in. We've had a terrible time getting alfalfa to start -- years ago we would buy extortionately expensive seed and plant it, and the partridges would dig up every seed within 24 hours. in recent years since we have cows and buy in dried alfalfa hay for them, we sweep up the crumbles at the bottom of the hay storage and plant them, seeds and broken leaves and all. But even so very few seem to make it, and many of the canals among our trees are still barren desert, begging for a leguminous fodder plant.

Okay, I'm gonna get a hold of some sanfoin seed now!


We have issues with a lot of our seeds getting eaten but the birds seemed completely repulsed by the sainfoin seed. I even tried offering some to the chickens, just to see. They wouldn't eat it.
 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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Ray Moses wrote: Why does the title state better than alfalfa


Alfalfa needs irrigated. It competes with itself. It can cause bloat. I think that's all the negatives of alfalfa I can think of. Sainfoin has none of those issues plus I find the flowers on it to be spectacularly beautiful!
 
Paul Gutches
Posts: 108
Location: Taos, New Mexico
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I had some sainfoin volunteer at the top of one of my hugelswales.  It's been very happy ever since.   It's about 2 feet tall now.  Does anyone know if chickens will eat the sainfoin greens?

Alfalfa is extremely well adapted where I am.   It will come up literally anywhere I throw the seed.  It has a reputation for being very thirsty, but my land is 100% unirrigated, and it never seems to suffer very badly even in periods of drought.
 
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