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A picture of a Alfalfa


Medicago sativa

Also known as

Lucerne, Purple Medick, Lusern (Afr.)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Alfalfa Overview

Known as the “Queen of Forages,” alfalfa is the oldest and one of the most palatable and nutritious cultivated or domesticated crops. It is rich in protein, very digestible and high in vitamins and minerals. Alfalfa also has a very high yield potential making it a excellent perennial cover crop.

Common problems with Alfalfa

Alfalfa has few pest problems; the alfalfa weevil can cause serious damage and reduce yields. In addition, a stem nematode can infest and weaken stem buds.

Alfalfa Companion Plants

Asparagus, sweetcorn

How to harvest Alfalfa

Harvest regularly throughout spring, summer and autumn. Do not cut alfalfa if it looks like rain - the shoots get a fungus that makes it poisonous and unusuable.

How to propagate Alfalfa


Sowing time is best in summer. Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water. Germination time is quick, easily 3 - 7 days; which make it an excellent seed for sprouting!


Divide the clumps and replant. Keep moist until settled in.

Special features of Alfalfa

Drought resistant

Doesn’t like wet conditions, too much moisture can lead to mold growth.

Attracts useful insects

Because of its large amount of nectar, it attracts many species of bees

Crop rotation

Although a light feeder, it produces chemicals to prevent other crops in the same family from germinating, so it is recommended to rotate with corn or wheat before replanting.

Other uses of Alfalfa

Culinary, medicinal, soil conditioner


The seeds are the popular Alfalfa, the green lusern excellent in green smoothies and juices as mineral boost.


The high mineral content makes high nutrition value - it aids with digestion and absorbtion of other nutrients.

Green Manure

The Fabaceae(legume) family all add nutrient value to the soil, by fixing nutrients like Nitrogen in a more plant usable format. Dig back into the top 15 cm (6") of soil before the flowers develop and allow it to decompose and release these nutrients for two to four weeks before replanting with your next crop.

Green Manures

Empty spaces after crops have been harvested? - Sow these 'green manures' to protect bare beds over winter.

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Edibles to Sow Under Cover in November

Grow these on a sunny windowsill or heated propagator for winter picking.

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