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How to Harvest Alfalfa Seeds

By Danny Donahue
Alfalfa has been used as an herbal supplement for centuries.
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Alfalfa has been used as a food and herbal supplement for many centuries. Millions of people consume alfalfa each year, and many more feed it to their animals. Machines can harvest alfalfa seeds for you, but growing your own alfalfa and picking the seeds by hand is the simplest harvesting method.

Hold the string-line grass trimmer at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Hold down the trigger on your trimmer and cut the grass in your growing area to the ground. Take your time and cut away all of the exposed plant material that is visible above the surface of the dirt.

Clear away any trash or debris on the property. Load the refuse onto your truck and haul it away, leaving the entire growing area bare.

Soak the growing area with the mixture of water and weed killer in your backpack sprayer. Cover the property with the mixture every day for a week to ensure complete saturation. Allow the ground to absorb the material and return to normal by leaving it alone for one month.

Spread handfuls of alfalfa seeds onto the bare ground. Cover the entire area with a thick coat of the seeds. Spread a thin layer of fertilizer pellets on top of the grass seeds. Mist the area with water from your hose, being careful not to disturb the seeds. Water your grass daily as it grows to maturity. Add more fertilizer pellets every two weeks to keep the plants well-fed and healthy.

Watch the alfalfa plants. Enter the growing area when the seed bunches are visible on the tops of the plant stalks. Grasp each stalk gently and pull upwards, allowing the seeds to fall into your hand. Place the seeds into a cloth sack. Store the sacks of alfalfa seeds in a cool, dark and dry place until you are ready to plant or sell them.


Things You Will Need

  • String-line grass trimmer
  • Truck
  • Weed killer and water mixture in a backpack sprayer
  • Alfalfa seeds
  • Fertilizer pellets
  • Misting nozzle
  • Large cloth sacks
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection

About the Author


After learning electronics in the U.S. Navy in the 1980s, Danny Donahue spent a lifetime in the construction industry. He has worked with some of the finest construction talent in the Southeastern United States. Donahue has been a freelance writer since 2008, focusing his efforts on his beloved construction projects.