Grain As Soil Amendment

September 4, 2019

I know people use pelletized alfalfa as a nitrogen source. How about grains like corn? Do they rot down superbly when put directly into soil? I am about to find out!

I came across some discarded bags of a deer supplement/attractant made by Rackology. Kinda vague on the ingredients, 'grain and grain by-products'. When opened the bag seems to be about half cracked corn and half smaller pellets, probably some kind of processing by-product like spent brewer's grain. Label says 16% crude protein, which is 2.6% N. Also 0.5% P. It has some Ca and 1.5% salt. Salt seemed a tad high but I'm amending a new bed and it is fall so the winter rains should leach out any excess. I planned to grow fall greens (kale, turnip, mustard etc.) in this bed soon as I get it ready.

I put three 40 lb bags in a 4x12 bed that will be tilled into about 8" of new soil/compost blend. It made a layer 1/2-1" thick. Seems like that should not be enough to goof anything up no matter what. Just wondering if anyone else has tried this.

I had great luck a couple years ago with some spoiled (wet) pelletized alfalfa that I put down in the fall, covered with leaf/grass mulch. That bed grew spectacularly the next season.

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