Alpaca wool pellets as organic matter?

Hi Folks,

I wanted to start a thread on whether anyone uses alpaca wool pellets as a slow release fertilizer/organic matter and for retaining water. I heard about this idea on a recent episode of the Davis Garden Show and decided to buy a box to try. So far (3 weeks in) they are doing as advertised in terms of retaining moisture.

I wanted to see if anyone else here has any experience with this or anything like it, especially if you have negative experiences or would recommend I not try to add a few handfuls of these to my veggie beds (including greens) and various pots/etc. FWIW I’m based in Southern California in Irvine so my thought was that these seem like a good slow release source of nitrogen (apparently they break down in about 6 months ish) and also help with retaining water in the soil.

Found these 2 places that sell them and ordered from the first one.

There are some who say that the presence of these pellets and the wool also deters snails/slugs. In the past 3 years, I’ve had a really bad snail and slug problem, loosing up to half of more of my lettuce, brassicas and greens in general to them. I’ve done the usual (go daily into the backyard and pick them in the evenings with a headlamp, etc and I do think it’s reduced the problem to the point where (fingers crossed) I don’t loose so much produce to them. But since I mixed in some of these pellets, I feel like it’s even better. Though that might be random (since it’s not a controller trial, or just psychological ;)).

Anyway - open for any feedback or thoughts!


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i bet if you asked a dog groomer to save shaved fur you could get alot for free. :wink: not sure it would work on slugs but id give it a shot.


Hahaha :slight_smile: yes for sure.

if you’re keen on using some hair, you’re better off buying 10lb of chicken hair (feather meal) for $30 than 32oz of alpaca wool. For slugs, a sprinkle of sluggo with an early morning walk in the yard with a bamboo stake works extremely well.


It sounds gross… But go to the local hair salon or barber shop for a few bags of hair. Or the groomer as suggested above.

Free fertilizer is in many places if you look.


only reason i went with the groomer instead of the barber or beautician is people put all kinds of stuff in their hair and dog hair is finer so should break down easier. collecting old coffee grounds from coffee shops is another cheap organic source. ive been collecting some here locally. i sprinkle some in my raised beds in the fall and sprinkle some around my younger trees. the rest goes in compost. worms love them! best used sparingly.