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Building a better Alfalfa Tea with the 3LB's

in Organics Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:49 pm
by ozzydiodude • The Weird One | 2.465 Posts | 11504 Points

Again this is not my work but an informative thread that deserves a look...another saved in my favorites...enjoy and thanks 3LB's for the great work if ur all still out there.

There are many benefits to using an old fashioned alfalfa tea on your growing herbs . . . alfalfa is a natural and renewable resource which means it's use as a fertilizer is especially earth friendly . . . and alfalfa has a "secret ingredient" that stimulates plant growth . . .

triaconatol is a fatty acid growth hormone found in alfalfa . . . it is especially good for increasing growth rates during vegetative growth . . . and we call it a "secret ingredient" because we understand it's "hidden" in the composition of the commercial product "Super Thrive" . . .

one sure way to get triaconatol to your growing plants is a foliar feeding . . . some folks will use a recipe as simple as a couple handfuls of alfalfa into 5 gallons of water . . . soak overnight and then use . . . and that works . . .

but our goal is to build a better alfalfa tea . . . and here's what's working at the "bird's nest" . . .

some folks get pellets . . . our preference is alfalfa meal . . . which we've seen even cheaper than the pellets . . . pellets are fine . . . but we think the meal mixes more evenly as a soil amendment (in addition to making great teas) . . . the meal mix avoids "hot spots" of concentrated alfalfa in the soil that might burn delicate roots as alfalfa decays . . .

when we first mix our alfalfa tea . . . we use about 2 cups of meal for something in the range of 4 gallons of water . . . we mix our teas in 5 gallon gasoline cans bought specifically for the garden . . .

then we add some Earth Juice Catalyst . . . about 1 tsp per gallon . . . our thinking is that the EJ Catalyst provides sugars and yeasts to assist in turning the alfalfa into nutrients absorbable by plants . . . it helps to delay the inevitable alfalfa tea stink as well . . .

this soaks 24-48 hours . . . a aquarium bubble rock can be used to aerate the mix if you are already set up for such . . . if you don't have a bubble . . . don't despair . . . just swish the mix by hand a few times . . . agitating and aerating the tea . . . that will do as a sub for the airstone . . .

the longer the alfalfa soaks the stronger the resulting liquid will be . . . at the bird's nest . . . we usually use our teas after 24-48 hours of soaking . . . we'll dump off about 1/2 of the mix = 2 gallons . . . dumping the brewed tea through a cheap nylon stocking to strain out the alfalfa particles . . . the resulting alfalfa tea is useful for foliar feeding as well as general watering . . .

then . . . any strained plant matter is returned to the mixture in the 5 gallon can . . . and we also add 2 more gallons of fresh water to "top off" the tea again . . . then we add about 4 TBSP of molasses to the tea . . . that's 1 TBSP per gallon . . . and then we let the tea "brew" or bubble for another 24 hours . . . the added molasses feeds beneficial bacteria . . . and again helps to avoid the dreaded alfalfa tea = horse manure smell . . .

finally then . . . the "re-brewed" tea is used to water plants . . . if you care to strain out the alfalfa particles they can be added to the compost heap or worm bin . . . if you don't want to bother straining out the alfalfa particles that's fine too . . . they will leave a light layer of green particles on the soil surface . . . almost as if you'd "top dressed" your plants . .


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