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    Thread: building a better alfalfa tea with the 3LB~overgrow

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      Default building a better alfalfa tea with the 3LB~overgrow

      three_little_birds|| title:building a better alfalfa tea with the 3LB|| ||author:three_little_birds|| ||forum:41||
      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 . . .
      Last edited by HASHISH; 25th February 2006 at 05:22 AM.

    2. Thanks Iseberge2004, GreenBananna, whitey, strayfox thanked for this post

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