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Organic Gardening: An Organic Fertilizer Recipe . . . VERY AFFORDABLE!

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 16, Views: 472
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Huntersville, NC

June 9, 2011
1:46 AM

Post #8619367

I've been determined to find a better way to fertilize!

Was told about alfalfa pellets last summer. They are cheap and small enough for me to handle (back issues).
Last summer the alfalfa tea was great! This summer, I grind pellets into a powder and work into the soil, watering generously.

There is also the following recipe:

*Alfalfa - Epsom Salts Tea: Add to a 20 gal. garbage can filled with water: 16 cups of Alfalfa pellets and 2 cups of Epsom salts. (This is a basic 8:1 ratio.) Stir well and let brew for one week. Stir and pour by the cupful on roses, shrubs, veggies and flowers of all kinds. Add sludge from bottom to next brew or to compost pile or just add more water and use slurry on plants.

Use Weekly through growing season.

I've used most of the over the counter, store bought fertilizers. I feel mine is just as good (in some cases MUCH better) and MUCH CHEAPER!

Happy Gardening! ^_^
Pilot Point, TX
(Zone 7b)

June 19, 2012
5:18 AM

Post #9171234

Do you know what the final product becomes in terms of those analysis numbers that are normally on fertilizer products? ie; 5-6-6. I think the first number represents the percentage of 'nitrogen'. Another number represents 'potassium'.
Saylorsburg, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 20, 2012
4:40 PM

Post #9173377

I, too, was curious as to what the nutrient content of this mix was so googled "alfalfa pellets fertilizer". The following site has a chart which included this mix and even the exact same recipe. Although it does not give the percentage breakdown (6-5-5 for example) it does list the nutrients which may be a help to you. It was to me.
Pilot Point, TX
(Zone 7b)

July 31, 2012
5:57 AM

Post #9224569

Thanks 'gardadore' for posting the link... good info.
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

July 31, 2012
9:28 AM

Post #9224787

Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate. Too much in the soil will cause a potassium deficiency in your plants. Use the alfalfa alone and add magnesium sulfate sparingly.
Warrenton, VA

August 9, 2012
6:05 PM

Post #9236149

Man, 50glee, that's a TON of Epsom salts! And I am a huge believe in them! And, a question: Do you factor in your own labor cost into the equation? Not trying to be evil, just recognizing that, with all the teamaking and such, wow. Sounds very labor-intensive.
I'm a believer in going to my local nursery, and buying my fertilizer. I alternate seaweed with fish fertilizer - this is what my Japanese Maple grower strongly suggested, and I'm convinced in the effects being perfect for my plants!
Whatever turns you on, methinks...I would find that recipe to be another JOB, which I do not need, and I feel pretty happy supporting the mom-and-pop nursery just down the road from my job. Besides, there's nothing like wandering around all the beautiful plants for sale...that is where I want to spend time!
Madras, OR

March 11, 2013
5:53 AM

Post #9445518

You can buy alfalfa meal, easier to deal with than pellets. Alfalfa has just been approved for genetic engineering in some areas, so be sure it does not have a pesticide or herbicide in it
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

March 11, 2013
4:31 PM

Post #9446255

i use alfalfa pellets (rabbit food..its cheaper than alfalfa meal) in my
manure tea ..
rabbit poo,alfalfa a 40 gal garbage can.. about 2 gal total (rabbit poo,
alfalfa) then fill with water..
i use it 1/2 concentrate..except on my tropical plants..they get full strength..
i do use epsom salt ..sparingly on my lawns,tomatoes,and roses.. i just sprinkle
some on soil..dig in..and nature does the rest...


Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 25, 2013
12:20 PM

Post #9611610

Gracye wrote:Man, 50glee, that's a TON of Epsom salts!

I'm very unfamiliar with the use of Epsom salts in gardening, so please forgive me if my question here sounds impolite, but... as I understand it, the mixture ends up being about 2 cups of Epsom salts to roughly 19-ish gallons of water (allowing for space at the top to stir)... that's considered a lot? Again, I only ask because I'm totally unfamiliar with its use, so I have no idea what is considered a "lot". Could someone clarify this for me please? Thank you! =)

Deep East Texas, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 25, 2013
5:21 PM

Post #9611917

I'm unsure about those doses but I had saved this information from here

Houseplants: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.
Tomatoes: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks.
Roses: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Soak unplanted bushes in 1/2 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time. Spray with Epsom Salt solution weekly to discourage pests.
Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.
Lawns: Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
Trees: Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet. Apply over the root zone 3 times annually.
Garden Startup: Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.
Sage: Do not apply! This herb is one of the few plants that doesn't like Epsom Salt.


Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

July 26, 2013
3:13 AM

Post #9612147

That is a really cool link Podster, thank you!! According to all the stuff I found in that one link (that link has great additional links in it!), it doesn't look to me as though 2 cups/per that many gallons of water constitutes as "a lot"... I think I am going to have to do some testing myself next year. ... maybe my Laurels could get a spritz now. =)


Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

August 10, 2013
1:33 PM

Post #9626837

I often use alfalfa pellets for the "green" nitrogen component in my compost.
BUT I can NOT use Rabbit pellets because they contain salt - and my soil is borderline high in salts.


Madison, IL
(Zone 6b)

October 7, 2013
4:04 AM

Post #9679996

I guess that I'm good to go because my rabbits' poo has some alfalfa pellets from spillage, a little timothy hay & pine wood chips mixed in. I compost mine first with other yard & kitchen waste. The pile has an abundance of night crawlers to help with the decomposition.

Podster, I appreciate the Epsom salts info. too. I've been cautious about using it.

Great thread 50glee and to all who contributed. It's so nice to share with like-minded folk. Everyone else looks at me like "What planet are you from?" or "You're so gross!" LOL
Provo, UT
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2013
9:00 AM

Post #9682866

u are lovely green!!!
u go with what works for you..and how to look and think !!!
i too am grateful to the many helpful,thoughtful posts here..
ive gleaned alot from the work,experimentation of other gardeners
here.. hopefully making me a better gardener. certainly more


Pueblo, CO
(Zone 5b)

October 12, 2013
11:02 AM

Post #9684303

Kermit the Frog singing "Its Not Easy Being Green" always brings a tear to my eye. I walk around the neighborhood in the morning after a rainstorm picking up earth worms off other peoples driveways. I'm sure most of the neighbors think I'm crazy.


Somewhere in, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 12, 2013
1:41 PM

Post #9684379

Aaaawww, how cute Pollen!!!! < =D

I gotta say, I sure appreciate all I've learned from y'all as well. What a wonderful group of angels you guys are! =)


Madison, IL
(Zone 6b)

October 13, 2013
6:48 AM

Post #9684809

I am among kindred spirits. I rescue worms too! I also rescue & relocate beneficial spiders from harms way. Charlotte's Web was one of my favorite kids' stories. "It's not easy being green." LOL That is too cute and make me smile. : )

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