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Organic Gardening: alfalfa tea- HELP

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Forum: Organic GardeningReplies: 23, Views: 313
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unclehudy
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2007
5:10 PM

Post #3220469

I plan on going shopping shortly and thought that I would look for some alfalfa to make alfalfa tea. I know there's a link around here somewhere telling me how to make it and what kind of alfalfa to buy. I've used the "search" but hasn't helped me out. Anyone know where to look?
wrightie
Metro DC, MD
(Zone 7a)

February 24, 2007
7:39 PM

Post #3220828

I found this by doing a Google search http://davesgarden.com/terms/go/2294/
justfurkids
Toone, TN
(Zone 7a)

February 24, 2007
7:41 PM

Post #3220833

I found mine at the feed supply store...or if you have a farm co-op they might sell it there. Should be about $7.50 a 40 or 50 lb bag. I definately paid too much at $9/bag but the feed store owner brought it to me at Master Gardening class, so I guess I paid for the convenience.

I had intended to add with the fall mulch but found that my dogs were chomping it down as fast as I was laying it out, so I have resorted to tea, kept out of their reach. It does get kind of stinky but my plants LOVE it.
carol
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2007
7:50 PM

Post #3220855

I'm sure you have been warned but let me tell you, no warning is strong enough to even begin to describe the smell of this! I made some last year then I got busy and had to let it sit for like 2 weeks. Mine was just alfalfa in water in an open bucket in full sun. It smelled so bad that I thought the neighbor's would come and complain. I couldn't even bring myself to spread it out anywhere so I ended up just trying to dump it out around my trees. Just beware! It was funny after the fact but gagging me doing it!
unclehudy
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2007
8:01 PM

Post #3220898

I just went to the feed store that I use to go to as a kid (ok, that's been awhile). They're out of business. What a rip! They use to have the dyed baby chicks for Easter and ducks that were so cute when they were small but grew up quickly and made terrible house quests.
Guess I'll look somewhere else.
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 7, 2007
3:41 PM

Post #3257480

If you let the alfalfa tea go too long it does smell horrible! (as in rotten) at that point you have lost some of the good stuff, but it's still usable.
Another thing I noticed about the linked recipe, they add Fish Emulsion to the tea at the beginning.
There is no reason to brew fish emulsion with your alfalfa tea... that will only attract flies and add to the smell.
If you want to add extra stuff to your tea, add it just before using.

Dove
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 8, 2007
2:02 AM

Post #3259470

Oh my...fish emulsion and alfalfa. Blech! It sounds like a good revenge for an annoying neighbor tho! ;)
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 8, 2007
2:43 AM

Post #3259589

*LOL*
I agree, I don't know whose idea that was but it's a bad one.
wgnkiwi
Burlingame, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 17, 2007
1:30 PM

Post #3291669

Ugh! A very bad idea. I made the mistake of adding fish emulsion at the beginnings of my first ever batch of tea last summer. The stink lasted for days and my DH will not let me forget it. Even when I just use plain alfalfa he goes round the yard holding his nose. LOL
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 17, 2007
10:24 PM

Post #3293071

Some people are very sensitive to the smell... It doesn't really bother me unless I leave it too long and it get over ripe.
konkreteblond
Burleson, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 18, 2007
1:37 AM

Post #3293540

Boy, it must not bother you if you can call that "over ripe"! LOL! The words: RANK, ROTTING, DEAD all come to mind when I think of mine. ;)
justfurkids
Toone, TN
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2007
10:16 AM

Post #3294075

I agree that the smell is horrid...fresh or ripe but the plants seem to love it...as do my dogs.
carol
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2007
2:39 PM

Post #3294824

*LOL*
I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. I don't think it smells much at all.
Shirley1md
Ellicott City, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2007
3:48 PM

Post #3295040

Yes, very "ripe" alfalfa tea smells pretty bad, but my plants love it & grow beautifully, so the positives out way the negatives in my opinion. However, I have to keep it covered will it is ripening because my dog tries to drink it...YUCK!
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 18, 2007
6:07 PM

Post #3295525

I've heard the same from other people, my big old Australian shepard isn't the least bit interested in it.

I couldn't agree more, the good out weighs the bad many times over
SoCal
Huntington Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

March 18, 2007
6:29 PM

Post #3295590

I was babysitting my DD's little dogs last week and the littlest one was trying to drink it too. lol

I'm with Dovey, I don't think it stinks that bad either. Maybe it's the west coast brand that doesn't stink!! haha
justfurkids
Toone, TN
(Zone 7a)

March 18, 2007
11:02 PM

Post #3296618

I think dogs think alfalfa tea is some kind of magic elixir. I have the same problem with an old horse trough that gets full of rain water and loaded with algae. The dogs think its special treat water and I have to keep that drained...but my plants also like that water too. I suspect both are full of trace minerals and is good for all living things if you can take the live bacteria that comes along for the ride. I won't be drinking any! lol
carol
MsKatt
Mid-Michigan, MI
(Zone 5b)

March 29, 2007
4:01 AM

Post #3331711

I have my first batch of alfalfa tea all brewed! It's all foamy and gross looking, but it doesn't stink. It's cold outside, so I brewed it in the basement in a 5 gallon bucket (with lid).

I just bought the little alfalfa pellets from the farm and feed store. I bought 10 lbs for just under $3. I used 3 handfuls of pellets to 5 gallons of hot water. (I cupped my hands...and I have fairly small hands).

I can't wait to see how this works!

Michelle
brigidlily
Lumberton, TX
(Zone 8b)

March 29, 2007
2:24 PM

Post #3333086

The nice thing about the horrible smell is that it dissipates quickly. The longer you brew it the stinkier it is.
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 29, 2007
7:46 PM

Post #3334140

MsKatt,
It sounds fabulous! That's the perfect time to use it, while it's good and bubbly and before it stinks too bad.
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2007
10:21 AM

Post #3361411

When do you apply your first application of the tea for the season?
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2007
11:05 AM

Post #3361542

I start using the tea in the spring, as soon as it's safe, meaning as soon as I know there isn't going to be a hard freeze that will damage the tender new growth.
In my zone, I've been using it for about a month now. We've had a few nights that hit below 32 degrees, but it warmed up in the day and wasn't a hard enough freeze to damage anything (even the newly planted tomatoes were fine)
anastatia
Vancouver, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2007
2:05 PM

Post #3362107

Well then maybe I will give my plants some Easter -tea! We have had some cold nights but warms up by mid morning.
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2007
7:01 PM

Post #3362962

Sounds perfect...

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