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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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 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)