Alfalfa has many uses in your backyard garden. Alfalfa tea, a rather unique name if I might add and not to be mistaken for the actual tea you can drink, is a simple fertilizer you can make on your own with just some water and alfalfa (and other additives if you so desire). Of course, alfalfa itself comes in many forms, and for this usage you will want to have fine grains that will mix well with water. You can simply buy alfalfa meal, purchase alfalfa pellets and crush them, or buy special Brand Name fertilizers with alfalfa already included. Of course, with the latter option, you will want to review the feel ingredient makeup to verify it adheres to an organic gardening style. For our purposes, we will just stick to simple, organic alfalfa pellets or meal.
Overview of Benefits of Alfalfa:
Alfalfa contains many positive attributes that make it valuable to many gardening applications. It is dense with many needed vitamins, minerals, and natural growth stimulants. Some examples of these include:
- Vitamin A
- Pantothenic Acid
- Folic Acid
- Assorted Amino Acids (such as Serine, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Glycine, etc.)
A full list of benefits alfalfa can have on your garden are noted in our article: Top 10 Benefits of Using Alfalfa in Your Garden.
The Alfalfa Tea Fertilizer Mix:
Use 4 cups of alfalfa (in alfalfa meal or pellet form most likely) for every 5 gallons of water. Some people like to make larger quantities and use a 20 gallon drum (the size of a standard garbage can). You can add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate crystals) for every 5 gallons of water.
In most instances, Epsom salt is completely safe to use with the plant-life you are growing because it is pH neutral. Epsom salt breaks down into three main components: water, magnesium, and sulfur. These are valuable nutrients that are used in some way by most plants. Additionally, the salt content will help to ward off slugs and snails. Cover the mix tightly with a lid and let stand for ~7 days. It will undergo the fermentation process. You will know it is ready when you smell something odd.
Using the Alfalfa Tea Fertilizer in Your Garden
It is quite simple to apply your batch of alfalfa tea fertilizer to your garden bed. Some people fill up a water sprayer to distribute it across their plant life and garden bed like this (this is referred to as foliar spraying), others just simply use a bucket and scoop some, then apply it to specific areas of the garden (such as around the base of a vegetable plant).
It may require some experimentation to find the method that works best for you. Alfalfa tea can be applied every 1-4 weeks throughout the growing season. It may require some trial-and-error to get it to work ideally for your garden, but there will be no negative side effects in almost all gardening situations. If you are struggling to see substantial, health growth year after year, this may well be worth trying out!
Have you experimented with alfalfa tea fertilizer in your own garden? How did it work out for you?