Thursday, January 22, 2015

Make Your Own Liquid Fertilizer with Alfalfa Meal

Before I give you my recipe I need to be very clear.  ALFALFA is considered a "high risk crop."  This means that Alfalfa is on of the top 10 Genetically Modified plants in the US.  

From the Non-GMO Project,
High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

This is why I chose to offer Certified Organic, Non-GMO Alfalfa Meal at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  It wasn't easy to find and it certainly wasn't cheap.  Non-GMO is the way to go!!!

Making a Liquid fertilizer is pretty easy.  I used make Seaweed tea every year but not everyone has access to seaweed.  Now I make Alfalfa Tea.

It's also important to mention that while I call it "TEA,"  I DO NOT DRINK IT!  
Just need to clear that up.

Making Alfalfa Tea
You'll need:

1 - 5 gallon bucket
1 cup Organic Alfalfa Meal

Fill bucket with water, let it sit from 1 to 4 days. The result will be a thick tea. Apply generously to the root area of shrubs and flowers or use as a foliar spray after straining the solids out. The longer it brews, the better it is but the worse it will smell. 

From Mary's Heirloom Seeds,
Derived from leguminous perennial alfalfa plant used for pasture and cover crop. Primary benefit of this pleasant smelling meal is increasing organic matter, although it is also a valuable plant-derived fertilizer.

  • NPK analysis is 2.8-0.29-2.4
  • Contains trace minerals and triaconatol
  • Excellent addition to the compost pile for nitrogen content and absorbency
  • Roses respond especially well to alfalfa meal
  • WSDA Certified Organic Alfalfa Meal
Alfalfa Meal can help restore soil and bring back its full growing potential. With a unique 3-1-2 ratio, Alfalfa Meal is an all natural, organic fertilizer that replenishes sugar, starches and proteins that help keep your plants growing healthy and strong.

Alfalfa helps plants create larger flowers and increases the tolerance to cold. Good for all flowering plants. Research has shown that using more is not better. 

This recipe can easily be cut in half by using 1/2 cup Alfalfa Meal and 2.5 gallons of water.  You can also make a HUGE recipe in a large trash can if you just multiply the ingredients.  It's easy to make and very healthy for your plants.

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Gentle Joy said...

This sounds like a great idea... I have intended(but haven't yet done it!) to plant alfalfa as a green manure crop... I appreciate the "heads up" on the GMO status. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is a great idea! I didn't realize that alfalfa has also become GMO. Ugh.

Marla said...

Hi Mary,
This does sound like a wonderful idea. I will have to consider ordering when it gets closer to planting time - right now we are in the middle of winter snow where I live. Pinned twitted and shared on google. Have a healthy happy blessed weekend!

Kristie said...

We are just getting our new greenhouse ready to start seeds for the year, and I'm looking for all the good info I can to help me. I love your blog!

J said...

Can you use Timothy grass? Does it have the same NPK? Thanks.

Mary Smith said...

Great Question J!
Timothy Grass (or hay) is a grass where Alfalfa is a legume hay. I do not know enough about Timothy Grass you give you an accurate answer.
Unfortunately, your comment came in as a no-reply so I am unable to share a follow up. If you would like additional info, please feel free to contact me at mari_backtonature(at)yahoo(dot)com

steve w said...

Total kjeldahl nitrogen is a function of total protein with TKN equaling (approx) 1/6 the amount of protein. Alfalfa is about 20 to 24% protein so about 3.2 to 3.8% N. Tomothy is only about 8% protein so it's total N might be only 1.1 to 1.3%.