Alfalfa Meal & Tea
Alfalfa Meal: Alfalfa provides many nutritional benefits not only for plant use, but for soil organisms as well. One very important ingredient is tricontanol, a powerful plant growth regulator. Orchid and rose growers make an alfalfa tea and spray it directly on as a foliar fertilizer. Alfalfa is very high in vitamins, plus N-P-K-Ca, Mg, and other valuable minerals. It also includes sugars, starches, proteins, fiber and 16 amino acids. Sprinkle lightly over garden and water, or use about a handful (depending on the size) around each rose, tree, or shrub. Approximate analysis is 3-1-2. Alfalfa meal and hay used for mulch contain vitamin A, folic acid, trace minerals and the growth hormone “tricontanol.” Use at 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet or 400-800 pounds per acre. Alfalfa helps plants create larger flowers and increases the tolerance to cold. Make alfalfa tea by soaking 1 cup of alfalfa meal per 5 gallon of water. Good for all flowering plants. Research has shown that using more is not better. At recommended rates alfalfa works wonders on roses but it can be overused causing adverse effects.
Alfalfa Tea: Put one cup alfalfa meal in a 5 gallon bucket. 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.