My husband and I are a little behind in getting things done in the garden this year.
Well it’s because we had a big delay due to our neighbors having a new fence put in. Part of their new fence was on our property line and that affected one “major” side of our garden, so we delayed a lot of our regular garden activities for about two months while we waited and waited for the fence to go in .. finally, around June 6th the fence started being put in and ever since then we’ve been furiously maintaining our garden and planting annuals and perennials to fill in any bare spots.
One of the regular activities that we were behind on was making up our batches of Alfalfa tea for the garden. We usually start brewing this up in two big garbage cans in the driveway in early May. It takes a few weeks to brew before it’s ready for the garden.
Our Alfalfa/ compost tea is a rich nutrient “tea” that we pour on our garden beds at least twice each season to give our plants a boost. Alfalfa is full of natural growth hormone for the plants and within about a week or adding it to our garden beds there’s always an amazing difference in our plants.
I’m not sure how much water our garbage pails hold, but the garbage cans are about 3.5 feet high and we fill them up to about three or four inches from the top with water after we’ve added all the ingredients. Now, I mulched my garden this year with red cedar mulch but before I did that I gave my garden beds another treat by adding a Little bit of sheep manure compost … there was a little bit of that left so I added perhaps as much as three cups of sheep manure compost to each garbage pail. It’s a little bonus in the Alfalfa tea since I rarely put compost in it.
The ingredients that I usually put in each garbage pail are:
4 cups of Alfalfa pellets
1 cup of molasses
1 cup of Epsom salts
Once all of the ingredients are in the pail I stir it up and then put a lid on it. I try to stir it every day. The ingredients will ferment a bit and it’s very important to stir it up well and aerate the mixture.
Depending upon the ambient temperatures outside it can take anywhere from two to four weeks for the mixture to be ready to use on the garden. For example since I live in Toronto, Ontario when I start up a brew in early May it’s still usually kind of cool in my area at that time of year so it could take three to four weeks. The mix that we just made a few days ago should only take two weeks since it’s starting to get fairly warm.
If you make a batch of Alfalfa tea for your garden I highly recommend that you put it on your garden either early in the morning or late in the evening because it does smell quite a bit. At least it does to me! I do find that if I lightly water the garden after pouring the alfalfa tea on my garden beds the smell dies down very quickly.