Friday, May 7, 2010

Secret Sauce

Abraham Darby

When I was putting in my first serious garden I used to spend a lot of time on the Garden Web Forums. That was where I got all my questions answered and I learned about organic gardening. There are eleven individual forums on roses alone! It is also where I learned about alfalfa tea. It is an amazing brew that makes plants grow like crazy into big, beautiful specimens that rival anything grown on synthetics. I had forgotten about this secret ingredient when I was putting in my gardens in SJC. One day I was brooding about how lousy my new rose bushes looked and wondering why my roses in the Laguna garden were so robust and beautiful when it dawned on me that I had never brewed alfalfa tea for my new garden. That was it! I have been brewing up the nasty concoction for the past few weeks and applying it to everything that grows. Now just to stand back and watch the magic happen! Alfalfa has a natural growth compound called triacontanol that benefits from the fermentation process. Alfalfa will work when just applied directly to the soil, but is enhanced when fermented for a week. It is not very pleasant to smell or look at, but I read that adding molasses helps negate the odor and it has always worked for me. So here it is:

12 cups alfalfa meal (get it at a feed store)
6 cups Epsom salts
1 bottle molasses
6 oz Superthrive (optional)

Mix in a 55 gallon trash barrel filled with water and let sit for a week, stirring daily. It will form a nasty green foam on top. This is good. Feed about a half a bucket to a rose bush or anything else that you want to grow and prosper.

Good luck!

11 comments:

Turling said...

I may have to give this a try.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

That does sound good. Interesting about molasses being in the tea.
I love garden web, I've been going there for years.
Your 'Abraham Darby' caught my eye. I love that rose, I think it will be my first rose to bloom this year.

keewee said...

I had heard about alfalfa tea, in fact I have a large bag of the stuff I have been introducing into my garden beds. Thanks for the recipe.

David in Kansas said...

I just love secret gardening recipes! I will try to locate some alfalfa meal this weekend.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Never tried that, if I can get my hands on a large barrel, I'll give it a try. Your rose is beautiful.

Floridagirl said...

Ooh, that sounds like a magical recipe. I'll have to give it a try.

Floridagirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Redneck Rosarian said...

I use this same formula for my roses and I always see new canes and renewed growth after using. Excellent results!

Love your Abraham Darby!!!!

GoneferalinID said...

Great information! I never heard of alfalfa tea. I will definitely try this. Now I know exactly what to do with the 55 gal barrel my boyfriend brought home.

Kathleen said...

'Abraham Darby' is one of my favorite roses. I won't be seeing a bloom from mine for a while yet but yours is gorgeous. I'm going to write the tea recipe down ~ it sounds great. I just planted two more roses too so perfect timing for feeding them!

camissonia said...

What a great tip! I will absolutely have to try your secret sauce on my roses. This year has brought forth fantastic blooms in my rose garden (El Nino?). I love David Austin's English roses and Abraham Darby ranks #1 for me, just above Jude the Obscure and Gertrude Jekyll.