Alfalfa Tea

Discussion in 'Organic Soil' started by Guano, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    try an Ace Hardware...I know that if they don't have it they can order it in for you and even in smaller towns they are used to doing that ... alfalfa teas are very popular with rose gardeners.
     
  2. mike hunt

    mike hunt Premium Farmer

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    Use google to find various products, it is your best friend when you cant get certain things locally.
     
  3. big ballin 88

    big ballin 88 New Farmer

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    I like to add lacto bacillus to my alfalfa tea to really make it come alive ;)
     
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  4. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    ...can you elaborate on that? If you don't mind that is...what does it do? where do you get it?

    thanks
     
  5. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    on another note...what recipes for alfalfa tea do people follow on here? About once every week and a half I make up an eight gallon batch...I put 3 gallons of water in a bucket with airstones (lots of air, its hooked up to a 100 liter a minute pump) and two to three cups Alfalfa Meal (two handfuls).

    after 24 hours I strain add molasses, Great White (or another micchoriza product), Liquid Kelp (about 1/3 strength Old Age) and ph it with Protekt Silica....works great...actually I might amp it down a little because I have to prune my moms too much...oh, I use it only on moms and clones that are rooted well....clones love it.
     
  6. rootsnshoots

    rootsnshoots Active Farmer

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    i know there is tons of info on that in the fermented plant extracts thread in organic soil. i have only glanced through it but if youre into growing truly organic you will love it
     
  7. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    thanks man...I have played around with the idea of making concentrates and/or extracts...I will look later today...
     
  8. dorjewright

    dorjewright Active Farmer

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    How often on the folliar feeding. Can I do it daily on 4" clones until they are well established and ready to transplant in to large containers? Now they are in 4" cups.
     
  9. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    if you are talking to me i water them with it, I only foliar with it on really healthy moms...
     
  10. rootsnshoots

    rootsnshoots Active Farmer

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    no prob. i just started looking back into it and its really easy i started a jar of it about 20 minutes ago. I will probably grow a bunch of it and add it to my composts. as well as start my own fpe's sorry to get off subject here on this thread!
     
  11. leadsled

    leadsled GrowRU

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    EM/BAM is anerobic bacteria. lactic acid bacteria, purple non sulphur bacteria and yeast. Some of which are lacto bacillus strains.

    Can purchase online and brew your own. Can also look at the thead "making your own fermented plant extracts" to learn to make your own for less $$.

    In case you do not want to read the entire thread. I will point you to a tutorial. How to make a lactobacilus culture
    www dot hawaiihealingtree dot org/?p=163

    Good Growing

    -lead
     
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  12. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    Thanks...I will check back in...I know this right now...i am doing a side by side with some clones i am turning into moms...3 with alfalfa tea, 4 without...and the with is a hands down winner...I will post a couple pics later...gotta wash some hydroton right now...oh joy ;o)
     
  13. Dunge

    Dunge Well-Known Farmer

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    Propionic acid stabalized molasses.

    I thought that I had found a great savings on molasses when I purchased a gallon for under $10.
    This is about one tenth the cost of unsulfinated human consumption product from the grocery.

    This 'bare baiting' molasses is preserved with propionic acid.
    My first batch scared me off as I didn't see the microbial populations I was expecting.
    It was only a gallon batch, so I chucked it out.

    I am new to alfalfa tea, but very enthused and thus far encouraged by the results.

    Will try to nail down this first observation, but microbes look the same, dead or alive, so I will need to base my assessments on density I guess.

    I most often view under simple slide and cover slide, but I have a hemocytometer ? that presents a fixed volume well over an etched grid so that counts can tell you something.

    I know that propionic acid is added to kill microbes. This would seem to be a big clue, but I still want to figure out a way to use cheep molasses.

    This is a good thread and needs to survive.
     
  14. click80

    click80 Well-Known Farmer

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    I read on here in one of the threads, some back and forths about the pro's and con's of using products aimed at growing with molasses from companies who focus on grow products vs plain molasses (like blackstrap unsulphered grocery store kind). The gist was that hydro products with molasses could be treated(?) in some way so as to not cause the slime that sometimes occurs when adding molasses. I had great results with just "regular" molasses but then the last two times I added it, both times runing sterile res hydro-grow with DM Zone, that I had a slime/goop problem. I have since wanted to explore what might have caused that reaction after so many grows, in hydro, with molasses and no slime probs.

    Very intricate interactions go on, as I am sure everyone knows, whether running sterile, and definitely when running live res's. I was wondering a couple things. Maybe I had a slime problem from some sort of anaerobic reaction the times it happened, but I would think sterile is sterile to aerobic and anaerobic. But that's a very un-educated guess. Whether or not this applies to using Alfalfa Tea in hydro is just something I am not ready to take on right now. I want to get a microscope.

    I do know that when I make Alfalfa tea I get a wonderful head of foam going and I have read that this is a byproduct of free amino's and proteins from microbe growth. I posted a link in Caps Tea thread about that. On that point i wonder what microbes would be contained in Alfalfa Meal, but that would have a lot of variables I suppose.

    I want a microscope really bad. Soon I can though.

    I don't know if anyone has heard of iTunes U. If you have iTunes on your computer you go to the iTune's store and look up top and there is a link named iTunes U. It contains many college courses, either in their entirety, or special lecture series. Most come from a thing called OpenCourseware which is a project many colleges participate in and they record, either just audio or audio/visual courses from many big and small colleges. I am currently watching Biology 1a and 1b from Berkeley and it's a great intro Biology course if you have some basic understanding of Chemistry. Anyway, it's FREE. Participating colleges range worldwide, and some examples of the USA ones are MIT, Berkeley, almost every college in California, Harvard, UNC, UVA, VA Tech, and on and on.... I am surprised I don't here more about it. If anyone is interested but cannot find it, or you don't have iTunes, you can Google "opencourseware" and then go through the results or just bump this thread and let me know and I will put some links in.

    Here is the one to the different Bio courses from Berkeley that are just on the web for a starter. The Bio 1a is sort of slow going but in Bio 1b he starts on fungi and things that interest me on the microbe front.

    http://distancelearn.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=distancelearn&cdn=education&tm=9&f=10&su=p284.13.342.ip_p897.12.342.ip_&tt=11&bt=1&bts=1&zu=http%3A//webcast.berkeley.edu/
     
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  15. leadsled

    leadsled GrowRU

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    Let me try and help you out since your thinking seems skewed. Trying to save $$ by killing microbes is not going to be productive. But hey, I get my blinders on sometimes and miss things because I am too focused on one point. That is the good part about having a second set of eyes examining what you are doing!

    5 gallons for $20.00 or less can be had at a feed store. Sometime can be had in the country for cheaper. Can also get the dry agricultural molasses to save $$. The stuff your using does not sound ideal. Here is why.
    Sulphur is used to process unripe green sugar cane. This chemical sulphur is not so good for most human consumption. Sun ripened sugar cane is processed without using sulphur. So unsulphered molasses is a better choice. The third boiling necessary to extract table sugar from sugar cane or beet sugar produces a thick dark substance known as blackstrap molasses, which is the most nutrient dense of all.
     
  16. leadsled

    leadsled GrowRU

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    Good that your are learning from other sources. I think that maybe is too much work reading and comprehension for some and maybe that is why you dont hear more about it. I do not care for sugars sitting too long in a hydro res. Best added and applied via teas, or added last day or two before changing out the res. Could make the bacteria bloom and go anerobic.

    Good info on the classes. There are also good books out there as well. teaming with microbes, Soil biology Primer, Adding biology for soil and hydroponic systems. The weath of information we have available is unlimited. Insert "when we were kids" quote from a old man... hahaha. Keep learning, sharing is caring.
     
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  17. Dunge

    Dunge Well-Known Farmer

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    Thanks Leadsled, but it gets worse.
    I am compelled to turn this into an experiment.
    Wiki on propionic acid yields rather benign description.
    It is SO cheep that I so want to use it.
    And I have a fresh batch of alfalfa microbial tea that got hit with the bear baiting propionic stabilized molasses.

    I took a look at it with mehtyl blue. Live yeast will resist the stain. Yeast are all alive, so perhaps the bacteria are ok.
    I tend to feel that the presence of flagellated beasts is a good thing. I must admit that I didn't see much activity, but my brief experience with viewing these teas has shown me that population proportions seem to swing quickly.

    So I gave one of my girls a good drink and started photo documenting.
    DSCN3536.JPG DSCN3551.JPG
    My dear subject is a favorite Grapefruit Blueberry 17 days into flower.

    I will certainly edit this post if it turns out badly.
     
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  18. respect

    respect Grower of Herb

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  19. Dunge

    Dunge Well-Known Farmer

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    Good bump respect.
    Here it is, over a year and a half later, and I'm still using the bear bate molasses.
    I would have thought that after so many batches of tea I would have things figured out a bit more.
    Presently I'm running on the cartoon that early additions or molasses in an alfalfa tea assist in yeast reproduction.
    High yeast populations lower pH which suppresses bacterial growth.
    Or perhaps it's the propionic acid that suppresses early bacterial growth.
    The plants don't seem to care how I make the tea.
    I what to see more activity than yeast provide, so I will be delaying molasses additions in an effort to boost bacterial populations prior to yeasts taking over.
    Once a good bacterial bunch are present, then all those bigger guys, who like to eat bacteria, can get going.
    Bigger microbes, once dead and split open, yield larger quantities of inter-cellular juice for my roots to enjoy.
     
    slap14 likes this.
  20. slap14

    slap14 Well-Known Farmer

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