Return to the Organic Rose Growing Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Alfa Alfa tea recipe for roses

Posted by gardengopi Italy (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 19, 07 at 4:53

Dear friends,

I read on an earlier thread of messages that Alfa Alfa tea makes an excellent fertilizer for roses, only I couldn't find the original recipe. Can anyone tell me how best to make this organic fertilizer.

Also, is it right that roses would need a 'higher' potassium feed after flowering to encourage a second flush? If so, what would be the best organic source?

Many thanks,
Garden gopi

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Alfa Alfa tea recipe for roses

There are many variations out there. I use the following (converted from English to SI units for your convenience);

75l water
2l alfalfa meal (the powdery stuff)
60ml epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
15ml copperas (iron sulfate)
30ml miracle grow

All measures are by volume, and are very approximate. I'm sure the miracle grow isn't organic, but note that the proportion is about 1/10th the recommended rate of application, so I doubt it will appreciably harm the soil.

All I do is add the dry ingredients to a large plastic tub, fill it with water, and let it rot for a week. If I want it more aerobic, I'll stir it once every morning, and it doesn't stink as horribly when the week is up. As the season progresses, I drop the iron and magnesium.

After using the stinky liquid, I reuse the settled muck to make another, weaker batch for the following week. After that batch is spent, I pour the slurry into the small bed with my miniatures, rake it in, and start a new batch. In this way, there is always a tub of the stuff cooking in the back yard, every plant gets a gallon of the full-strength liquid once every two weeks, and nothing is wasted.

The results have been excellent.

RE: Alfa Alfa tea recipe for roses

Thank you so much, I will give it a try

RE: Alfa Alfa tea recipe for roses

I'd love to try this recipe but I can't tell how much of the first two ingredients to use? Where do you get powdery alfalfa meal? Thanks.

RE: Alfa Alfa tea recipe for roses

Well, converting back from liters to cups/gallons would be trivial, so I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

The powdered alfalfa meal comes in 50# bags from any farm/feed store. I live in a somewhat rural area, and the closest one I have is perhaps a 40-minute drive, so depending on where you live you may have to hunt for one.

I'd advise against anything other than powdered alfalfa meal. Apparently a lot of the pelletized alfalfa feed products can contain things like sugar and salt which would be bad for a number of reasons. Best not to risk it and just get the real thing. Powdered meal should be around $12-$15 US for a 50# bag. I have about 20 roses, and in my zone 5 garden, 1 bag lasts quite a long time. Multiple seasons.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Organic Rose Growing Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here