Tom Von Deck
Keywords: alternative fertilizer, natural alternative fertilizer, alternative organic fertilizer.
[Meta Description: Feed your crops with a natural alternative fertilizer. Seed sprout tea is rich in nutrients like phytohormones, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids. 2 recipes.]
Making seed sprout tea is an ingenious way to supply your plants – cannabis, veggies, or whatever – with growth-stimulating nutrients. Some call it enzyme tea. This is a natural alternative fertilizer and growth stimulant that you add to the water you use to hydrate your crops. It works well for indoor and outdoor growing operations.
Here, we’ll provide you with two recipes:
- How to make seed sprout tea
- How to ferment it for future use
Why Make Fertilizer with Seed Sprouts?
Nutrients from seed sprout tea include vitamins, minerals, phytohormones, enzymes, antioxidants, and amino acids, and they are highly abundant.
The main difference between seeds and sprouted seeds is that the sprouts will increase the bioavailability of the nutrients. This means a greater percentage of each nutrient will be available for your crops to absorb and use.
You can use this natural nutrient-infused water along with other natural fertilizers and/or growth stimulants. For best results, think of it as an enhancer rather than a substitute. You still want to prep your soil and maintain proper pH and nutrient levels.
Which Seeds Should You Use to Make the Sprouts?
The seeds in the list below are normally recommended for seed sprout enzyme tea because they provide a lot of the above nutrients.
You can research each plant individually to drill down on the specific nutrients their sprouts and/or seeds provide. All of them should work well, but their nutrient ratios might vary a bit.
Tip: Try to use organic seeds to ensure there are no synthetic contaminants.
Seeds for making seed sprout tea:
- Alfalfa seeds
- Lentil seeds
- Barley seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Corn or maize
- Fenugreek seeds
How to Make & Use Seed Sprout Tea Alternative Fertilizer
- Rinse your seeds in a colander or something similar. This will remove contaminants like dirt and growth-inhibiting hormones.
- Soak the seeds for at least eight hours. Don’t use chlorinated tap water. Add an optional 1/4tsp of kelp meal/powder per ounce of seeds to quicken the sprouting process with phytohormones.
- Drain the water.
- Rinse the seeds in water again and drain.
- Place the seeds in a jar or other container and cover it. If your container is a jar, you can cover the mouth with paper towel, cheese cloth, or anything that allows air flow but not insects or dust. Spread the seeds out to optimize contact with air. Fasten the cover with a rubber band.
- Let them sit until the sprouts grow to at least ¼ inch (0.65cm). They’ll begin sprouting within a few days.
- Monitor your seeds daily. Don’t let them dry up at any point in this process. For best results, rinse your seeds and drain them twice per day while waiting for the sprouts to grow.
- Throw the sprouted seeds into a blender or food processor and liquify them as much as possible. You can add some water to help break it down.
- Add the resulting mush to your plant water. You can add up to two tablespoons per gallon.
- Use your enhanced plant water as quickly as possible or use fermentation to preserve it for later (see recipe below).
How to Make & Preserve Seed Sprout Enzyme Tea for Future Use
For best results, just make as much as you need from the above recipe and use it immediately. If you want a batch of seed sprout tea you can use later, try fermentation.
Here’s how you do it:
1 Follow steps 1-7 in the previous recipe.
2 Weigh your sprouted seeds.
3 Add sugar or molasses to your sprouts. How much? If your sprouts weigh 90g (3.2oz), for example, add somewhere between 30g (1oz) and 45g (1.6oz) of sugar to your sprouts. That’s about 1/3 to ½ of the weight of the sprouts. If you use molasses, which is measured by volume, change grams to milliliters. This means you can add 30mL to 45mL of molasses.
4 Throw your mixture into a blender and liquify it as much as possible. Add some water if needed. It will help break down the sprouts while helping the sugar dissolve. Alternatively, you can dissolve the sugar or molasses in warm water separately before adding it in step 3.
5 Add a probiotic that makes lactic acid. The probiotic bacteria will eat sugar and create lactic acid with it. Lactic acid is a powerful natural preservative. Lactobacillus strains are good for this. Some people use sourdough starter culture. Others use kefir starter culture. Some will even break open a few probiotic capsules and add the contents to the mix. Some of these cultures may contain bifidobacteria as well. That’s fine. They produce lactic acid, too.
6 Store the mixture in an airtight container for three to six weeks. Keep it in a dark place away from sunlight.
7. While your new natural fertilizer is fermenting, open the container at least once daily to get the gases to escape. Probiotics produce a lot of gas.
8. After Fermentation, add up to two tablespoons to a gallon of water.
9. Water your plants with it.
Tell Us About Your Grow
Let us know how it goes. If you have any questions about your seed sprout enzyme tea or your indoor or outdoor garden, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.