Have a Greener Lawn – Give It a Beer?

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According to a few former golf groundskeepers, you can have a greener lawn if you just give it a few things you can find around (most) houses, including a little beer!:

  • One Can of Soda (Any Kind but Diet)
  • One Can of Beer (Not Light Beer)
  • 1/2 Cup of Liquid Dishwashing Soap or Baby Shampoo
  • 1/2 Cup of Household Ammonia
  • 1/2 Cup of Mouthwash (Any Brand)
  • 1/4 Cup of Epsom Salts

Mix it all together in a hose-end sprayer.  If you don’t have one, you can pick one up from just about any home/garden center.   Be careful mixing – the soap or shampoo along with the beer can cause the mix to foam.

Why it works:

The liquid soap or shampoo helps the mix absorb into the grass and ground by breaking the surface tension of the mix.  The quicker the mix can soak into both, the faster your lawn will show results.  (You can even use a little soap or shampoo with a commercial fertilizer to help it work better on lawns and gardens.)  Depending on the brand you use, your lawn will smell fresh and clean, too!  Plus soaps help kill off some bugs without using dangerous poisons.  Don’t use anti-bacterial brands, though, as they’ll kill off even the beneficial bacteria your lawn needs.

The soda gives the grass a little bit of a carbohydrate boost.  Not as much as complex carbs will over the long run (such as mulch mowing), but enough to get the greening up started.

The ammonia provides nitrates which break down into forms of nitrogen, something every lawn loves since grass is mostly made up of nitrogen.  (That’s why commercial lawn fertilizers are almost all N and just a little P and K, otherwise known as Potash and Potassium.)

Epsom Salts gives your grass some of the micronutrients it needs:  magnesium and sulfate.  Magnesium can help improve grass’ nitrogen uptake.

The mouthwash helps kill off bugs and some bacteria which gives the grass a chance to get and/or stay healthy.

The beer also has some carbs in it, but it’s the biological agents and enzymes in it that help break down thatch which can choke out nutrients and water.  Getting rid of the thatch means the lawn can make better use of everything you give it.

Using a hose-end sprayer lets you evenly spread the mix over your yard while also giving it some water, too, helpful especially in areas which tend towards drought.  The water also helps keep the soil moist while all the other ingredients start their work.

If you like saving money and having a greener lawn, try this little mix out.   I’ve used it in the past and had some nice results.  Plus it’s fun making your own products out of stuff you can find all over the house.

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