Want Greener Grass? Try Epsom Salts, Beer (oh my) & More
Everyone wants their lawn to look as lush and green as possible, it’s one of the least expensive methods for giving your home nice curb appeal (whereas a brown, patchy yard is one of the first things that can downgrade your property value).
Here’s a tip to help give it a boost: Epsom Salts can be used as a natural fertilizer. I’ve included a bit of information about why this works and added a few recipes below to help you get started (along with a secret tonic with surprising ingredients).
From epsomsaltcouncil.org (Why It Works In The Garden), the two major components of Epsom Salt are:
- A critical mineral for seed germination.
- Vital to the production of chlorophyll, which plants use to transform sunlight into food.
- An aid in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen, two of the most important fertilizer components.
Sulfur, the other major component, is also an important plant nutrient.
- Contributes to chlorophyll production.
- Makes the primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) found in most fertilizers more effective.
To Use: Apply 3 pounds of Epsom Salts for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer (use as a lawn fertilizer).
Another recipe from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Household Solutions By Melodie Moore:
1 cup Espom Salts
1 cup Household Ammonia
- Watering Can Method: Combine ingredients in a clean jar. Mix 2 tablespoons of the mixture with 2 gallons of water in a watering can, and sprinkle over 150 to 200 square feet of turf.
- Hose Sprayer Method: Mix the entire batch with enough water to make a quart of liquid. Pour the liquid into the sprayer. A quart of diluted fertilizer will cover about 2,500 square feet of lawn.
- Avoid a heavy dose in the middle of summer, this can stimulate weed growth (See Homemade Weed Killer Recipes & Tips).
- Always apply to damp, never dry, soil.
Here’s one from the book Jerry Baker’s Green Grass Magic By Jerry Baker:
3 pounds Epsom salts
1 bag 20-5-10 slow-release dry lawn food (enough for 2,500 square feet)
- Directions: Mix ingredients then apply half of this mixture at half the recommended rate with spreader set on medium.
Secret Lawn Tonic
*First published May 1, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization
Here’s a tip from wisebread.com for healthy, green grass:
You will need:
- One full can of regular pop (any kind-no diet soda)
- One full can of beer (no light beer)
- 1/2 Cup of Liquid dishwashing soap (do NOT use anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid)
- 1/2 Cup of household ammonia
- 1/2 Cup of mouthwash (any brand)
- Pour into 10-gallon hose-end sprayer (other sizes will work too)
- In high heat, apply every three weeks
Pop, beer, dishwashing liquid, mouthwash, etc., … how could you go wrong with a mix like that! I admit when I first read the tonic ingredients, I was a little iffy about it. The post mentions the groundskeeper’s name, so I did a quick search and found this on a tv station website: KSL TV:
He gets these great results with no sprinkler system and only a little fertilizer.
Tim Heffron, Lawn Tonic Expert: “I started using it about five years ago– back in Oklahoma– where it’s 100– 100 degrees every day– day in and day out.”
His secret–a formula– a “tonic” made-up of common household ingredients. A pop, a beer, a little liquid dishwashing soap- some mouthwash–and some household ammonia–all mixed in to a 10-gallon hose-end sprayer. The pop and the beer are essentially food for your lawn, and,
Tim Heffron, Lawn Tonic Expert: “The combination of the two will allow the grass–the dead grass in your lawn– help to begin to break down and to compost much quicker.”
Well–looks legit to me! Make sure to visit both sites and read the instructions and details as to why it works, very cool tip!
Good luck with your lawn this summer, here’s to happy, healthy (and tipsy) green grass!