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Spring is near, and for many that means coaxing the lawn back into shape. Growing grass can be frustrating and rewarding in equal measure. There’s no fail-safe method of success, unfortunately, but if you are struggling to revive a patchy area, applying fertilizer may be your best best. Of course, you can buy fertilizer at your local garden supply store, but you can also take matters into your own hands. Dirt cheap to concoct, homemade fertilizer involves a short list of ingredients that you likely have on hand already. This homemade fertilizer has proven effective for countless homeowners, and it can work for you too.
- 1 can or bottle of beer
- 1 cup of of household ammonia
- 1 cup of baby shampoo (nonantibacterial variety)
Start by assembling all three ingredients, each one of which brings an important benefit to the table. Beer delivers nutrients not only to the grass itself, but also to the bacteria in the soil that prime the lawn for growth. Meanwhile, ammonia supplies a powerful infusion of nitrogen—something plants can’t live without. Finally, shampoo makes the ground more absorptive. Because soil bacteria are so important to lawn health, nonantibacterial shampoo is a must.
Pour the ingredients into a container large enough to accommodate them. On account of the ammonia, do this either outdoors or in a room with ample ventilation. Next, add the mixture to a hose-end sprayer (an inexpensive accessory) or to a lawn sprinkler outfitted with a fertilizer compartment.
Begin spraying the homemade fertilizer, taking care not to let the nozzle linger too long in one place. Given its high level of potency, the fertilizer should be applied as evenly as possible across all parts of the lawn you are treating. Mix a larger batch if you wish to fertilize all of an unusually large lawn.
Apply the homemade fertilizer every two weeks or until you are satisfied with the progress your lawn has made. Beware of fertilizing too much or too often, as an excess can inhibit rather than promote grass growth. Meanwhile, keep close tabs on the pH of your soil; it should ideally be in the 6.0 to 6.5 pH range.
Have you used a homemade fertilizer with success? Share your own tried-and-true recipe in the comments below!