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Fertilising your lawn is an integral part of your year-round lawn maintenance routine. But buying specially crafted lawn fertiliser can be expensive, particularly if you’ve only got a small patch of turf to deal with. You can end up with an almost full bag sitting in your garden shed for years on end.

Surprisingly, you may already have all the ingredients you need to keep your lawn looking vibrant and healthy. They could be right there in your kitchen or laundry cupboard.

Here are a few household items that can make for spectacular grass growth, and how to best utilise them in DIY lawn treatments.

Household Lawn Fertiliser Ingredients

Epsom Salts – The household utility with 1,001 uses, Epsom salts are a terrific tonic with which to treat your lawn. Epsom salts are made up of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen, three elements that are incredibly beneficial to the health of your turf.

Beer – As painful as it may be to tip perfectly good beer out onto your lawn, the amber fluid is a rich source of nutrients that help to feed the turf’s helpful bacteria and microbes (which break down organic matter into fuel for your lawn).

Soft Drink – Provided it’s not a diet variety, soft drink is far more beneficial to your lawn’s health than it is to your own! The mountains of sugar in the bubbly stuff feeds the microbes in the grass with delicious carbohydrates.

Ammonia – Ammonia is the simple chemical composition of hydrogen and nitrogen. Nitrogen is the perfect fertiliser for lawns, with most store-bought fertilisers focussing on nitrogen content. Many household cleaners (especially those used on windows) are ammonia based.

Soap – Soap (or shampoo) is less a fertiliser and more a means of delivery. It works to make the ground more absorbent, allowing your homemade fertilisers to be better ingested by the turf. Be sure to stay away from antibacterial soaps, however, as these will kill the good microbes and bacteria that you’re trying to feed.

Mouthwash – Again, while mouthwash isn’t exactly a fertiliser, it is a great additive, as it makes for a surprisingly effective pesticide that is harmless to your lawn.

Recipe 1 – The All-Rounder

  • 1 can of soft drink (not diet)
  • 1 can of beer
  • ½ cup of dish soap (not antibacterial)
  • ½ cup of ammonia
  • ½ cup of mouthwash
  • 30L water
  • This recipe is perfect for any type of lawn, and for any time of the year. With plenty of fuel for your grass (ammonia), food for friendly bacteria (soft drink and beer), a natural pesticide element (mouthwash) and an efficient delivery method (dish soap), this recipe makes for the perfect quick-release fertiliser option. It’s also cheap as chips!

    Recipe 2 – The Good Meal

  • 1 cup of Epsom salts
  • 1 cup of ammonia
  • 1 cup of water
  • With the help of the hearty feed provided by the Epsom salts and the ammonia, this recipe is a great pick-me-up for tired or browning lawns. More of a concentrate than recipe 1, be sure to spread this mix sparingly across your lawn (ideally using a sprayer).

    Depending on the needs of your lawn, you can put in or take out whichever ingredients may or may not suit. If your lawn’s nitrogen levels are okay, you may choose to forgo the ammonia. If you haven’t got a pest problem, you may go without the mouthwash. Almost any combination of the ingredients listed above can be used, and pretty much all of them should already be sitting right there in your home.

    There’s no excuse not to whip up a nice meal for your lawn. The greenest grass on the street could just be a quick dig through your cupboards away. So what are you waiting for?

    If you’ve got any other lawn maintenance queries, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at McKays.