Store bought lawn treatments can be expensive. Sure, they might have years of research and development behind them, using the latest and greatest gardening science to produce fantastic results, but if you’re having to pay a small fortune just to keep your lawn looking green you may start to wonder whether it’s all worthwhile.
The fact is that there’s a huge range of lawn treatments that you can easily whip up yourself with simple household items. Fertilisers, pesticides, soil conditioners; all of these treatments have a DIY equivalent, the ingredients of which may already be sitting in your cupboard.
Let’s take a look at some simple lawn treatments that can get your grass looking great for next to nix.
For a great all-rounder of a fertiliser try this simple recipe that utilises the nutrients found in your drinks fridge.
- Full-strength beer – 1x can/bottle
- Soft drink (not diet) – 1x can
- Dish soap (not anti-bacterial) – ½ cup
- Ammonia – ½ cup
- Mouthwash – ½ cup
- Water – 30L
It’s simply a matter of combining all of these ingredients together and spraying the mix evenly over your grass. The beer, soft drink and ammonia in this mix will offer the lawn the sugars and nutrients that it needs to grow healthily. The dish soap makes the soil more receptive to absorbing the nutrients, and the mouthwash acts as a light pesticide.
Oil Soap Pesticide
Garden pests can be a real nuisance, and can be difficult to deal with even with the help of a heavy duty fertiliser. But before you go shopping for the big guns, why not have a go at this simple oil soap pesticide that you can make without spending a cent?
- Mild soap – 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable oil – 1 cup
You’ll first make a pesticide concentrate by thoroughly mixing the soap and oil together. Once combined, dilute the solution by adding 2 teaspoons to every litre of water.
This recipe works particularly well on soft-bodied pests such as aphids and mites. The oil serves to suffocate the insects as it blocks the body holes through which they breathe. The soap is included to help the oil stick to the insects, and to help it mix more effectively with the water.
Salt and Vinegar Herbicide
The combination of salt and vinegar has always made for a wonderful tasting chip, but did you know that it can also make for an effective topical herbicide? The ingredients for this mixture are sure to be found in any Australian pantry.
- Table or rock salt – 1 cup
- White vinegar – 4 litres
- Dish soap – ¼ cup
Combine these ingredients then pour the mixture into a hand sprayer. Spray on the foliage of any offending plants that have made their way through the lawn. Be careful with your aim, as this herbicide is indiscriminate on which plants it kills – an accurate hand sprayer is advised.
Compost to lower your soil’s pH
If your soil is too alkaline you may be tempted to buy sulphur or aluminium sulphate from your local gardening store in order to up the soil’s acidity. But general organic materials can actually have just as marked an effect on your pH levels as these store bought options.
pH Lowering alternatives:
- Pine needles
- Plant debris
It’s important to note that this option is very much a long-term one, as the organic matter will only affect the soil’s pH when it’s fully broken down. For a quicker fix you may have to go a store-bought sulphur option that can be watered in instantly.
Between these four DIY recipes you’ve almost got a complete array of lawn treatment options. Save yourself the money, the time and the hassle of heading to the garden centre next time – everything you need might be right there in the cupboard!
And for any other lawn maintenance tips don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at McKays!