Thursday, July 12, 2007

Frugal Friday--"Secret" Lawn Tonic

Well, I don't know how secret it is, having been on the nightly news and on the internet. The recipe came from Tim Heffron, a former groundskeeper at a golf course. Apparenly this started in Colorado and has been popular there. Now, y'all, I'm posting this for your benefit, since with the highly unusual amounts of rain we've had here in Texas, we really haven't needed anything that helps the grass grow. Our grass has been partyin' all summer--so far. But for those of you who aren't getting enough rain, this could do the trick. The recipe is simple and uses easy-to-find ingredients and a 10-gallon hose-end sprayer. If it's as effective as everyone says, you'll save a bundle over the high-cost garden center fertilizers.


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, you're supposed apply every three weeks.

This is why the tonic works, according to Heffron who explains the science behind the homemade tonic thusly:

The liquid soap is a wetting agent, helping the formula penetrate the roots.
NOTE: Do NOT use anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid in the mixture as it will kill off important microbes in the lawn and soil that help "digest" thatch.

The ammonia promotes growth and turns your lawn green. (Ammonia has nitrogen in it, which is the ferilizer ingredient that greens up the lawn.)

The mouthwash kills the bugs and grubs. Says Tim, "It essentially messes-up their re-productive cycles and keeps them out of your lawn and makes it look a lot better and leaves it minty fresh." lol

Also, the direct application method saves on water: "When you don't have a lot of water and we're on watering restrictions, this is another way to get the nutrients to your lawn and keep it growing."

Of course, you could just turn your lawn into a meadow and not worry about the grass.

More Frugal Friday here.


  1. That sounds simliar to a Jerry Baker recipe! Those DIY gardening recipes are great, thanks for sharing. I haven't tried any of these types of recipes yet, but I have used coffee and tea grounds on lawn bald spots with great success.

  2. Sounds great - thanks for sharing!


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