Homemade Lawn Fertilizers: Does Homemade Lawn Fertilizer Work

Spraying Of Homemade Lawn Fertilizer On Lawn
homemade lawn fertilizer
(Image credit: Sage78)

Store-bought lawn fertilizer can be expensive and even harmful to your lawn if applied too thickly. If you want to perk up your lawn in a cheaper, more natural way, consider making your own homemade lawn fertilizers. Keep reading for tips and homemade lawn fertilizer recipes.

Homemade Fertilizers for Lawns

There are some key ingredients you probably already have in your house that can promote your lawn’s health. These include:

  • Beer: Beer is actually full of nutrients that feed both the grass and the microbes and bacteria that promote its health.
  • Soda: Soda (NOT diet) contains plenty of sugar that feeds those same microbes with carbohydrates.
  • Soap or Shampoo: This makes the ground more absorptive and receptive to your homemade lawn fertilizers. Just make sure to stay away from antibacterial soap, as this could kill all those good microbes you’ve been feeding.
  • Ammonia: Ammonia is made of hydrogen and nitrogen, and plants thrive on nitrogen.
  • Mouthwash: Surprisingly, mouthwash is a great pesticide that won’t harm your plants.

How to Make Your Own Lawn Fertilizer

Here are a few simple homemade lawn fertilizer recipes you can probably make without even going to the store (simply mix the ingredients and apply to areas of the lawn):

Recipe #1

  • 1 can non-diet soda
  • 1 can beer
  • ½ cup (118 mL) dish soap (NOT antibacterial)
  • ½ cup (118 mL) ammonia
  • ½ cup (118 mL) mouthwash
  • 10 gallons (38 L) of water

Recipe #2

  • 1 can beer
  • 1 can non-diet soda
  • 1 cup baby shampoo
  • 10 gallons (38 L) of water

Recipe #3

  • 16 tbsp. (236 mL) Epsom salts
  • 8 oz. (227 g.) ammonia
  • 8 oz. (226 g.) water

Recipe #4

  • 1 can tomato juice
  • ½ cup (118 mL) fabric softener
  • 2 cups (473 mL) of water
  • 2/3 cup (158 mL) orange juice

Spread any of these homemade lawn fertilizers across your lawn once every week or two until you achieve your desired look. Be careful not to over-fertilize! Too much of any good thing can be bad, and a buildup of even the best nutrients can harm your lawn.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.