How To Fertilize Your Lawn Cheaply With Household Items

Eggshells and used coffee grounds
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fertilizing your lawn can cost a bundle if you rely on store-bought, chemical fertilizers. These sprays and crystals nearly always work, but you risk blowing your budget. Luckily, homeowners have at their disposal a plethora of cheap, household items that work as fertilizers. You could also use many of these things in your garden if your plants need a boost! Let's take a look at some of your choices and how to use them.

Epsom Salt
While Epsom salts are great for soaking your feet, it is one of the best natural lawn fertilizers available. It is made of magnesium and sulfur, both of which aid the growth of grass. You can add Epsom salt when you sow new grass seed to help start the germination process. If your lawn is lacking the beautiful, lush green color you desire, magnesium helps the production of chlorophyll. Sulfur also aids the process of creating chlorophyll, but it enhances other fertilizers like nitrogen and potassium. When applying it to your lawn, you can either sprinkle the crystals across your lawn or create your own liquid spray with water.

Coffee Grounds
You don't need expensive fertilizer to stimulate healthy grass growth. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen and phosphorous. These essential minerals are slowly released, allowing your grass to absorb them over a longer period of time. Coffee grounds are also loved by worms. Earthworms eat the grounds and return the minerals into the soil through their castings. The cycle created by the worms stimulate lawn growth. Since most people need a cup of coffee to get moving in the morning, coffee grounds are easy to come by. The application is simple; just spread the grounds across the lawn and rake it around.

Compost Tea
Compost contains tons of nutrients needed for a healthy garden and lawn, and you can drastically reduce your garbage output when composting. All you need in a place to keep a pile outside or trash can. Put all of your old kitchen scraps from veggies and fruits, grass clippings, leaves, tea bags, and newspapers. Compost cannot have any meat or dairy based products added, or it will spoil. Make sure you put holes in the bin or container you use for the compost and stir it daily with a stick or shovel. To make compost tea, take an old sheet or cheesecloth. Fill it with dirt from your compost, and soak it in a large five-gallon bucket. Then, spray your lawn with the compost tea. It is an easy way to add nutrients to your garden without costing a dime! All it takes is items you would usually toss in the trash.

Aquarium Water
Don't dump all of that water down the drain. Instead, use a sprayer to use the aquarium water for your lawn, right out of the tank. This shouldn't be done if you have a saltwater tank, only fresh water! All of the fish waste combines to create a fantastic plant and lawn fertilizer.

Blackstrap Molasses
Another source of nutrients for plants and grass is blackstrap molasses. It includes carbon, iron, sulfur, calcium, copper, magnesium, and more! Typically, to use it as a fertilizer, you mix with another fertilizer. You could add a cup to your Epsom salt and water mixture. Other gardeners mix a cup into their compost tea after it has steeped.

Egg Shells
Gardeners can use egg shells for a lot of applications, such as around the base of tomatoes. They contain 1% nitrogen and phosphoric acid, along with being a fantastic source of calcium. Calcium is necessary for plant growth. If you garden, you can crush them and add them around your plants. If you want to use egg shells for your lawn, you can grind them into a powder with a coffee grinder. Sprinkle it on your lawn.

Fertilizing Cheaply
Lawns and gardens
require a delicate balance of nutrients to achieve the results you desire. You can go out and purchase a pre-made fertilizer, but many of the items you need are right in your kitchen. Some homeowners make their own fertilizer with beer, ammonia and soft drinks! A little creativity and ingenuity can save you a lot of money this summer.

Tina Martino