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Everyday Cheapskate: 4 Recipes for Homemade DIY Lawn and Garden Fertilizer

Mary Hunt on

I love a beautiful yard, but I hate spending a lot of money to get it that way, which explains why I am always looking for do-it-yourself, cheap ways to kill weeds, grow flowers and feed lawns.

I have come across some very clever tips and tricks, not the least of which is to reclassify the dandelion as a low-maintenance, hearty ground cover. While you ponder that suggestion, take a look at these clever ideas to make your own landscape supplies.


In a large bin or bucket, mix 4 pounds of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) with a bag of your favorite lawn food that covers 2,500 square feet. Now, feed your lawn the same amount of this mixture as recommended on the lawn food bag. You'll save a lot of money because you'll be using only half the normal amount of fertilizer. Plus, this formulation cuts down on nitrogen, which makes your lawn grow so fast. You'll have the wonderful deep-green color and better root structure, and you won't have to mow as often.


Try this on your lawn every three weeks during the summer. (With every third snack, add 1/2 cup light corn syrup or molasses to the mixture.)


1 can beer

1 cup children's no tears shampoo* (non-antibacterial)

Household ammonia

Pour the beer and shampoo (and corn syrup when it's the third snack) into a 20-gallon hose-end sprayer jar*. Fill up the jar with ammonia and apply, following the instructions on the hose-end sprayer. You're going to have very happy grass.


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