Beer is an inexpensive way to fertilize your lawn and get rid of ugly brown spots caused by disease, pests and pets. One of the simplest spot-removal methods is to saturate the grass with a can of beer, wait a few days and do it again.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Beer has acid in it that will kill bugs and the sugar and yeast provide vital nutrients for repair and healthy growth."
Tools and Materials
- Flag markers
- Regular Cola
- Measuring Cup
- 20 Gallon hose end Sprayer
Step 1 - Plot the Yard
Before you begin mixing, count how many brown spots you have in your yard and how large they are. You will need a least a cup of the mixture on each spot. Larger spots require more of the liquid. Mark the brown spots with a yellow flag so they are easy to find.
Step 2 - Create the Mix
The basic recipe calls for:
- 1 can beer
- 1 cup ammonia
- 1 can regular cola
If you find this is not enough, double the mixture, using the same proportion of ingredients. Mix together and pour into a clean 20 gallon hose end sprayer.
TIP: Susan advises, "Use chemical-free beer for best results."
Step 3 - Spray the Spots
Use the sprayer to saturate each spot with the home made mixture. This mixture should give the plants vital nutrients and kill any fungi that have made its home in your yard. Do not be stingy when applying the spray. The more spray you lay down, the more effective it will be.
Step 4 - Wait
Once you have thoroughly sprayed your yard, wait for a week. Do not allow your pets or children on the yard. Ammonia is toxic and needs a chance to settle. New grass will also need time to grow. It cannot do this if it is constantly being stepped on. Once the week is over, check your yard for improvement. If you don’t see any improvement, or if the brown spots aren’t completely gone you need to spray again.
Step 5 - Repeat
Make a new batch of the beer mixture each week you spray your yard. Follow the same instructions and saturate each brown spot with the mixture. You may need to repeat this process several times, depending on the damage. Be patient. Grass will not be able to completely grow back in a week, no matter what you do.
Step 6 - Maintain Your Lawn
Maintaining a healthy lawn will help prevent brown spots. Take a soil sample and amend your soil as needed. Keep thatch raked, mow regularly and provide fertilizer, if needed. If you find it is a pet problem, you will continually have to fight brown spots, or you need to find a more inviting area for them to do their business.
TIP: Susan suggests, "For serious lawn diseases, consult your local Cooperative Extension Office. They can help with diagnosis and treatment."