This DIY lawn fertilizer, which I refer to as my Secret Lawn Tonic, came from a groundskeeper at a golf course – it was his secret to that amazing green golf turf.  And I can attest that it works!

All you need are five common household ingredients and a 10-gallon hose-end sprayer. It costs much less that  store-bought formula’s and many will say its more effective. I can’t speak to that, because its been years since I’ve bought a store bought formula, so I have no point of comparison other than to say, this stuff works.

You will need:

  • One full can (12 ounces) of regular pop with full sugar (any flavor – no diet pop, its the sugar that does the job)
  • One full can of beer (no light beer) 12oz  (I drink the beer instead. Seriously. The tonic works fine without it.)
  • 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) (optional – the mouthwash helps control insects)


  • Pour into 10-gallon hose-end sprayer
  • In high heat, apply every three weeks

Why it Works:

There is science behind this lawn tonic, as explained by the golf course grounds keeper who shared this:

The liquid soap is a soil softener, helping the formula penetrate the roots and also helps water penetrate the soil better when you water your lawn.

The ammonia promotes growth and turns your lawn green.

The mouthwash kills the bugs and grubs.

NOTE: Do NOT use anti-bacterial dish washing liquid in the mixture as it will kill off important microbes in the lawn and soil that help “digest” thatch.

Tell Somebody!