Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated

By Paul Michael on 23 March 2007 (Updated 26 April 2011) 184 comments

I am always on the lookout for gardening tips and cheats because, well, I'm awful at gardening. My local news station airs this one every year, and it has always worked wonders for my lawn. And as I live in the arid climate of Colorado, it's even more useful these days. (See also: 7 Ways to Improve the Life of Your Lawn Mower)

The recipe came from Tim Heffron, a former groundskeeper at a golf course. All you need are five common household ingredients and a 10-gallon hose-end sprayer. This recipe can be modified slightly for other less dry climates, but for areas like Colorado it works wonders. And it's a heck of a lot cheaper and more effective than the store-bought mixes.

You will need:

  • One full can of regular pop (any kind-no diet soda)
  • One full can of beer (no light beer) 12oz
  • 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)

Directions:

  • Pour into 10-gallon hose-end sprayer (other sizes will work too)
  • In high heat, apply every three weeks

UPDATE - 6/23/09
I have received several emails recently asking me about the 10-gallon hose end sprayer, and if you need to add 10 gallons of water to the solution.

weed sprayerThe 10-gallon hose end sprayer is actually quite small, enough to fit the undiluted solution. You can find them in most hardware stores, and I found one for less than $10 at Amazon. You fill the hose end sprayer, attach it to your hose and turn on the water. The solution is mixed with water as it sprays out, automatically diluting it, and should give you enough for 10 gallons of the diluted mixture. I hope that helps.

That's it! Simple, easy, cheap and very very effective. But I already know what you're asking. How does this work? Well, Heffron explains the science behind the homemade tonic:

The liquid soap is a wetting agent, helping the formula penetrate the roots.

The ammonia promotes growth and turns your lawn green.

The mouthwash does something you would never suspect mouthwash would do. It kills the bugs and grubs.

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

Says Tim,

"It essentially messes-up their re-productive cycles and keeps them out of your lawn and makes it look a lot better and leaves it minty fresh," laughs Heffron. And because it's applied with the hose sprayer, it's a direct shot to your sod. "When you don't have a lot of water and we're on watering restrictions, this is another way to get the nutrients to your lawn and keep it growing."

So there you have it. My lawn is already starting to awaken from its winter hibernation here in Colorado, and it won't be long before the scorching sun will turn the neighbors' new green growth into brown, dry thatch. But with my trusty tonic by my side, my lawn will be greener than blood from a Vulcan.

Additional photo credit: Amazon
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Guest's picture

That is incredible. I will definitely try it this spring.

Guest's picture
Jocelyn

What does the beer do?

Guest's picture
Guest

Not to sure about what all beer does.. But its the sugars that decompose the thatch layer pretty fast...

Paul Michael's picture

...feed the lawn. Something to do with the sugars/carbs. The beer also helps break down the thatch more quickly.

Guest's picture
Guest

Do you add water to the mixture? I am assuming so, but it doesnt say... I plan on trying it though...

Guest's picture
truecolours

The 10 gallon sprayer attaches to a water hose. . .so yes, a lot of water is in the mix.

Guest's picture
Guest

Not to the mixture. Mix all up and use the hose sprayer. It says 10 gal. Becuase the when you are done with the mixture, 10 gal of water had come thru the bottle

Paul Michael's picture

It all goes into a hose end sprayer (those handy things you attach to your hosepipe). It mixes automatically with water as it sprays. At least, that's how I do it.

Guest's picture
don

how many oz. per gallon do you set the sprayer to?

Guest's picture
Guest Judith Jenson

I live in Cleveland, Ohio and back up to a golf course that has closed after 100 years of being in business due to the economy. This past season we have a yard that is infiltrated with brown patch fungus (according to the nursery I took some of the grass to). We have a big yard, and the expense is killing us, and what we hire to have done, isn't working. I bought the ingredients to make this, and applied my first batch the other evening. I can see that skunks are attracted to the yard, which is probably filled with grubs, and that doesn't help either. I have an ortho dial it sprayer. It ranges from t-spoons to oz....up to 8 oz. I am not sure what setting to put it on. If you could advise that would be great. There does seem to be a little improvement!!

Guest's picture
Guest

I wonder also Paul if this will help get rid of moles , as we are overcome . Killing the Grub there food supply.

Guest's picture
Guest

So what does it do? Make your grass green? Keep it green? Something with the word green in it?

Thanks.

Paul Michael's picture

I used it on my flagging lawn last year, every few weeks, and it revived it and kept it green. So, you're right on both occasions!

Guest's picture

I think I'll forward the recipe to our local weatherman who is also an avid gardner. Wonder what would happen if I added some expired liquid vitamins? I have added that to watering device in the past and had very good results.

Guest's picture
Guest

When I was reading home remedies...he didmention adding Vit. B 1 Plant food, it has nician in it. I hope that helps? Deb

Guest's picture
Guest

When I was reading home remedies...he didmention adding Vit. B 1 Plant food, it has nician in it. I hope that helps? Deb

Guest's picture
Ally

I think I saw this guy in the local news when I was in high school. I always remembered it as the beer recipe, but I couldn't remember what else was in it. I'm glad I found it though because my husband and I own a house now and we're trying to save the backyard. All we have in the front yard is rocks since we live in NM. thanks.

Guest's picture
Reginald Taylor

Is it ok to use this tonic for my yard?

I have a private company called Top Turf(Lawn Manangement Company) treating my yard every other month with fertilizer, lime, weed control and so on.

I'm in Georgia. So appling in high heat won't be a problem.

Andrea Karim's picture

I'd say go ahead and give it a try. Paul says he uses it for his lawn.

Guest's picture
Robert

I live in western Oregon and have a garden of vegetables. Can I use your lawn tonic to spray my vegetables to kill of and discourage any bugs?
Thanks.

Guest's picture
L

if you like toxic chemicals on your food, by all means.

Guest's picture
Tyerod

Can you explain whats toxic in this mixture??

Guest's picture
chris

where can i buy one of these 10 gal hose end sprayer? all the ones i have found only hold like a quart or so?

Guest's picture
sara

I bought a Miracle grow sprayer, it is about quart sized I think and comes with fertilizer packet, its by all the other fertilizer, it is just a container that you can attach to your hose, that has a sprayer.
I just keep looking at it and when the stuff becomes clear, and I cant smell it anymore, then I know i am done or need to change it.
I don't know if there is an exact science to this, I have been doing this for about 10 years now. My original recipe was different, one bottle beer, and then using the beer bottle, add one bottle dishsoap, one bottle mouthwash and one bottle of ammonia, this gave you quite a bit so I stored it in a milk jug, it was also minus the soda, but I will definately have to try it with.

Guest's picture
Guest

On the Jimmy Baker website.

Guest's picture
donna

chris....when the quart of solution mixes with the water on the end of the hose it equals 10 gallons.

Guest's picture
Guest

Chris I got mine at WalMart.

Guest's picture
Dolly

I have the Lawn Care recipe, you know, the one with pop, beer, dish soap, ammonia, and mouthwash, and know water. I understand it says a 10 gallon hose end sprayer, but I'm not sure I know what a 10 gallon hose sprayer is, or I'm not sure how a 10 gallon hose end sprayer works works. None-the-less, dose anyone have a simple answer to a simple question, HOW MUCH WATER? Can you dilute this so it can be used in a small sprayer attached to my riding tractor?

Guest's picture
Guest

Actually, he was talking about a 20 gallon sprayer you can find on his website. You mix everything up and add the rest with warm water.Equaling 20 gallons.

Guest's picture
tweerym

He means that the quart container mixes with water as you spray on the settings of 3.6 oz. As you spray you will notice that the tonic will gradually disappear. When the end sprayer bottle is empty you have just sprayed 10 gallons of mixture on your lawn! That is what he means.

Guest's picture
Mark

The recipe is 36 ounces of tonic to ten gallons of water, which works out to about 3.6 ounces per gallon. The closest I can get with my fine Ortho dail-and-spray is four ounces/gallon, or buy a fixed-rate sprayer that does 3.5 to 4 oz/gallon.

Guest's picture

Perfect Mark, This is the info I needed.

Guest's picture
Dolly

Finally!!! An important question to this equation answered. Thank U Mark.

Guest's picture
Guest

Is it safe to put on vegetable and flower gardens?

Guest's picture
Guest

What size area does this mixture for the 10 gallon sprayer cover. how many square feet????

Guest's picture
Guest

My question precisely.

Guest's picture
Deborah

How many days before and after you apply the tonic can you water your lawn?

Guest's picture
Bill R

the sprayer attaches to garden hose ,as the water is turn on and the water runs thru the sprayer it sucks up the tonic from the sprayer in which mixes the right amount of water.If your sprayer has adjustment set it as close to 3.6 oz as possible .as your hose sprays 1 gallon of water then 3.6 oz of tonic mixed with that 1 gallon will go on your lawn.simple?

Guest's picture
Alexander

I have a question. The displacement of 3.6 oz of tonic mixture/gallon of water should cover what recommened square footage??

Thanking in advance for a reply.
Alex

Guest's picture
weebitty

I have a few questions to ask. I am going to try your forumula but was wondering if you water before or after the application???

Do you have to start this at the beginning of the spring season in order for it to work. My lawn is a mess right now is it too late to start using it????

When applying do you just get the grass wet but not puddling???

What size beer cans are you refering to???? 12 oz or 16 oz. I used your receipe with 16 oz cans of beer should I have increased the other ingredients from what you have written in the receipe???

What is the benefit of apply in the heat of the day???? Won't it burn the grass??? Do you have a temperature range for spring or fall. Does it get applied in fall as well????

Thank you for your time in answering my questions. Weebitty

Guest's picture
weebitty

Is anyone montoring this website. I was wondering also if you feed the lawn anything else besides this receipe the rest of the time???? Thanks weebitty also see previous post. thank you for your time

Guest's picture
needybrain

I've used this formula 3 times this summer and don't see any improvement in my lawn. I live in chicago and the summer has been mild with temps in the 80's and cool nights and fairly dry. I love that this is a "natural" way to control insects and grubs I just wish it would keep my lawn green. Any suggestions for ingredient changes for my area? More ammonia?

Guest's picture
Lawn Tips

This tonic IS NOT "natural" or "organic" in any way. Ammonia on your lawn? ...mouthwash? Soda pop?...Definitely not something you should have washing into your soil. Just cuz you can stick it in your gullet, doesn't mean it's good for the environment.

Also, if you applied this stuff every three weeks over the growing season, you would end up spending about $20 per month in "chemicals" which is about $80 for the year. (most of you are not motivated enough to mix and spray every 3 weeks)
If you get a nice organic fert, you will only need to apply it three times per year and the total would be about $60.

What's next, motor oil on the lawn? Sheesh!
lifeandlawns.com
AL

Guest's picture
Guest

For one what gives you the right to judge people!!! My GOODNESS people aren't motivated enough to do this!!! How do you know?? THEY ARE ON HERE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO FOR THIER LAWNS shhss!! And I don't think motor oil is next LULU!! This recipe has been around for a long time and it works!! So stop being so judgemental and keep your mean self to YOUR SELF!! BECAUSE WE (all on this site) DON'T NEED YOUR HATEFULL WORDS!! What are you mr * mrs know it all!!! Don't think you do myself!!! Everyone you mix all these ingredients together and get you a little sprayer one that connects to the end of your garden hose and it will mix with the water coming out. You don't have to be precisely right on the amount coming out. No need to water before or after just make sure you water everyday to keep your lawn nice and watered and to help the stuff go down into your lawn, ( DOES NOT HARM THE ENVIROMENT) Because its not enough to do any harm. ma not be organic but its OK!! THANK YOU AND I HOPE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU HAVE A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT AND TOMORROW A BEATIFUL GREEN HEALTHY LAWN, THAT YOU CAN WALK THROUGH BARE FOOT!!! LOL :) ENJOY!!

Guest's picture
Bentonelli

Al, check it out

 

I get all of my mixture from the local Dollar store (not the beer) most of the recipe people have in there house. No way this recipe come out to $20 per month. I always have mouthwash,ammonia,soda pop and frig  full of beer/s on hand anyway. So this recipe is like free to me. I apply this mixture after a heavy rain. It help the mixture to get in the soil faster and easier.

 

Bentonelli

Guest's picture
Guest

Did someone say this was "natural" or "organic"... least i didnt see any claims like that..
I thought this topic was for some cheap lawn care..
can of pop 50 cents.. 1 beer whats that .. a buck.. half cup of amonia .. 25 cents..
50 cents worth of dishsoap.. 25 cents worth of mouthwash...
If it works well.. That $2.50 sounds like a bargain compaired to other lawn care products i see listed on the shelves...

Guest's picture
Guest

not so.. Do you have dollar stores in your area? 2 dollars for a big ammonia and 2 bucks for a big mouthwash.. and a couple of bucks for a beer..

check it out...

Guest's picture
Remo

I've heard of this formula before from a co-worker but idn't bother to check out his lawn. I'll try this tomorrow, 17May2009, morning with a sprayer. I just mixed the ingredients in a milk jug. I'll keep all of you posted. Wish me luck!

Guest's picture
Alexander

Happy success!!

Guest's picture
Alexander

Hello Remo;and happy lawn care!!

Guest's picture

As a lawn care professional I cannot see the sense or reason of putting ammonia, beer, soda or mouthwash on a lawn. Seriously... what possible nutritional value is there in this rubbish that a lawn needs or can tolerate.

The dishwahing liquid is OK because it will act in much the same way as Wetting Agents do in breaking down the waxy coating on grains of soil to help the soil retain water more effectively.

If you want a good greening of your lawn then try sulphate of ammonia instead - available where all fertilisers are sold, but a balanced high quality fertiliser with trace elements applied 4-5 times per year is the ideal, accompanied by a wetting agent twice a year.

Guest's picture
Green Gold

My Neighor's Yard was in Serious Trouble from year 2012 (Serious Bald Areas, and grass looked embarrassing.) This year, their lawn came around end of May. Their lawn is lush and Rich now. I finally asked my neighbor, what are they doing differently this year because the yard looks Amazing!! I thought he used Miracle Grow lawn food or something? Nope they told me of this mixture. So I went online to see about it and voila, it's here. I mean, really their lawn looks amazingly green and lush. No Bald Spots, Really Nice Now. So there you have it, I'm sold. I've been using lawn services that over Nitrate your lawn, organic iron, water and water, etc. I love curb appeal and I do have it but It's been a struggle for me. So, Yes, I will use this method and I'm sharing. It does work!!!!

Guest's picture
Barbara

To LAWN MOWING professional, is the ammonia sulphate you suggest the same fertilizer that is creating the horrible algae problem in the Great Lakes? I'm looking for something that won't add to an already serious problem created by the run-off from farms and am not sure that ammonia is a safe ingredient.

Guest's picture
Guest

I love how uneducated people claim the are "professionals" or "experts" and therefore MUST be right, when they have NO idea...LOL. If you understand basic chemistry and chemical reactions, you'll understand how the ammonia breaks down into nice, avaialble form of nitrogen, which your plants need to grow. Harmless once sprayed on the lawn, and very beneficial.
Learn your biology and you'll see the ingredients in the beer make a wonderful food source for the natural microorganisms that live in the soil. These microorganisms are THE key players in whether your plants grow well and healthy or not, so stimulating them is a great thing. The Coke , as long as it is NOT diet, provides sugars that feed the microorganisms as well, and also a phosphorous in the form of phosphoric acid, study Fluid Dynamics and you'll understand why the dish soap reduces surface tension of soil molecules, allowing the mixture to better penetrate, and if your mouthwash is like scope or listerine, they are mostly alcohol, which affects the reproductive cycle of insects. While adding a vast amount of alcohols to your lawn would be a disaster, the small quantity used here is harmless, certainly MUCH less harmless than the ingredients of most commercial non-organic fertilizers. Using Organic fertilizers is always a good thing, but, now that it is "cool" to be "green", there are a lot of shyster hucksters selling their "organic fertilizers" which really aren't organic, or worthwhile, and they want to charge a FORTUNE for that stuff. There are other ingredients that would work better, like blackstrap molasses instead of coke, etc, and you can study and find less expensive ingredients to use. The thing is, you can use the least expensive generic products; they are no better or worse than name brands. Both usually come from the same chemical factory in houston or new jersey anyway LOL The reason this may not work so well for you at first is because you may have ruined your soil by spraying fertilizers, pesticides, etc on it for years...you have killled the important constituents living in your soil. It takes time for them to build up to healthy levels again.

Guest's picture
JLady

So nice to see a SMART PERSON ON HERE!!! WOW You told it so well!! I have used this and it has worked so good!! But some of these people just act foolish!! So I just wanted to say THANKS to SOMEONE WITH SOME DANG SENSE!! LOL!! Have a Great Night!! I enjoyed your comment so much!! Some people I guess just need it laid out in black and white!! They make me crazy when they talk all this stuff and don't have a clue. I think that its not enough to really harm anything, but really didn't know this all like you put it out. I appreciate it and glad I know all the right facts on this!!! THANK YOU :))

Guest's picture
Guest

I have been using this "tonic" with great success for the past three years in the wisconsin area. Thanks

Guest's picture
d. in lax wi

hey wi. we just got a new puppy, i have a cat and an 8 yr old daughter. want to try this organic recipe. our neighbors dog died of poisoning from a lawn care service. with new pup and daughter on the run it's time to go green. ammonia is my concern my pup pulls grass (we are working on it- he's 8 weeks old) do you have pets and kids? if so is it ok to let them on the lawn after it dries or should i water again after appling.i plan to front then back. help i do not want anything to do with commerical anymore and my wi lawn looks awful. lacrosse has sand/clay based lawns 3-6 in. topsoil anything we put on it screams for more but come first wk of dry/hot weather immediately goes dormaint. water barely helps right now. how often have you applied in wi? please reply ammonia pet/child concern. thanks. d in lax

Guest's picture
Guest

I know others have asked, but how large an area can this 36-ounce mixture treat?

Guest's picture
Guest

Does anyone know if this is pet safe. My lawn is in need of some serious fertilizing, however, I'm afraid that even some of the "Pet Safe" ones may not be as they say.

Does anyone know about this, would it be ok for dogs ??

Guest's picture
Remo

I tried the beer tonic on the morning of 17May2009 but instead of using a hose-end sprayer I used a pump sprayer. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing result and my lawn is starting to wither. Does this mixture works on St. Augustine lawn here in Jacksonville, Florida? I'm willing to try it again with a hose-end sprayer but have a few questions. Do I apply it in the morning or before the sun goes down? Should I water my lawn before or after applying the beer tonic. I just bought an Ortho Dial n Spray hose-end sprayer at Lowe's. At what setting should I set the hose-end sprayer? I'll be waiting for your answer to my inquiries.

Guest's picture
pop7898bop

Dissapointed,

***You need to use the hose sprayer as directed.***

If you use a pump sprayer, you're only coating the grass leaves with the solution rather than getting the solution into the soil, where the grass plant can use it. Plus, you're sparing it on full strength, I assume, which will only serve to burn the grass.

A 10 gallon hose sprayer is designed to distribute 32 oz. of chemical with 10 gallons of water, or 3.2 oz per gallon. This is a fairly dilute solution that is designed to soak into the ground and reach the thatch and root layers of your lawn to do it's work. Since many of us will likely find an Ortho Dial-a-Spray (R) hose sprayer, you'll need to set the dial to either "3 oz" or "4 oz" per gallon (there is no 3.2 oz) to get that ratio approximately correct.

Now, in terms of coverage, I've seen similar recipes that call for a 20 gallon sprayer to cover 2,000 square feet (e.g. Jerry Baker's tonics). Since this recipe calls for a 10 gallon sprayer, you could interpolate that this recipe will cover approximately 4,000 square feet.

However, I prefer to use the equivalent of a 20 gallon sprayer on 2,000 sf of lawn area to get more water in solution and help it soak in better. Plus, I reduce the chances of burning the lawn with too strong a concentrate. That's especially important here in Central Florida where the sun can scorch a lawn pretty quickly. I'm sure this would help your situation.

In fact, if I were you, I just apply water at that rate to help rinse off your lawn and get that solution into the ground before any more damage occurs.

I use the Dial-a-Sprayer (since that's what's commonly available at the Walmart/Target/etc) to approximate a 20 gallon sprayer. To get the right ratio of solution to water, I fill the Dial-a-Sprayer to the top with 32oz. of solution, then set the dial to either "1 1/2Oz." or "2 Oz." If you want to approximate a 10 gallon sprayer as in this recipe, set it to either "3 oz" or "4 oz" as I mentioned above.

Now, to fix what you've done, water your lawn well and rinse that stuff off the leaves and get it into the ground where it's needed. Do this before any more damage occurs.

Guest's picture
Guest

is this tonic safe for desert tortous that eat the grass?

Guest's picture
Guest

No

Guest's picture
Guest

Will this tonic kill weeds? Can you use this instead of regular fertilizer and weed control. I currently have a service that applies 4-6 times a year.

How often should this be applied?
How many ounces of the ammonia, dish detergent, and mouth wash?

I know that is 1 can of beer and 1 can of coke.

Guest's picture
Guest

4 oz each of ammonia, dish detergent and mouthwash (1 cup = 8 oz, so 1/2 cup = 4 oz.). Set your hose end sprayer to 3 oz/gallon to be on the safe side.

Guest's picture
Remo

Its July 30, 2009 at 9:24 pm, I used Ortho Dial-N-Spray hose-end sprayer set at 3 oz to spray my St. Augustine lawn with the following mixture: a 16 oz Milwaukee's Best Ice beer, a 12 oz Coke, 1/2 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of Scope Original Mint mouthwash and a 1/2 cup of Dawn Ultra Concentrated Original Scent dishwashing liquid. After I sprayed my lawn with the mixture, I watered my lawn for 30 minutes. It rained earlier this afternoon here in Jacksonville, FL with an average temp of mid 70s to high 80s. I hope I covered all bases and provided everybody useful information. I'll be back for further updates.

Guest's picture
Guest

I was just wondering if dawn has a degreaser in the soap. Jimmy Baker says to stay clear of dish soap with antibacterials and degreasers.

Guest's picture
Guest

Sorry I meant Jerry Baker....check it out.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just tried this formula for the first time. I would like to know what the coverage area is for the lawn tonic?

Guest's picture
jay

I have either algae or fungus growing in my back yard. It looks like my grass is dying but it isnt. It has a goldest color to it and when i cut the grass you can see the goldest flying in the air. Is there anything that I can do to get rid of this. Thanks.

Guest's picture
Monrovian

I revisited this story about Lawn Tonic on AOL this morning, I'd seen it earlier in the year and bought all the ingredients for it but had not used it yet.

I fed my lawn in May with Bandini Blade with herbicide, my lawn is weed free and has stayed green, I also set my mower blades up which was recommended in the same article and this has helped immensely to aid in a thicker greener lawn.

I have a 12 year old Chocolate Lab and I'm concerned about using chemicals especially herbicide or insecticides on my lawn so this has to be better, doesn't sound like there is anything in it that could be harmful. I will hopefully come back in a couple of weeks with good results.

Thank you for this blog, it's answered many questions I had that I was just guessing at before.

Guest's picture
Guest

I've been using these recipes for years, and here's where they originated from:

http://www.jerrybaker.com

Enough with all the hypotheses - go to this site and all your questions will be answered.

Guest's picture
Rachel

From pahrump, nv. Got the recipe from my friends dad,gonna try it tomorrow morning! By the way my friends dad's lawn looks great and it just snowed out here a week ago
And my friends dad said his grass is barely blooming ,he insists it will b even greener in a few more weeks. So I'm gonna put it to the test!! Will get back to y'all and let u know the results! :)

Guest's picture
Guest

I've done this for years and it works wonders, however, one full can of beer is a bit much. I typically remove one swig before starting.

Guest's picture
Guest

I used this mixture many years ago, but I recall there was Epsom salt in the mix. Am I delusional, I do use ES once a year in granular form, but adding it to the mix sounds okay. Any thoughts? Nancy

Guest's picture
Guest

Here is Jerry Baker using a simular recipe, he explains it well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9o8ueIebms&feature=related

Guest's picture
Guest

I went to fred's and brought one of there hose end sprayers. You can attatch this one to the sprinkler and go back and refill it when it is empty this workrd best for me.

Guest's picture
Guest

what a joke. did nothing

Guest's picture
Mario

Could some one please tell me if the ammonia in the tonic will kill your lawn !!!

Guest's picture
Scott

what should the sprayer adjustment be on.

Guest's picture
Dan

Don't forget to put a little tobacco juice in there to control any insect problems you may have.plus it gives you an excuse to smoke a cigar.smoke your cigar then soak the remains in a jar with water overnight and add 1/2 cup to the tonic.

Guest's picture
Perfesir

THIS SHOULD ANSWER MOST OF YOUR QUESTIONS
9News Consumer Reporter Mark Koebrich looks at a simple formula that many call a "tonic" for a drought stressed lawn. It's a formula you can mix yourself.
It's made up of five common household products that you measure out into 10-gallon hose-end sprayer. A former Golf Course Groundskeeper who lives in Parker, Tim Heffron, found it while watching television years ago in Oklahoma. "I started using it about five years ago back in Oklahoma where it's 100 degrees every day, day in and day out," says Heffron.
Heffron clearly has the best looking lawn in his neighborhood. He has no sprinkler system and only hand-waters his lawn sparingly. He does use small amounts of dry fertilizer as well.
You'll find many similar formulas on the Internet, and we've listed some sights below, but this is a formula that seems to work well in Colorado.
You can use any size hose-end sprayer you can find. Since our first story, many of the 10-gallon rated sprayers have sold out. The "10-gallon" size is just a reference to the hose-end sprayers capacity when under pressure from your hose. It does not mean the sprayer has a 10-gallon tank. Again, if you don't already have a hose-end sprayer (a device with a little plastic jug, usually about a quart to a quart-and-a-half in size, with a nozzle top that attaches to your hose) you can use any hose-end sprayer you can find. Just adjust the mixture accordingly if your sprayer holds less than the recipe calls for. Most homeowners are telling us they need two sprayers-full to cover 5,000 square feet, or the average lawn. But everyone's sprayer has a different flow rate. The tonic is best applied in the evening after you mow. You do not need to water it in as you're applying it with water and it's already going to the roots of your lawn.We have no had no reports of the tonic being hazardous to your pet.
The "Lawn Tonic"
-One full can of regular pop (any kind-no diet soda)
-One full can of beer (no light beer)
-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)
-Pour into 10-gallon hose-end sprayer (other sizes will work too)
-In high heat, apply every three weeks
The liquid soap is a wetting agent, helping the formula penetrate to the roots. The ammonia promotes growth and turns your lawn green, and the mouthwash does something you would never suspect mouthwash would do. It kills the bugs and grubs. NOTE: Do NOT use anti-bacterial dishwashing liquid in the mixture as it will kill off important microbes in the lawn and soil that help "digest" thatch.
"It essentially messes-up their re-productive cycles and keeps them out of your lawn and makes it look a lot better and leaves it minty fresh," laughs Heffron. And because it's applied with the hose sprayer, it's a direct shot to your sod. "When you don't have a lot of water and we're on watering restrictions, this is another way to get the nutrients to your lawn and keep it growing."

Guest's picture
Guest

This is bunk (sort of). The only ingredient that works really is the ammonia which makes your lawn green and can be found in any fertilizer.

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Guest

I see that someone made a reference to the "Jerry Baker" who gave himself the title of, "America's Master Gardener." I'm a different "Jerry Baker," and I support Alvin Greene, for "Man of the Year," on the cover of TIME magazine.

Read my blog at http://reykr.livejournal.com/

Gerald Baker

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Baby Boomers Go Green

Please advise me as to after care. I am in Colorado in July...and as you know it's hot and dry. I watered thoroughly and applied the mixture. How soon after applying should I water again? and how often? Thanks

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Guest

Is this harmful for pets? I was guessing it might be with the ammonia in the mix.

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Vinny

Does anyone know a soap that is not antibacterial?

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Guest

Go to your local walmart or dollar tree. I bought the brand sun and it is not antibacterial. Best of Luck! I love the lawn Tonic!

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MR. AND MRS. FRANKLIN PEACOCK

READ THE FRONT OF THE BOTTLE IT TELLS YOU

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Wasacadet

I have an Ortho "Dial a Spray" - What setting should I use for a per gallon ratio?

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Guest

It's in the older comments. 3.2 or 3.6 per gallon or close to that if your dial only does 3 or 4 just pick one.

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MR. AND MRS. FRANKLIN PEACOCK

HI, MY HUSBAND FRANKLIN IS TOO LAZY TO DO ANYTHING.A FORMER FARMER.HA...AND SINCE A USED CAR DEALER.I HAVE ALWAYS WORKED HARD TO KEEP OUR 6 PROPERTIES WE RESIDE IN UP. FROM THE CARPENTRY TO THE YARDS. WE HAVE LOTS OF YARDS AND I PREFER TO HANDLE THEM THAN THE CHEAP GUYS HE HIRES TO DESTROY THEM. ITS QUICKER THAN FLOODING THE YARDS FOR DAYS WITH WATER TO KEEP THEM GREEN IN HEAT LIKE IT HAS BEEN.THIS TONIC WORKS GREAT! IT SMELLS LIKE A GOLFERS GOOD DAY. WHEW! I USED DOUBLE THE AMMONIA. I SPRAYED IT ON THE HEDGES AND ALL.THE SOAP GETS RID THE WHITE BUGS IN THE HEDGES. WITHIN AN HOUR 1 OF OUR ALABAMA HOUSES YARD LOOKS SO BRIGHT ITS LIKE IT HAS LIGHTS IN IT! WITH THE NEIGHBOR WHO CUTS HIS GRASS TOO SHORT IT KILLS IT. OUR YARD IS GLOWING LIKE I PAINTED IT.THANKS AND HAVE A VERY BLESSED DAY! MRS. RED PEACOCK (FORMERLY OF SLOCOMB)

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Guest

I've been using a slithly different version of this tonic and other tonics for 10 years now. They are from jerrybaker.com. Does it work? Well my lawns have always been greenest of the block. But prior to this year my neighbors were all the type that didn't really care for their lawn. This year I moved smack in the middle of two people who use a lawn service to cut and maintain the grass. Each of them has their lawn fertilized 4 times a year. Let me tell you that my lawn looks much better than theirs. This year I was finally able to see the difference. During the summer it rained alot so the difference wasn't very noticeable - Everyone had green lawns. But as soon as we hit a dry period my lawn stayed green while theirs was drying out. I will be using these tonics til the day I day. I enjoy spraying them. It's therapeutic.

For those using Ortho Dail a Spray, This is from Jerry Baker's customer service people:
"For each of the tonic recipes that use a 20 gallon hose end sprayer the ingredients should equal 32 ounces, as the sprayer jars holds 32 ounces, if the ingredients don't equal 32 ounces, just add water so that you start out with 32 ounces to each tonic.
The sprayer sprays at a rate of 1.6 oz per each gallon of water that sprays out of the hose. If you have a sprayer with a dial on it, set the dial to 1.6 oz per gallon to give the correct ratio"

He recommends dispersing the tonic into 20 gallons of water, not 10.

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Coined

Living in Florida I hope this works. Just had a bunch of 419 tif installed and it's dying rather quickly. I did lots of water and all of a sudden after 2 weeks I noticed I was losing it. Well it's 6 weeks now looks a little better but not even close to what it was.

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Guest

I followed the directions for this recipe and applied it to the lawn last fall and again this spring, and have used the recipe a total of four times so far. I mixed as the recipe directed but added the beer and cola last in the 10gal. end sprayer. I used an Ortho dial a spray and set it at the four ounce setting dial on the top. The hose end sprayer holds 32 oz. and I just add a little less beer and apply on a 1000sq ft area at a time. I have a 100ft hose so marking off the yard was easy and I placed a small stake at each area of yard I marked off. I had to make the mix three times to cover my yard, and I bought all the supplies at the DollarStore and whenever I saw an item I used on sale I would buy it when I was already out shopping. I bought a 12pk of beer that was on sale as well as soda and I have to say that I still had plenty left of my supplies and I had only spent 16.00 when I started applying again this Spring. My yard looks great and everyone asks what I use and they wished their yards looked like mine. I don't mow when the weather is very hot, and I try to mow before a rainshower or thunderstorm to conserve water and save myself work. I was very skeptical about this at first, but I can say this, it works, I have a fertilizer applicator( you know the kind with the wheels and you fill with the grainy white junk) and I have retired it. I have been using the same mix on my azaleas but every two weeks instead of three and this year they bloomed themselves out. If you measure and use it, it will work for you too. I marked a calendar and kept in the garage next to the mower so I wouldnt forget.

Paul Michael's picture

Thanks Guest! To know it worked for you is great. To know you retired your regular fertilizer in favor of it, well that's the highest praise for the formula.

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Vickie J

Since you used this on azaleas - can it be used in in flower garden area or will it hurt the flowers? Have the ingredients and going to try this weekend. Would also like to know if it will get rid of crabgrass? This house I have taken over has been
neglect for 12 - 15 years and is overrun with crabgrass.

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Guest william H

Question can I add epson salt to the beer mix? I have also heard add mouth wash will that be ok? I bought miracle grow sprayer 50 gallon hose att. I have .24 acher lot size. How much mix should I put in it? Please let me know ps its st agu grass and the nozzle has 3 different spray mods. Trugreen just isn't giving me the results I am wanting. I know you have it listed here but I need to know the mix and how many times would I need to make the mix for.my lawn size? Please help

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William

I have used this on my lawns since around 2002. Every home we have lived in (2 rentals and now I am buying) has gotten this lawn treatment and the envy of my neighbors. Sure lots of people will say that this does not work...blah, blah, blah. They never stop to think what did people do to grow things prior to all the products you can brought at the store? I will not take the time to explain the basic science behind using these items on your lawn. Honestly, I hope the doubters don't use this formula quite frankly. I wish that some of these formulas remained a secret, but since they are out, the less people use them the better IMO. I like having the best lawn on my street. Please post more comments how this DOES WORK! Thanks.