BUFFALO, NY -- This week, Western New York will face the highest temperatures of an already brutal stretch of heat, with little rain in sight. This has made for a punishing summer season for area lawns. The sight of brown, parched grass can be daunting, but a homebrewed recipe originally concocted by a greenskeeper in Colorado with items that may already occupy your cupboards could help to bring it back to life.
It’s known as Lawn Tonic, and calls for, specifically:
Jackie Albarella, host of WGRZ's gardening segment "2 The Garden" explains. “You got pop and you got beer in there. Those two ingredients are going to supply carbohydrates to the lawn which the microbes need," she details. "The ammonia is going to be the source of nitrogen. Lawns want nitrogen. The dishwashing soap, that is going to be a wetting agent so that gets on the lawn, it’s going to make the lawn more accepting of water and keeping the water. The mouthwash is going to kill some of the bugs that are lawn, maybe some grubs and some other bugs that are in the lawn. In theory it should work. It has the right ingredients to work.”
Lawn Tonic is meant to be applied every three weeks with a hose sprayer, as dilution of the substance is important. Too much of the ammonia can hurt more than help. Jackie adds that in addition to potentially being cost-effective, it's also organic. Nothing truly replaces water for nourishing a thirsty lawn, but if you don’t want to spend money on manufactured sprays as the thermometer rises, lawn tonic could be the practical alternative for you.