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How to Make Green Garden Tonics

Gardening is a pastime that many people enjoy, but it can be a difficult hobby to keep up with if you are on a budget. Fortunately, there are many cheap and easy garden tonics that you can make to keep your flowers and grass healthy and lush. Not only will you save money by making your own, you will also be able to maintain a gorgeous garden and yard without the use of harsh chemicals.

Green Lawn Tonic

Instead of buying fertilizer from your local garden center, try making this easy lawn tonic to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. To make this tonic, mix together one can of beer (regular, not light), one can of non-diet soda, 1/2 cup of ammonia, 1/2 cup of mouthwash, and 1/2 cup of dish soap (be sure to use one that does not say “anti-bacterial” on the label). Once you’ve thoroughly mixed all of the ingredients, use a hose-end sprayer to apply the solution to your lawn. You can use this spray as frequently as every three weeks, and right after mowing is the best time to apply it.

A similar lawn tonic can be made by combining one can of regular beer, one cup of ammonia, one cup of liquid dish soap (again use one that isn’t anti-bacterial), and one cup of corn syrup. Apply it to the lawn with a hose-end sprayer either first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.

Unwanted Pest Tonic

There are a couple of different tonics you can make to get rid of annoying garden pests once and for all. Add five crushed garlic cloves to one gallon of water, and let it steep for a few hours. Then strain out the garlic pieces and add five drops of liquid dish soap to the water. Spray the solution on any of your garden plants that are being attacked by pests.

You can also make a concentrate to ward off pests by mixing one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with one cup of vegetable oil. Use two teaspoons of this mixture per one cup of water and spray your plants with an even coat of the solution.

Tomato Tonic

You might be surprised to learn that there is a use for the dust balls in your vacuum cleaner–they are great for tomatoes! Dust balls are composed of things like pet fur and dead dust mites, and contain nutrients that tomato plants crave. To make a simple tonic for tomatoes, put on a pair of gloves and remove some of the dusty material from your vacuum cleaner bag or container. Mist the material with water and push it down in the soil that surrounds your tomato plants. This can be done weekly to encourage a crop of healthy tomatoes!

Flower Tonic

If you or someone in your family fishes, you can use leftover fish waste to make a tonic for your flowers. The tonic itself has an offensive odor, so keep that in mind if you live in town–the strong smell of decaying fish might not sit well with your neighbors! To make this flower tonic, you will need a five gallon bucket that has a tight-fitting lid. Place 1 gallon of fish waste (any part of the fish including heads, scales, and innards) into the bucket. Add leaves or straw or both to the fish waste until the bucket is half-full. To this mixture add three tablespoons of molasses, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and two tablespoons of Epsom salt. Blend it together well and place the lid on the bucket. Allow it to sit in a sunny area for a full week, stirring it every other day and recovering. To use this tonic, you will need to dilute it with water. Use approximately one part of the tonic to three or four parts water.

As you can see, you don’t need to throw your money away on costly fertilizers and pest sprays. Garden tonics are earth-friendly potions that will keep your lawn and garden looking their best. They are safe and inexpensive alternatives to unsafe chemicals and the best part is you can make them yourself.


[author] [author_info]About the Author

Guest writer Bailey Harris writes for


Image: Garden Arches

Along with being a contributor to, Jacqueline Wilson is: Appalachia Advocate~Supporter of Women~Writer~Accidental Pit Bull Advocate.

1 Comment

  1. Prime Parents' Club

    July 7, 2011 at 9:01 am

    WOW. This was such a helpful article. I knew about the soap spray for plants, but not the garlic or veggie oil. AND, WHO KNEW about the vac dust?!?



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