Green for less: Grow green with beer, dish soap and mouthwash


Jerry Baker calls himself "America's Master Gardener," and is known for the many plant sprays and fertilizers that he concocts from ingredients you might find around the house. For example, to keep cats from using the soil around a prized plant, he suggests mixing flour, powdered mustard, cayenne powder, chili powder and water together to sprinkle around the plant.

To sterilize a tree wound, he recommends a mixture of ammonia, liquid dish soap, antiseptic mouth wash and water. To drive away catapillers, puree a cup of orange peels in boiling water and use it as a spray. Liven up your herb garden with a soup made of beer, ammonia, Murphy's Oil Soap and corn syrup. To green up fading plants, hit them with a mixture of beer, ammonia, dishwashing liquid, liquid lawn food and molasses. For details about his home-made remedies, see his "Giant Book of Garden Solutions."