7 Ways to use beer in the garden

It's summertime and if you're anything like us, you have the occasional gathering which results in a bit of a mess to clean up afterwards. I often spend an hour or more disposing of half empty bottles of soda, water and beer. What a waste! I save the water bottles to use on my houseplants but did you know that you can also use beer in the garden? 

Beer for the garden, 7 things that can happen when you pour beer on your garden

Stale beer has yeast, proteins, sugars and other beneficial nutrients like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and more. Beer also has carbohydrates which feed the microbes in the soil, who in turn feed the plants. 

Plus after sitting out overnight the alcohol has evaporated. Alcohol can harm plants so if you happen to have skunky beer you want to use up, just open it and let it sit for a day or two before using it.

I've composed a list of 7 ways you can use beer in and around your garden to benefit plants and attract insects. 

Uses for beer in the garden

Watered down beer will add nutrients and nitrogen to the soil to give your plants a boost.

Compost starter:
Give your compost a jump start by dumping beer on it. The yeast and sugar in the beer feed the beneficial bacteria in compost to really get it cooking.

Wasp trap:
Add some stale beer to your wasp trap to keep these stinging brats away from you while gardening. Here are directions from Instructables to make your own wasp trap from an empty soda bottle.

Drown slugs:
Dig a shallow hole in the dirt and set a pie tin or similar shaped plate in the ground. Fill with beer. The fermenting yeast smell will attract the slugs which will crawl in and drown. You can use fresh beer for this one if you happen to have some on hand that you don't like.

use beer in the garden

Clean your tools:
Carbonation in beer can help remove rust from your garden tools. You'll need a fresh beer for this one too, but simply soak them for about 10 minutes then buff with a cloth. 

Attract butterflies:
Slice an overly ripe banana into a shallow dish. Drizzle with blackstrap molasses and add beer almost to the top of the banana slices. Hang from a tree.

Indoor plants: 
Add a few tablespoons of stale beer to a quart of water once a month. Water houseplants as usual. 

Bonus in house use....

Fruit fly trap:
Place a cup of beer on the kitchen counter. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. Make holes in the top with a toothpick. Fruit flies will crawl through the holes to get to the beer but get stuck inside and drown.

If you happen to have any more stale beer left, you can water those brown patches in your lawn with it. The acids will help kill off the fungi that causes some brown spots, plus the fermented sugars will feed the new grass. 

You might want to make sure the neighbors aren't out first. You'll look mighty funny trying to get your lawn drunk!

Related reading: Want more information on organic gardening? Check out this collection of articles on gardening.


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  1. Great tips. I will have to give them a try!!

  2. I had no idea it was good for so many things in the garden. Thank you for stopping by The Maple Hill Hop!

  3. The butterfly attractant cracks me up. I know the alcohol is gone, but I'm just picturing little drunk butterflies flying around. :) Great list, I didn't know about most of these. I love finding new ways to eliminate waste. Even without a party, I can't tell you how many half empty bottles of beer I've found sitting around the next morning.

    Your post has been selected as a Featured Post for this week's Homestead Blog Hop. Thank you for participating in the hop. Feel free to add the Featured button to your post. http://www.notsomodern.com/homestead-blog-hop-42.html/

    1. lol...drunk butterflies would be pretty funny!
      Thanks for choosing my post! I'll head over and check it out now!


  4. I never knew that beer had so many uses in the garden. Very useful information and I will have to try some of these. Visiting from Homestead Blog Hop.

  5. PINNED. Best wishes for a wonderful and gardening summer!!! Linda @crafts a la mode

  6. great tips! thanks for nice ideas!

  7. As a young adult.. id use left over beer in an ornamental tree next to my sofa. I had an additional one on other side of moving room. The results were incredible.. the "drunk" tree had leaves that were bright, glossy and 50% bigger than the "sober" tree

    1. That's amazing! I'm currently doing the same for my Fiddle Leaf Fig. She needs a little boost!