How to Make Your Own Liquid Lawn Fertilizer


Using compost is an easy, cheap and environmentally friendly way to fertilize your lawn organically. Compost stimulates thick, green blades and helps protect your lawn from disease-causing bacteria. Most people don't like spreading compost on their lawn in the middle of summer, because it makes the lawn look dirty and can have strong odor. Spraying your lawn with a diluted compost tea gives your lawn a nitrogen-rich boost of nutrients that are quickly absorbed.

Step 1

Fill about a quarter of one 5-gallon bucket with compost. This can be composted manure, composted kitchen and yard waste, or a mix of these. If you don't have compost, buy a high-quality organic compost mix from a garden store.

Step 2

Place the bucket in a warm place where it will get some sun. Add water to the compost so that the 5-gallon bucket is almost full. Stir it well with a broomstick or other long stick or handle.

Step 3

Let the tea "brew" for a week. Be sure to stir the mixture at least twice a day to incorporate oxygen into the liquid. If the brew starts to stink, it needs more frequent stirring.

Step 4

Strain the compost tea before putting it into a sprayer. Place a piece of cheesecloth over a small bucket and scoop the tea onto the cloth, collecting the strained liquid and returning solids to the larger bucket.

Step 5

Top off the 5 gallon bucket with more water. You can continue adding water to the compost to make up to 10 gallons of compost tea.

Step 6

Dilute the compost tea with one part tea to ten parts water before spraying it on your lawn. The high nitrogen content of compost tea can easily burn the grass.

Step 7

Spray the diluted liquid compost over the lawn so that all the blades are wet. It is not necessary to water the lawn after applying compost tea because it constitutes foliar feeding (feeding plants by applying liquid fertilizer to the leaves). Compost tea is safe to use on your lawn up to twice a month.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Broomstick
  • Cheesecloth
  • Small bucket
  • Bucket
  • Sprayer


  • Sustainable Gardening
  • Oregon State University Extension Service

Who Can Help

  • Stewardship Gardening
Keywords: feed your lawn organically, compost tea, foliar spray