I had a birthday bash last night and was left with a few bottles of opened stale beer. I did not want them to go to waste and was curious whether the beer is organic and good to use for plants.
Beer is not good for plants because the alcohol can harm the plants making them unable to absorb nutrients. You could add it to your compost pile as a source of moisture if you want to avoid wasting the beer. It contains some nutrients but in tiny amounts.
I’ve written a lot more details about why stale beer is not good for your plants. But I’ll also let you know how you can put the stale beer for good use in your garden.
1. Use beer to get rid of slugs and snails
Beer can be an effective and natural way to deter slugs and snails from damaging your plants in the garden.
Slugs and snails are notorious for feasting on leafy plants, which can be devastating for your garden. However, you can easily combat these pests by setting up a pie pan filled with beer.
Slugs and snails are attracted to the smell of the beer and will crawl into the pan, drowning in the alcohol. This method is highly effective because the beer acts as a trap, luring the pests away from your precious plants. It is a simple and eco-friendly solution that does not involve the use of harmful chemicals.
If you find these pests attacking your plants, you can dig a small hole near the plants. The hole should be deep enough that an empty yogurt container can fit into it.
Fill the container with beer and let it sit overnight. The slugs and snails are attracted to the smell of beer and fall into the container. They drown in the beer and you can throw them away in the morning.
Make sure to check and refill the container every day till you get rid of all the slugs and snails in the garden.
2. Add beer to the compost pile
To enhance the nutrient content of your compost pile, consider adding a generous amount of this fermented beverage. Here are five reasons beer is beneficial for your compost pile:
– The yeast and carbohydrates in beer help break down organic matter, speeding up the decomposition process.
– Beer introduces beneficial microbes into the compost, enriching it with beneficial bacteria and fungi.
– Adding beer to your compost increases the nutrient content, providing essential elements for plant growth.
– The fermentation process in beer helps control odors in the compost bin, making it more pleasant to work with.
– Beer creates a rich and fertile soil amendment, ensuring that your plants receive the nutrients they need to thrive.
One of the best things you can add to your plant soil is organic compost. This material is rich in organic matter that contains a ton of nutrients for the plants. It also encourages beneficial organisms to thrive in this material which further enriches the soil texture and nutrient content.
You can make your own compost by adding layers of organic material like dried leaves, branches, straw, food waste, and newspaper to a pile. You keep adding such material and watering the pile to keep it a bit wet. It’s good if you turn the compost pile every week or so because this speeds up the decomposing process by improving the aeration of the pile.
Slowly the material starts to decompose and after a certain period of time, you get the dark, earthy, nutrient-rich compost.
If you’re distilling your own beer or wine, the raw material that remains from the process makes a great addition to your compost pile. This material will be rich in carbon and nitrogen and help improve your compost pile.
You can also add stale beer to your compost pile because the yeast will encourage the compost pile to get started. This means the yeast will be used by the organisms in the pile to break down the materials faster.
3. Use beer as a fruit fly trap
One effective way to control fruit flies in your compost is by creating a trap using beer and dish detergent. Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of beer and will be lured into the trap.
The dish detergent added to the beer creates a soapy surface that the fruit flies cannot escape from, causing them to drown. This method is easy to set up and requires minimal effort.
Fill a jar with beer and add a few drops of dish detergent. Place the jar near your compost pile or in your kitchen, away from where you leave produce out.
The fruit flies will be drawn to the beer and trapped in the jar, effectively reducing their population and preventing them from infesting your compost or kitchen.
4. Use beer as lawn fertilizer
We discussed that beer has a few nutrients that could be beneficial for the plants but nothing that makes it a must for the plants. You can use it as fertilizer to grow a lush lawn though.
You need to mix a bottle or can of stale beer with ammonia, organic dishwashing soap, molasses, and lawn food to get a homemade plant booster.
When you spray this mixture on your lawn, the nitrogen from ammonia helps the grass grow thick and tall. The dishwashing soap acts as a surfactant which helps the nutrients from the lawn food stick to the grass and helps it absorb the nutrients.
5. Use beer as mosquito repellent
Using a combination of stale beer, blue mouthwash, and Epsom salt, gardeners have found success in repelling mosquitoes.
This homemade mosquito repellent is a natural and effective alternative to chemical sprays. The ingredients used in this mixture work together to create a scent that mosquitoes find unpleasant.
To make this mosquito repellent, simply mix equal parts of stale beer, blue mouthwash, and Epsom salt in a spray bottle. Shake well to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
This mixture can be sprayed around your yard or directly on your body to repel mosquitoes. It is important to note that the effectiveness of this repellent may decrease after heavy rains, so it may need to be reapplied.
6. Use beer for a wasp trap
Wasps can eat up harmful pests in your garden so only use this if you really have a bad problem having them in the garden.
The wasps are attracted to the protein and sugar that you find in the beer. You can make a wasp trap using a 2-liter soda bottle, a pair of scissors, tape, a string, stale beer, and some dishwashing soap.
Remove the cap from the 2-liter soda bottle. Then cut the bottle in half. Invert the top portion of the bottle and insert it in the lower half so it becomes a funnel.
Join the two halves at the top using tape. Make two holes at the top so you can insert the string to create a handle. This will help you hang the trap several feet above the ground and attract the wasps.
Finally, put the stale beer and a few drops of soap into the lower part of the soda bottle. Make sure to leave an inch from the top of the funnel. The wasps will enter the funnel in search of food and drown in the liquid.
You can then dispose of the wasps in a garbage bag or bury them in the ground.
Here are five benefits of using beer for a wasp trap:
– Efficiently captures and controls wasps without the need for harmful chemicals.
– Prevents wasps from causing damage to your garden or bothering you while you work.
– Provides a safe and eco-friendly solution to wasp infestation.
– Easy to set up and requires minimal effort to maintain.
– Can be used repeatedly to effectively control wasps in your garden.
7. Attract bees in the garden with beer
Bees can be attracted to your garden by placing shallow dishes filled with beer and pebbles. This creates a safe and inviting place for them to land. Bees are naturally drawn to the sweet scent of beer. By creating this bee-friendly environment, you can help support their population and ensure pollination for your plants.
The shallow dish should be filled with beer, but make sure to leave the tops of the pebbles dry. This provides the bees with a safe landing spot. The method is effective because bees are attracted to the scent of the beer, but the pebbles prevent them from drowning.
8. Attract butterflies in the garden with beer
Just like bees, butterflies play a crucial role in pollination and can enhance the growth and productivity of your plants.
Here are some effective ways to use beer to attract butterflies:
– Create a butterfly-attracting meal: Mash up overripe bananas, mix them with brown cane sugar and beer to form a thick paste. Place this mixture in a pan and elevate it off the ground to avoid attracting unwanted bugs.
– Set up butterfly feeding stations: Fill shallow dishes or saucers with beer and place them in sunny spots around your garden. Butterflies will be drawn to the sweet aroma and indulge in the fermented liquid.
– Plant butterfly-friendly flowers: Combine beer with traditional butterfly-attracting plants, such as milkweed, lavender, and coneflowers, to create a colorful and enticing environment for these delicate creatures.
– Provide water sources: Butterflies also need water for hydration. Create small puddles or shallow dishes filled with beer mixed with water to offer them a refreshing drink.
– Create butterfly-friendly habitats: Beer can be used to create attractive traps and shelters for butterflies. Place beer-filled containers with small openings in your garden to provide resting spots or trap pests that prey on butterflies.
9. Use beer bottles as watering globes
Grab an empty beer bottle, turn it upside down, and push it into the soil of your favorite plants until it stands upright on its own. This creates a DIY watering globe that will release water to keep the soil moist when it dries out.
This simple and cost-effective method can help ensure that your plants receive the proper amount of water, even when you’re not able to water them regularly. The bottle acts as a reservoir, slowly releasing water into the soil as it dries out.
This can help prevent your plants from becoming dehydrated and wilting. It’s a great solution for busy gardeners or for those who may forget to water their plants regularly.
Plus, it’s a fun and creative way to repurpose empty beer bottles while keeping your plants happy and healthy.
10. Polish garden tools with beer
When polishing your garden tools, you can easily remove rust by spraying them with beer and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes before wiping them clean with a cloth. Here are some benefits and reasons why using beer to polish your garden tools is effective:
– The carbonation in beer helps to loosen and dissolve the rust, making it easier to remove.
– Beer acts as a natural cleaning agent, breaking down dirt and grime on the tools.
– The acidity in beer helps to neutralize any alkaline residues on the tools, preventing further rust formation.
– Beer leaves a protective film on the metal surface, preventing future rusting.
– The aroma of beer adds a pleasant scent to your garden tools, making your gardening experience more enjoyable.
11. Polish metal pots and accessories with beer
If you have metal pots and accessories in your garden, try using beer to bring back their shine by spraying it on and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes before wiping them clean with a cloth.
The acidic reaction of the beer helps to restore the surface’s shine and remove any dirt or grime. It is a simple and effective way to polish your metal pots and accessories without using harsh chemicals.
Tips to use beer carefully in the garden
To use beer carefully in your garden, here are some tips:
- Be mindful of the type of beer you use and dilute it with water before applying it to your plants. Flat beer is best, as the carbonation in bubbly beer can harm your plants.
- Avoid using beer that contains too much hops, as this can be detrimental to plant growth.
- When using beer as a fertilizer, it’s important to apply it directly to the soil around your plants.
- Be cautious not to overdo it, as too much beer can actually harm your plants.
5 reasons beer is not good for plants
1. Beer contains alcohol
The biggest problem of using beer for plants is that it contains alcohol. The amount of alcohol is less compared to heavy drinks like whiskey but it’s sufficient to slow down the growth of the plants.
You may be able to reduce the alcohol content a bit by leaving the beer open for 24 hours or more. This helps to evaporate a bit of the beer but it does not completely remove it.
2. Beer only gives simple carbohydrates
Your plants need carbohydrates to make their own food and you may thing beer has plenty of carbs so this much be good for the plant.
The problem is that beer contains simple carbohydrates that get absorbed fast by the plant. So you’re much better providing good organic fertilizer to the plant instead.
The beneficial organisms in the soil need complex carbohydrates to thrive and such simple carbs won’t do much to encourage their growth and activity.
3. Beer contains fungi
Beer contains yeast which is a type of fungi. You may think that it’s good to add yeast to the soil as it will help the beneficial organisms in it. But the same yeast can harm the soil and even make it smell bad.
You need to be careful you don’t invite fungal diseases to your plants because of the yeast splashing on the leaves.
4. Beer has only minimal nutrients
You can find nutrients like proteins, potassium, magnesium, and calcium in beer but these nutrients are in small amounts. You just get 6 grams of protein in a liter of beer.
Beer also contains carbon dioxide that plants use to prepare their food. But they get plenty of this gas from the environment and don’t need to rely on beer.
It’s much better to use good organic fertilizer and compost that is rich in nutrients and helps the soil and plants develop a healthy soil food web.
5. Beer is expensive
Beer contains 90% water and you may think it’s good to use it for watering the plant. But it does not offer you anything significant than using water and fertilizer.
You will be wasting your money on beer for plants. Even if you get the cheapest beer available, nothing beats using tap water for your plants.
Is beer good for flowers and trees?
No, beer is not good for flowers and trees because of the same issues mentioned above. It contains alcohol that can affect flower growth. It has minimal nutrients and is expensive so does not make it worth using as fertilizer. Some people think beer is good for roses but don’t use it. I hope the reasons are clear to you by now.
Can you pour beer on plants?
You should not pour beer in the garden and on plants because the alcohol can harm them. Instead, you should add the beer to compost or use it to trap pests such as snails and slugs.
Don’t use the beer on potted plants or indoor plants because they will suffer the same problem. It will be worse for such plants because they have limited potting soil and more concentration. Don’t use beer on houseplants especially those that are really sensitive to chemicals and alcohol.
You can water plants with beer by mixing the beer with water. I would think it’s fine to add one part beer to 10 parts water and use it for watering plants.