The natural sugars in beer make it a good food for plants.

The Use of Stale Beer in Gardening

by Jamie Malone

You wake up the morning after a party and find you have a lot of half-empty beer bottles. Instead of pouring the beer down the sink, save that stale beer and use it in the garden. Stale beer is a natural solution to several common gardening problems.

1. Slug and Snail Trap

Snails and slugs are among the most destructive -- and disgusting -- garden pests. Stale beer traps are a simple way to rid your garden of these slimy invaders. Fill wide-mouth jars or deep dishes one-third of the way full with leftover beer. Bury the jars up to their rims about 15 feet from your garden. Slugs and snails are attracted to the beer. When they crawl in for a sip, they will fall into the jars and drown in the beer. Empty the traps out each day and refill with more stale beer.

2. Bee and Wasp Lure

Nothing is worse than swatting away bees and wasps while you try to enjoy a meal outdoors. Before your next backyard barbecue, set glasses half filled with stale beer about 10 feet away from your eating area. The insects will be attracted to the beer and away from your food. If they go in for a drink, they will fall in and won't be able to escape.

3. Fruit Fly Trap

If you have a compost pile or vermicompost bin, you most likely have a fruit fly problem. Attracted to the decaying vegetation, fruit flies can quickly go from an outdoor to an indoor pest. To rid yourself of these nuisances, fill a jar one-third of the way full with stale beer and add a drop of dish detergent. Snip the corner off a sandwich-sized plastic bag and insert it into the jar, creating a funnel. Secure the bag with rubber bands around the rim of the jar. Fruit flies, attracted to the scent of the beer, will fly into the jar, go down the funnel and won't be able to fly out.

4. Lawn Food

The next time you notice a brown spot on your lawn, pour your leftover beer on it. Pouring 1/2 cup of beer on a brown spot may give your lawn the boost it needs. The fermented sugars in the beer will feed your grass and the acids may kill fungi and pests that may be causing the brown spot.

5. Plant Fertilizer

Pour stale beer onto your outdoor garden to fertilize your vegetables and flowers. Indoor plants benefit from beer as well, but give them just a sprinkling of stale beer. If you're an organic gardener, make sure your brew is also organic before feeding your plants. When adding beer to your garden, water thoroughly afterward to distribute the sugars evenly in the soil.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images