Putting sugar on the lawn: to make grass greener and weed-free
It might surprise you to know that there are a host of benefits to putting sugar on the lawn: it can break down thatch and has enriching qualities that lessen the threat of weeds.
Better still, sugar is natural, affordable, and accessible, so it’s unsurprising that many gardeners use it alongside planting grass seed to make grass greener and thicker.
However, gardening experts do urge us to use this unconventional garden idea sparingly.
Here’s what you need to know before you bring this pantry staple out of your kitchen and into your yard.
Benefits of putting sugar on the lawn – according to experts
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Whether you’re looking for ways to get rid of weeds using an organic product – or you want to boost your lawn’s health, putting sugar on the lawn could be the solution you seek.
1. Weed prevention
Lindsey Hyland, the Founder of Urban Organic Yield (opens in new tab), explains that the biggest benefit to using sugar on the lawn is getting rid of weeds. ‘Weeds tend to thrive in environments with access to sunlight and moisture, and by using sugar on your lawn, you can make it less hospitable for these weeds,’ she says.
And Lindsey is not exclusive in her observation. Bill Glaser, CEO of Outstanding Foods (opens in new tab) plant-based food company, similarly recommends putting sugar on the lawn to limit weed growth. He explains that while sugar doesn’t kill weeds directly, it does encourage microbe development that enriches the soil. ‘This allows the grass to overtake invasive plant species,’ he explains.
2. Improve lawn health
The best garden landscaping ideas begin with healthy, green grass – and you can improve its condition with sugar.
‘Sugar will help break down thatch, the layer of dead grass, and other organic material that can accumulate on your lawn over time,’ Lindsey says. ‘This thatch can make it difficult for new grass to grow, but using sugar on your lawn can help break it down and improve the health of your lawn.’
However, while sugar can help your lawn, Bill urges you to use the substance in moderation. ‘Only use a sugar solution about once a month; some sources suggest replacing harsh fertilizers with rice water for more consistent application,’ he says.
Is sugar good for your grass?
Putting sugar o the lawn has its benefits, but Tom Monson, the Owner of Monson Lawn & Landscaping (opens in new tab)reinforces the food expert’s warning.
‘Sugar causes the grass’s roots to take in more nitrogen from the soil, which can boost your lawn’s greenness,’ he says. But if your property is further back in the woods, the landscaper urges you to avoid sugar altogether.
‘Sugar also promotes fungal growth, so you’ll want to inspect your lawn and ensure you do not have excess fungal growth; Tom says.
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How much sugar do I put on my lawn?
Spreading around a pound of sugar per 10.5sq feet is enough. Use a lawn spreader to get an even spread on dry grass early in the day.
What type of sugar can I use on my lawn?
The best sugar to put on a lawn is granulated or powdered sugar, or you can use a molasses spray.
Can I use sugar as fertilizer?
Sugar is not typically used to fertilize a lawn, but as Tom suggests, it does have the power to ensure your grass appears greener. This is because sugar is a carbon that will intake excess nitrogen and promote a better a balance in the soil.
‘Sugar has its advantages, but we urge you to tread carefully, especially if your land is prone to fungal growth,’ adds Homes & Garden’s garden expert Rachel Crow. ‘However, when used in moderation, this ingredient can promote a greener lawn for the summer ahead’.