Find nontoxic solutions to your biggest yard woes—for free!—in your pantry. Horticulture expert Melinda Myers shares a few of her top tricks.

White Vinegar to Get Rid of Weeds

A vinegar spray will burn plants but won’t attack the roots, so expect to do repeat applications on weeds that resprout.

Dishwashing Liquid to Banish Mites and Aphids

These tiny pests feed on shrubs, fruits, flowers, and vegetables—basically everything. Mix a few drops of dish soap with water and spray on plants.

Coffee Grounds to Enrich Sandy Soil

The residue from your morning brew will add organic matter and nutrients to sandy soil and increase water capacity. The grounds also improve drainage in clay soil.


Beer to Slay Slugs

Pour beer into a shallow dish and sink it into the ground. The slugs will be attracted to the fermenting yeast. “I’d like to believe they die happy,” says Myers.


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