Homemade grass dye
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Grass dye has been used to colour grass and fix visual imperfections of a lawn since the 1950s when it was used to dye grass for Hollywood film sets and golf courses.
The practice of dyeing grass has become more common as it becomes a cheaper alternative to spending money over-seeding, fertilising, watering and replacing lawn patches. You can create your own lawn dye by mixing several different plant nutrients and food colouring.
Reasons for homemade grass dye
If you're living in a planned community, you may have been threatened with fines for a yard with dead patches. Even if you try reseeding the patch and watering more, it will still take time for new grass to grow and you may be fined by the day until grass is green. Grass dye is a cheap quick fix to keep the administrator satisfied and save money and time. Homemade grass dye can be even cheaper than a store-bought bottle and you can find most ingredients for it around the house. Another reason grass dye has become necessary for some homeowners is drought-related watering restrictions. Some types of grass cannot get the amount of water they need because of watering restrictions.
Benefits of homemade grass dye
Homemade grass dye can save a chunk of money spent on grass seed, overwatering of new seeds, fertilising of new seeds, pesticides and even the high cost of having a service paint your grass. Rather than constantly trying to replace grass that died from drought or cold weather, dye grass green yourself by pouring dye into a sprayer attachment and attaching it to your garden hose until the season permits natural regrowth. One application of lawn dye can last for months and food colouring will not harm plants. The paint is nontoxic so it is not harmful to people or animals either, and it coats the grass, helping to protect it from both hot and cold temperatures.
Ingredients used for homemade grass dye
Homemade grass dye is inexpensive to make. You can mix 450 g (1 lb) of liquid fertiliser together with 1.8 kg (4 lb) of Epsom salt and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of green food colouring. This should cover a small to medium yard, depending on how heavily you coat the grass. The fertiliser and Epsom salt can help add nutrients to the grass so that it turns green naturally. Epsom salt replenishes magnesium and iron in plants, which increases the production of chlorophyll in plants that lack these elements. If you know your soil is well balanced in nutrients, Epsom salt may not be necessary. You can replace Epsom salt with water because the green food colouring is what will be essentially dyeing the grass. Green food colouring is nontoxic and can tint the outer layer of plants green. When the grass absorbs the food colouring it will become the colour of the food colouring without harming the plant.
Controversy and grass dye
Some people argue that dyeing grass is giving in to unnatural expectations rather than tending to a lawn naturally. If they are unaware of the nontoxic ingredients used in homemade grass dye, they may disapprove of your methods because they are thinking of chemicals soaking into the ground. Others tend to trust a professional lawn service more than homemade treatments. And, to some homeowners, making your own grass dye and dyeing grass with food colouring is the easy way out -- or may even be considered lazy. So some people just don't tell how they keep their grass green.
- NC State Turf Research: Lawn painting versus overseeding
- Reader's Digest: Home and garden uses for Epsom salt
- University of Florida: Conserving gasoline in your yard
- Tampa Bay Times: Homeowners caught in turf war over lawn care
- WCNC: HOA's fine members over lawns, landscaping
- New York Times: Spraying to make yards green ... but with paint, not water
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images