Here’s a creepy quartet of reasons that you’ll be doing yourself, your family, and everyone else on the planet a big favor if you trade chemical pseudo-foods for a healthier natural diet for your lawn — and all of the other plants in your yard.
1. The nitrogen in chemical fertilizers (identified as N on the package label) is generally processed from ammonia, which is far from the mildest stuff on the planet. What’s much worse, though, is that to make slow-release lawn fertilizers, the folks in the factory mix ammonia with urea and formaldehyde, or they encase it in sulfur or a synthesized polymer — some of which are being fingered as possible endocrine disrupters and carcinogens. And all of that crud gets tracked into your house on the shoes of anyone who has walked on chemically fertilized turf.
2. Studies have shown that airborne and waterborne nitrogen from fertilizers may cause respiratory ailments, cardiac disease, and even several types of cancer.
3. The runoff from the phosphorus in manmade fertilizers contains toxic heavy metals, fluoride, radon, and other radioactive components. And it all goes into your drinking water and the drinking water of any livestock you might eat, and the water that fish live in.
4. On top of all that, besides wrecking your health, using synthetic lawn fertilizer isn’t doing your grass any favors. Many of these chemical cocktails supply only nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). But they actually deplete the other nutrients and minerals that are naturally found in truly fertile soil — and that all plants, including turfgrasses, need to grow strong and healthy enough to fend off pests and diseases.
This easier-than-pie recipe will provide all the nutrients your turf needs, with none of the dangers of synthetic lawn foods: Mix 2 parts alfalfa meal, 1 part bonemeal, and 1 part wood ashes together, and apply the mixture at a rate of 25 pounds per 1,000 square feet of lawn area first thing in the spring, and again last thing in the fall. Then watch your grass grow green and healthy — and your neighbors grow green with envy!