A Lawn as Healthy
as It Looks
Published: April 1, 2009
IN honor of spring and the ongoing quest for the perfect lawn, the Green Home asked
Bill Duesing, an educator with the Northeast Organic Farming Association, a nonprofit
group devoted to sustainable farming and gardening, for tips on achieving an attractive
yard without wreaking environmental havoc.
Americans bought 4.5 million tons of bagged fertilizer in 2007. Does that pose any
problems for the environment?
Conventional fertilizers contain more nitrogen and phosphorus than your lawn usually
needs, which disturb the soil’s ecosystem. They also wash away and end up in bodies
of water, where they can kill plants and fish. A lot of conventional fertilizer
also contains herbicide and insecticide, which have other chemicals that can potentially
harm human health.
What’s a greener alternative to conventional fertilizer?
compost, which is organic and is the
best food for your soil. Good soil has more than 6 billion living organisms in a
small handful — bacteria and fungi that are able to take nutrients out of rock particles
and organic matter to feed the grass.