Are synthetic fertilizers safe?

That's a question many of have asked. The short answer is some are and some aren't. Many of the chemicals sold for lawn care have some risks associated with them and their labels indicate you need to take precautions. At the very least there are concerns, enough that many local regulations require warnings on lawns after a chemical treatment. We all want a nice looking lawn but why risk your health and the health of your family when there are other options? Even if that risk is minor, how important is your lawn to justify that risk when there are alternatives?

There are many reasons to start using organic lawn care products.

  • Environmentally friendly - A big concern if you live near a body of water, if your storm drains empty into bodies of water untreated or if you get your drinking water from a well.
  • Better for your lawn - Grass existed and thrived before man came along to start spreading chemicals on it.
  • Safe to use around children and animals - You don't have to worry about who is walking on your lawn and what they might get on their hands or in their mouth. Many synthetic fertilizers are easily absorbed through the skin as well.
  • Little or no risk of burning your lawn - I think we've all done it at one time or another. We accidentally over apply in one area or spill a bit and the grass dies. With organics, there is not much risk of this.
I don't consider myself an environmentalist. Like most other people, I have my own problems to worry about. But I do care about doing things that will make my life better, if it helps the planet that's a plus. Avoiding synthetic lawn fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides makes me feel better and gives me a good-looking lawn.

Organic lawn care also seems to just make sense and is easy. I don't want to think about my lawn every day or worry about damaging it by trying to feed it. With an organic approach, you feed the soil and the soil feeds the lawn. With synthetics you're giving your lawn its food directly. In a healthy organic lawn, you will have a lot of microbial life (microherd) living in your soil as well as earthworms and other beneficial insects. These organisms will help keep your lawn fed and happy. You're not just giving your lawn what it needs to look good, your building the right ecosystem for your lawn. It is similar to taking vitamins versus eating a well-balanced meal. Any doctor will tell you, you're better off doing the latter.

Many of us are proud of our lawns and don't want to see it die off from neglect. The truth is, it won't. I know many people that don't do anything more than mow their lawn. While they don't have fairway quality turf, they definitely have decent looking, green grass. A few weeds and trouble spots mixed in sure, but it's grass nonetheless. With a bit more care, through occasional feeding and amending the soil, anyone can have a top quality lawn without worrying about what their children or pets might be running around in.

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with some information on affordable and easy ways to maintain your lawn without having to go crazy over it. There are people out there that spend almost every day thinking about their lawns. Don't think you have to be like that (not that there's anything wrong with that). Besides regular mowing you only need to do a few things a few times a year.

If you're someone that doesn't even fertilize your lawn at all, you will be surprised how much nicer it can look with just a little help.

There are a lot of options out there and it may be confusing so I'm going to try to point out techniques and products that can help you out. Organics and other "Green" products have become very popular and a lot of people are trying to cash in on that. Being green shouldn't be very expensive. There's a lot you can do with just a little extra expense. In fact some of the things you can do don't cost you anything.

Below is a video from with Paul Tukey, founder of, who started using organic products after suffering from acute chemical sensitivity (aka acute pesticide sensitivity) after running a landscaping businesses that used synthetic fertilizers.

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