Organic Gardening Magazine had a terrific article, The Dark Side of Lawns recently that covered all the great reasons why you should refrain from using the various synthetic fertilizers on your lawn.
I found the discussion on “weed and feed” practices particularly relevant.
The situation gets worse with the widely popular “weed and feed” products that combine a synthetic lawn fertilizer and herbicide in the same bag. “No lawn is 100 percent weeds, but people are spreading these chemicals over the entire lawn,” says Paul Tukey, author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual and spokesperson for SafeLawns.org. So if your lawn is 2 percent weeds, 98 percent of the herbicide product applied to the lawn serves no purpose, and it may wash into rivers and streams, leach into groundwater, or volatize into the air we breathe. One of the most common herbicides in weed and feed products, a chemical called 2,4-D, has been linked to human health problems, including an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
I like a great looking lawn just as much as the next person, but these chemicals present a broad array of problems that we easily forget about. The health risks come from multiple angles – water, pets, children, and even indoor air quality when the contaminants are dragged inside on the bottoms of our shoes.
It’s a terrific article and well worth your time to read the whole thing. You can find it here.