By some estimates, our chemically addicted lawns are as polluting to our health and to waterways as chemical agriculture. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that Americans apply 90 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides every year in order to get lush green yards, and surveys have found that because their use is so heavy, those chemicals can drift into our homes—even if they started out on a neighbor’s lawn and not our own.
However, like many problems for which chemicals seem like a quick, easy fix, lawn problems can usually be corrected without nerve-damaging and eco-hazardous chemicals like glyphosate (used in Roundup) and 2,4-D (used in products made by Scotts and Weed B Gone).
(On just a quarter-acre of land, you can produce fresh, organic food for a family of four—year-round. Rodale's The Backyard Homestead shows you how; get your copy today.)
Here are some of the most common lawn and yard problems you’ll encounter, what they signify, and how to fix them: