We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lawns are foolish things but unless you live in the woods, a desert, or a beachy place, they are sort of expected.
A lawn is a certain sort of constantly-cut garden, copied from the estates of England where sheep kept the grass neatly cropped and sheep poop kept it fertilized. (Thus putting greens.)
If you want a happy lawn, I recommend aerating a lawn every two years with a coring machine, in late Spring. Or now. Every year, if it is used heavily by kids, animals, sports, or heavy mowers. If you have bare patches, overseed before coring.
At at about the same time, you topdress the grass with compost, manure, sand, or mixes of those. It works as mulch, fertilizer, worm food, microorganism food, etc. Health, because lawns are not natural and you have no sheep.
You can rent a coring machine anywhere for a day or two. Leave the cores on the grass. They disintegrate fast.
For large lawns or golf courses, large machines almost like farm manure-spreaders do the topdressing, but you can spread good compost mixes with a fertilizer spreader or with shovel and rake.
Around here, you can have a pleasant and useful lawn without irrigation and maybe only once or twice/year organic fertilizing if you treat it as the garden that sod is. You have to assume that lawns will brown up in the greatest heat of summer, but it's only a few weeks. That's natural grass dormancy. It bounces right back.
Irrigation and nitrogen fertilizer are like photoshopping a lawn. Fake. An important garden lawn might need irrigation though, to look Spring-like during the late summer weeks.
Beachy place here, and barely a speck of mowed grass. We mow a strip along the driveway once or twice a year to knock the wilderness back for arriving guests.
I have neighbors who profess an interest in water conservation--this is not a desert but we're lucky to get 35 inches a year--yet they can't imagine doing without a lawn. For that matter, they insist on pooping in their treated drinking water.
As a kid, I remember visiting two family friends out of state who didn't have lawns. One lived in a southern city in a very woodsy neighborhood and had a well-shaded contemporary house surrounded by all sorts of vegetation and other kinds of ground-cover. Another one lived in Phoenix and had sand and rocks and cacti and such in her lawn.
I live in the west now myself in a state where lawns are common, but increasingly so are other kinds of yards. When I got my first house, I tried for a short while to maintain the yard, but eventually was glad to transition to xeriscaping using all sorts of perennials that require little moisture and not much in the way of maintenance. It took work at first to get rid of the remaining lawn and to get the new plants established, but now they are established, I appreciate the low maintenance of this kind of landscaping.