So how do I keep my grass so green, relatively weed-free, and without hardly an ounce of fertilizer? Oh yes, and with a lot less water than the neighbors?
(1) I use a mulching blade and only bag the grass when I need a shot of nitrogen in the compost pile -- about once every three months. This means that I leave the grass on the lawn after I cut it. But it's in such small pieces that you don't notice that it's there.
In fact, I rake leaves and other garden debris onto the grass before I cut. This adds to the humus.
(2) I raise the blade way high during the summer -- about twice as high as any of my neighbors' lawns -- almost as high as it goes. At first you'll think it's ridiculously high. But higher grass provides better protection from the sun and more moisture retention.
I do fertilize once each year in February, giving the grass half the recommended treatment of a generic slow release fertilizer to provide a jump start for the spring. But that's it and I could probably get away without it. Generally speaking, no other treatment for weeds or pests is necessary -- if you mulch and keep the grass high during the summer.
BTW, I walk 2.48 miles each time I cut the grass in our yard. I wore my pedometer this morning. Aerobic yardwork! No gym fee required.