Well of course, you can raise grass without any fertilizer, but without water, that ain't gonna happen, no matter how drought resistant a type of grass is. Even buffalo grass needs at least 20% of normal rain fall to survive. But, what will it look like? Proper mowing and watering are the most important cultural aspect in regards to lawns. Fertilizer is not needed for a lawn to survive. If you want you lawn to just survive or to be all it can be? That is your choice, of course.
Here is a web site you should investigate when you have time. It will tell you everything you need to know about ACT. http://www.soilfoodweb.com/03_about_us/approach.html
This is the web site of Dr. Elaine Ingham, a leader in the field of soil biology.
Here is another site that provides info on ACT: http://www.intlctc.org/default.asp
While I have several fruit trees on my property, everyone has their own choice what they wise to raise on their property. You opinion of an ornamental lawn is just that, your opinion. The truth of the matter is, a well maintain lawn has many useful purposes. One, it increases the value of your property, which after all, is an investment. Just make good common sense to protect your investment.
Climate is controlled at ground level by turf grasses as they cool temperatures appreciably, thus working as exterior "air conditioners".
Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning – enough for 16 average homes.
Dust and smoke particles from the atmosphere are trapped by turf which helps make the air cleaner.
Fire retardation buffer areas of well maintained lawn grasses around buildings is good insurance.
Groundwater is enhanced in two ways by a dense turf. Turf grasses increase infiltration of water and also clean the water as it passes so that underground water supplies are recharged for use by us all.
Health of humans is enhanced by turf grasses as they function in cushioning, cleaning air, generating oxygen and creating a serene landscape.
Lawns are estimated to occupy an area of between 25,000,000 to 30,000,000 acres in the United States (the size of the 5 New England states) and as the population increases so too will the amount of turf grass acreage.
Noise is absorbed by grass areas which cut down on the excessive sound, a growing problem in urban areas. Grassed slopes beside lowered expressways reduce noise by 8-10 decibels.
Oxygen generation by turf grasses has a major impact in making our environment habitable. A 50x50 lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four.
So, as you can see, a well maintained lawn is more than just a 'pretty face'!
But if one grows veggies and plants a row for the hungry and supplies a local food shelter, well that is a worthy cause to be sure.