Last Updated on February 1, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Milorganite fertilizer is a unique, organic fertilizer that is, believe it or not, the byproduct of a sewage treatment plant operated by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The plant takes wastewater, separates the clean water, and puts it back in Lake Michigan. What’s left is what makes Milorganite Fertilizer.
The Mysterious Contents of Milorganite
Yes, Milorganite does sound a little disgusting. But not to worry, there is a long history of using waste materials for fertilization. And besides that, the waste is heated to incredibly high temperatures: 900 to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This ensures Milorganite is free of pathogens and is totally safe to cover your lawn with.
If you don’t believe me, how about the US Environmental Protection Agency? Once the waste material is dried, what follows is a meticulous testing process to ensure that Milorganite is totally safe to use on your lawn. The process follows the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Using a waste product makes Milorganite an organic fertilizer that’s sustainable for the environment. Milorganite is an excellent use of waste material and a revolutionary idea.
Milorganite Application Schedule: How Much and How Often?
Getting your fertilizing schedule right means knowing how much fertilizer is needed and when the best time to apply Milorganite is. There’s no one schedule for all lawns as it depends on the climate of your area, soil temperature, how old your lawn is, and what grass type you have.
How Many Bags of Milorganite Do I Need per Acre?
If you measure your lawn in acres, the correct rate is five bags of Milorganite per quarter acre. If your total property is a quarter acre, you probably don’t need five bags.
You don’t want to include parts of your property that aren’t going to be fertilized. These include the area of your house and any driveway or sidewalk that will not benefit from Milorganite.
Here are the application rates for Milorganite for different sizes of property.
- ¼ acre = 5 bags
- ⅓ acre = 6 bags
- ½ acre = 9 bags
- ⅔ acre = 12 bags
- ¾ acre = 13 bags
- 1 acre = 18 bags
For smaller properties, it’s best to calculate your lawn in square feet. Again, remember to deduct any part of your lawn that will not require Milorganite. This means sidewalks, patios, and driveways should not be included in the total. Once you have your total square footage of the lawn, use the rate of one bag for every 2500 square feet. One bag of Milorganite is 32 pounds.
Calculating the Size of Your Lawn
A trick to measuring your property is to walk it. Each step you take is roughly equal to three feet. Walk the length, then the width, and then multiply the totals together. Next, you have to minus the size of your house and the concrete or non-grassy areas.
If you want to find out how many acres you have, divide the square footage by 43,560.
What Is the Yearly Application Rate for Milorganite?
The magic number of times per year to apply Miloganite is, like many fertilizers, four times per year. This will keep your lawn looking great the entire time it’s not in dormancy.
If four times a year is too much of a strain on your time or budget, a second choice would be once a year. You should apply Milorganite, with a broadcast spreader, in early fall to get your lawn prepared for winter and, more importantly, ready to break out in green next spring.
Southern Warm-Season Grasses
If you live in the south, the common grass type is Bahia, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipedegrass, or St. Augustine. These grasses all thrive in the lovely southern climate. They love the long hot summers and grow fastest during this time.
Like most grass, Zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine will all benefit from a four times-a-year fertilization schedule.
Bahia and Centipedegrass, on the other hand, are better off with just two applications per year. In this case, you should apply Milorganite, with a broadcast spreader, in spring and summer only.
Applying Milorganite in the fall for these two kinds of grass could lead to winterkill or killing frost. Imagine after a long winter, you wake up and see dead patches destroying the look of your backyard. A rude awakening if you ask me.
A Schedule for Applying Milorganite on Warm-Season Grasses
People who live in the south and have warm season grasses have a customized schedule for applying Milorganite. Here are the dates of when to use Milorganite and get the most out of your fertilization schedule.
- After dormancy (around Easter): 32 pounds per 2500 square feet.
- The end of May (Memorial Day): 32 pounds per 2500 square feet.
- The beginning of September (Labor Day): 32 pounds per 2500 square feet.
- Early October (during the fall overseeding): 32 pounds per 2500 square feet.
Northern Cool Season Grasses
The most common north grasses are Fescue, Perennial Ryegrass, and Kentucky Bluegrass. The regions you will find these grasses are the Northeastern US, the Pacific Northwest, and the northern half of the Midwestern US. These grasses prefer cool temperatures and see the highest growth rate in spring and fall.
A Schedule for Applying Milorganite on Cool Season Grass
People with cool season grasses also have a unique fertilizing schedule. Here are the key dates to apply Milorganite.
- End of May (Memorial Day): 32 pounds per 2 500 square ft.
- Beginning of July ( July 4th weekend): 32 pounds per 2 500 square ft.
- Beginning of September (Labor Day): 32 pounds per 2 500 square ft.
- Second half of November (Thanksgiving): 32 pounds per 2 500 square ft.
What You Need To Know: Fertilizing Your New Lawn with Milorganite Fertilizer
The excitement of starting and fertilizing a new lawn can also be a point of anxiety. You might feel like a new parent and totally unprepared to create the best lawn possible.
Luckily, Milorganite Fertilizer application to the soil will put your mind at ease. Before applying the seed, try mixing Milorganite into the top couple of inches of soil with a broadcast spreader. It’s a great way to create ideal conditions for growth.
Next, wait for your seedlings to germinate. This means when you start to see the tops of the grass seed coming through your soil. Once that has happened, and you have mowed your grass three times, you’re ready for your next application of Milorganite.
Since it’s a new lawn, you’re going to forget about the application amounts listed above. In fact, you’re going to use twice as much.
For the first year of your new lawn’s life, you will use two bags of Milorganite, or 64 pounds, for every 2500 square feet. Once this first year is over, your lawn will be all grown up and can be called established. You’ll be like a proud parent and start the regular fertilizing schedule.
Milorganite Fertilizer Gives You Lush, Green Grass
Milorganite is not a cure-all. It won’t solve lawn problems like weeds, ants, and grubs. What it will do is give you lush green grass.
Reusing waste makes Milorganite naturally high in iron. A natural product like this is much less likely to burn your lawn than a high nitrogen fertilizer might.
Milorganite is also less harmful for the environment, more sustainable, and better for future generations.