How Long Milorganite Takes To Work On A Lawn

Having a lush, green lawn is a top priority for many homeowners.

A well-maintained lawn not only reflects the pride you have for your home, but it adds curb appeal as well.

The key to healthy green grass is regular fertilization, and many homeowners are using Milorganite as an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers.

So how long does it take for Milorganite to work on a lawn?

Milorganite takes around one week to start working on a lawn, depending on the condition of the grass and the weather. You will see noticeable results in 2-3 weeks, and Milorganite remains effective for up to 10 weeks.

Milorganite is a slow-release fertilizer, so the benefits to your lawn last much longer than short-lived synthetic fertilizers.

Read on to learn more about Milorganite, including what it does, how to apply it, and the ideal time to apply and reapply it.

how long does milorganite take to work on a lawn

What Is Milorganite?

Milorganite is an all-natural, organic, slow-release fertilizer made from recycled sewage.

It is made in the United States, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has been producing it for decades.

You can view it here on Amazon.

Even though Milorganite is made from recycled sewage, harmful bacteria from human waste have been filtered out, and it does not smell like raw sewage.

The first step in Milorganite production is to filter the collected wastewater to remove any debris.

After this, oxygen and microbes are added to the wastewater.

The microbes feed on organic matter, making the waste products form clumps and sink to the bottom. 

This makes it easier to separate the water from the organic material.

The organic waste material then goes through more processing before it is sold as a fertilizer.

The result is Milorganite, which has high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and iron.

Even though Milorganite is a biosolids fertilizer, it does not have quite the unpleasant smell you would expect, although it is still far from pleasant.

What Does Milorganite Do To Your Lawn?

Milorganite provides your grass with high levels of nitrogen, which encourages healthy growth. 

It also releases iron into the soil, which gives your grass its vibrant green color.

Unlike synthetic chemical fertilizers, Milorganite is safer for people, animals, and the environment.

The runoff from Milorganite does not harm nearby watersheds or wildlife because it consists of natural organic matter.

Milorganite is a slow-release fertilizer, meaning it will continue to feed your lawn for an extended period, usually up to ten weeks.

It takes longer to see a change in your lawn when compared to other fertilizers, but the results are worth it.

Your grass will have optimal health and growth within 2-3 weeks of applying the Milorganite to your lawn.

How Do You Apply Milorganite?

How you apply the Milorganite will depend on the type of grass growing on your lawn. 

Research the growing season for your specific grass type before you apply the Milorganite.

The nature of the soil in your yard also affects how you apply Milorganite. 

A soil test is an essential step in determining which nutrients your soil may be lacking.

Once you have researched your grass type and soil quality to ensure Milorganite is suitable for your lawn, check your soil temperature.

The ideal soil temperature range for Milorganite application is between 55-85° degrees Fahrenheit (29° C).

Be sure to measure your lawn to ensure you get enough Milorganite to fertilize all of it.

A 2,500′ square foot lawn will need approximately 36 pounds of Milorganite.

You will calculate around 1.44 pounds for every 100 square feet of lawn for a smaller yard.

Mow your lawn before Milorganite application to ensure the fertilizer can reach the soil quickly and become absorbed into the grass roots.

Use a rotary spreader for an even application of Milorganite on your lawn.

Follow a grid pattern when spreading the fertilizer to ensure you do not miss any areas of your lawn.

On the first pass of your lawn with the rotary spreader, go back and forth across the yard in a North to South direction.

For the second pass, walk from East to West.

Maintain a steady pace to ensure you are applying an adequate amount of Milorganite to your lawn.

When Is the Best Time To Use Milorganite?

There is no specific time of day when it is best to spread Milorganite on your lawn.

It is even safe to spread the fertilizer in the rain if you are not expecting severe storms.

Steady rain will help the fertilizer spread into the soil, but too much rain will wash some of the Milorganite away.

The time of year you apply Milorganite depends mainly on which type of grass you have.

Cool-Season Grass Fertilizing Schedule

If you live in the North, you will likely have cool-season grasses in your yard.

Cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, or fescue can tolerate cold temperatures. 

These grasses may turn brown during the winter, but they will turn green again at the start of the growing season in the spring.

For cool-season grass types, you will fertilize four times during the year.

To keep track of when it’s time to fertilize your lawn, follow a holiday schedule.

Apply fertilizer in the spring, near Memorial Day. 

Subsequent Milorganite applications should occur near the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving.

If you expect an early frost, you may move up the last Milorganite application closer to Halloween.

It is crucial to apply the fertilizer before the first snowfall or deep freeze to ensure your lawn will be ready when spring comes.

For other products to help grow your lawn, check out our article on how long Scotts Weed and Feed takes to work.

Warm-Season Grass Fertilizing Schedule

If you live in the South and have Bermuda, St. Augustine, or Centipede grasses, you will need to fertilize with Milorganite four times per year as well.

The schedule for warm-season grass differs slightly from the schedule for cool-season grass.

Your first application of Milorganite should happen closer to Easter, followed by Memorial Day, Labor Day, and a day of your choosing in early October.

If you overseed your lawn in October, applying the Milorganite after spreading the seeds is best.

It is also possible to mix the fertilizer with your grass seed in a 4:1 ratio of four Milorganite to one grass seed.

The Milorganite will give the seeds some protection from cooler winter temperatures.

It is crucial to apply the Milorganite before the first frost to give your lawn a layer of protection, even if you are not overseeding.

Speaking of fertilizers, check out how long to wait after fertilizing before watering.

How Long Does Milorganite Last?

Since Milorganite is a slow-release fertilizer, it will last for ten weeks in good weather conditions.

When moisture levels vary from one extreme to the other, the nitrogen in Milorganite is released into the soil at an even slower rate.

During late spring and fall, when temperatures are moderate, the release of nitrogen reaches its peak.

Is It Possible To Use Too Much Milorganite?

Just like any other nitrogenous fertilizer, it is possible to apply too much Milorganite to your lawn.

Milorganite contains lower nitrogen levels than most synthetic chemical fertilizers, so it is less likely to burn your plants, but it is still possible.

When your grass is burned, it will turn yellow. 

This happens because there is too much nitrogen in the soil.

Grass will also turn yellow if there is not enough nitrogen in the soil.

It is best to measure your lawn to ensure you are applying the proper amount of Milorganite.

Is Milorganite Safe to Combine with Other Fertilizers?

It is safe to combine Milorganite with other lawn care products, including fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.

Be sure to research how to combine Milorganite with other fertilizers before adding the mixture to your lawn.

Over-fertilizing your lawn will cause your grass to burn and become yellow.

Use a rotary spreader to combine Milorganite with other products in the proper ratios and spread the mixture evenly throughout your lawn.

Follow up by watering your lawn to help with the absorption of nutrients into your soil.

Is Milorganite Safe for Children and Pets?

Since Milorganite is made from recycled wastewater, it is understandable if you are cautious about using it.

Milorganite has been proven to be non-toxic and safe for the environment, but it is best to use gloves and protective gear when using it.

Always keep your bag of Milorganite out of reach from children and pets.

If your pet ingests any Milorganite, it will not kill the animal, but it will cause some discomfort.

Dogs are naturally attracted to the scent of the fertilizer, so be sure to keep an eye on your pet when letting it out into your yard.

Does Milorganite Attract Bugs?

It has not been proven whether or not Milorganite attracts bugs to your lawn.

The amount of bugs in your yard at any given time depends on your location and climate.

Warmer areas will usually have more bugs than cooler climates.

Since Milorganite is an organic fertilizer, it attracts a variety of beneficial bugs, which will help to keep pests away.