What is Milorganite Fertilizer?

Lime for Lawns
June 20, 2017
Proper Sunlight
June 23, 2017

What is it?

Many people are scratching their heads and asking this question, so here’s the answer. It happens to be one of the fertilizer market’s oldest branded fertilizers and is composed of microbes that have been heat-dried after digesting organic matter that is found in wastewater. And, this is how they came up with the name. It comes from MILwaukee ORGAnic NITrogEn. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is the manufacturer of Milorganite. They accomplish this amazing process by capturing the metropolitan Milwaukee area’s wastewater, which includes that from some local industries, like MillerCoors. Lucky microbes drinking all that beer!

The manufacturing process mimics nature itself. After the microbes have had their shot at digesting all those nutrients that they find in the water, the clean water goes back to Lake Michigan. The microbes are dried in a kiln and turned into little pellets, so basically Milorganite is just a bagful of dried microbes. But, more than just that, it’s an excellent lawn fertilizer for using in drought conditions and for fertilizing under-watered lawns. It’s also a great alternative to nitrogen-based fertilizers that can suck all of the precious moisture out of the topsoil and the blades of grass, especially during the hot summer weather. The main reason for that is that nitrogen-based fertilizers contain salt or a salt-like base that absorbs all of the water. So, since Milorganite doesn’t do that nearly as much, professional lawn services prefer using it during hot, dry conditions like those that occur in the summer months, especially in the southern U.S.

Company History

Back in 1925, a Charleston, South Carolina company called McIver and Son first made this fertilizer product prototype and won a contest sponsored by National Fertilizer Magazine with their entry. And, that’s how it all started. For 90 years now, Milorganite has been making lawns and gardens healthier. They’ve become one of the oldest and biggest recycling programs worldwide. Milorganite has also become the trusted fertilizer choice among homeowners and golf course superintendents everywhere. And, that’s because Milorganite offers long-lasting and consistent results, which means healthier lawns, as well as flowers, trees, and gardens in general. As an additional benefit of the Milorganite process, to date, it has been responsible for diverting 9.8 billion pounds of waste away from landfills. That’s billion with a “B,” and that’s definitely a boon to humankind and healthy living.

In the 1920s, all of Milwaukee’s sewerage that stemmed from increased industrial activity and the growing number of citizens was putting the local residents and waterways in danger. Out of this demand for improving the local water quality came the brilliant idea for reclaiming that wastewater via the use of a new biosolids process that is just as cutting-edge today as it was way back then. They found that organic matter, as well as the nutrients that contained therein, could be eaten by microorganisms via the use of natural processes. What a concept! However, at that point, they encountered the problem of what to do with all of those leftover microbes. They decided that it wasn’t such a good idea to dispose of all of those nutrient-rich microbes by dumping them in local landfills. So they came up with the idea of producing a natural fertilizer! The result was a pelletized product that was not only easy-to-apply but was a great organic fertilizer. And, the rest is history. Milorganite’s mission of advancing turf science continues, and they designate plenty of research funds annually to further validate the benefits and safety of Milorganite and advance academic agronomic research.

Organic Lawn Fertilization

Organ fertilizers provide considerable benefits for both plants and soil. When utilized properly, they don’t damage or burn plants like some synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers work by stimulating the beneficial microorganisms in the soil and improving its overall structure. Soil microbes are responsible for playing a significant role in the conversion of organic fertilizers by becoming soluble nutrients for absorption by plants at a usable rate. Organic fertilizers are known for providing the micronutrients that plants require, and they are generally not available from synthetic fertilizers.

Also, organic fertilizers have a lower NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) makeup than what is usually found in synthetic fertilizers. They are also capable of feeding lawns and plants for a much more extended time period. The result is a much more subtle impact on them. Results from organic fertilizing products may take a bit longer than a synthetic fertilizer to show results, but the outcome is more rewarding overall as your lawn becomes greener and stays that way longer.

Key Benefits

Milorganite has changed the face of fertilizer production forever. This lawn fertilizer’s considerable benefits in both commercial and residential use have been quite conducive to the establishment of widespread turfgrass research. Milorganite is known as a real breakthrough in organic fertilizer production for better turf care as the first dust-free fertilizer that is pelletized and provides many nutrients within one single product. Another significant benefit is that, unlike many other types of fertilizers and lawn treatments, it can be applied safely without any burning risk.

Before the creation of Milorganite, single-nutrient lawn fertilizer and animal manures were in general use for lawns and gardens. They generally failed to deliver the desired results. Today, Milorganite is regulated by the EPA, fully complying with all of the agency’s most stringent requirements.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect fertilizer for greening up your lawn without any risk of burning, you might want to consider using Milorganite. Or, better still, ask your local turf care professional to handle all of your lawn treatments and request that they use Milorganite. Your lawn will thank you for all of those nutrients and your family will, too, when you have all that extra time to spend with them rather than working on your lawn.