milorganite vs generic fertilizer

scrierJune 10, 2007

A 40 lb bag of milorganite at 6-2-0 costs $11 and a 40 lb bag of generic 10-10-10 fertilizer costs less than $7. Seems like a no-brainer to get the 10-10-10 since it has more and costs less but some folks prefer milorganite. Is there some benefit to usign milorganite over 10-10-10 doesn't?

I ask because I just aerated my lawn and plan on dropping some 10-10-10 on it but was thinking about using milorganite if there is something special about it.

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bestlawn(6)

Milorganite is an organic fertilizer of processed sewer sludge. It won't burn your grass if over-applied. It's added iron content works swell to both darken the grass and brighten the lawn, deeper but brighter if that makes sense to you. This isn't the best time to aerate or to fertilize but since you did aerate and want to fertilize, Milorganite (or any other organic fert) is best to use because it won't cause flush of top growth the way the other fert will, which wouldn't be good for the grass. That is assuming you're growing cool season grass. If yours is warm season grass, now is a god time but you still wont have to worry about rapid growth with Milorganite. If you are growing cools season grass, please refer to the Lawn Care Forum for advice in the future before performing anything mechanical on your lawn. We can advise on proper times and schedule routines for that and fertilizing, in addition to proper watering, proper mowing, etc.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:06PM
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bestlawn(6)

oops
meant to say "its" added iron content and not "it's"

Please tell us what state you live in.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:09PM
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scrier

It's bermuda so I guess I can fertilize. But we are in a drought and faced with water restrictions. The water restrictions was the reason for the aeration - I was guessing lawn may need less water if aerated

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 10:44PM
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Billl(z7 nc)

Aeration helps the soil absorb water better. It should help keep water from running off in heavy rains, so you retain more of the water nature provides. If you aren't getting much/any rain, that isn't going to make a big difference in your short term water needs.

As for fertilizer, there are lots of threads about the benefits of organic vs synthetic fertilizers around. The basic difference is that organics build up the soil while synthetics feed the plant directly.

The major drawback of 10-10-10 (as opposed to other synthetics) is that your bermuda needs a lot of nitrogen, but probably not much of the other nutrients. If you just repeatedly use 10-10-10, you will end up with way too high of levels of those. Eventually, the excess amounts will get washed out in a big thunderstorm and pollute your local rivers/streams etc. Unless a soil test shows otherwise, you probably want to limit the 10-10-10 to once a year and use some fertilizer designed for lawns for the test of the year.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 10:16AM
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okcdan(7 OKC - Bermuda)

I wouldn't use the Milorganite or the 10-10-10. I currently use soybean meal (at 15lbs/1000sqft.) to supply the N needs of my bermuda, but if I were using a chemical or urea based fertilizer, I'd be using a 34-0-0 for all my mid season feedings and only use a balanced (something like 24-6-12) for the first spring application.

Good day, Dan

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 6:47PM
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texas-weed(7A)

milorganite is a poor choice for fertilizing Bermuda as is 10-10-10. Bermuda only needs a blanced fertilizer for the first spring or the last fall application. What Bermuda needs now is straight nitrogen like a slow release 29-0-0 or fast release 46-0-0 no brainer.

I agree for organics Soybean Meal is the route to go if you want organics and do not mind paying 2 to 3 times as much per square footage per application.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 8:45PM
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scrier

Thanks. The reason I was thinking 10-10-10 was I thought the phosporus helped root development after aeration.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 11:40PM
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Billl(z7 nc)

A once a year application of 10-10-10 is fine. What you don't want to do is use it over and over again in turfgrass. A little K and P go a long way, so you don't want to overdo it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 11:11AM
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glorybe_2007(7)

I use milorganite for my new lawn. Looks a lot better than chemical fertilizer; however, I'm in the northeast (Cape Cod to be exact).

As to the price of Milorganite, we purchase it at Home Depot for lot less than $11 per bag. More like $9.00. You should check this out.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 5:58PM
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quirkyquercus

10-10-10 is often suggested for the first fertilization of the year when the grass is greening up if you get winter dormancy. But you wouldn't want to waste your $ on that for the other monthly fertilization you need the 46-0-0 or what was suggested.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 8:20PM
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dldlaw

I would like to go organic and use milorganite or another organic fertilizer. If bermuda requires the higher nitrogen, how is this done with an organic product?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 9:43PM
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tnjdm

dld

I fed my bermuda organically for the first time last year. Definitely use the Milorganite for the Iron. Soybean Meal is another grain high in Nitrogen (as far as grains go, 6 or so N). A little expensive, but I also used Nature Safe Feather Meal 13-0-0. Very slow to process the N, but probably the highest Organic N you'll find. Mix it up a little with Alfalfa or Rabbit feed pellets and cracked corn.

Keep in mind, when your going organic you are feeding the soil, not necessarily the grass direct, so it's good to diversify the feedings. The great thing is you can't really over feed using these items.

It worked wonders for me, but I was obsessive on the amounts I put down last year.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 3:17PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Wow! Talk about a blast from the past...bestlawn, billl, okcdan, texas-weed, and quirkyquercus all in one thread. I miss those folks...except for TW who's still around and active in the forums.

I agree with TNJDM. Sure, bermuda can use much more nitrogen than organics can provide, but that doesn't mean the organics are insufficient.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:40PM
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