Milorganite organic fertilizer

angel123(San Antonio, Tx)September 29, 2005

Has anybody tried this fertilizer on your lawns? How long does it take to green up the lawn? Anybody tried it with plants & shrubs Do you add water or not ?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Since this is a very readily available, and inexpensive, fertilzer (and ths closest I can get to something organic) I use it between mid October and mid November to feed my lawn so I'm not really looking for green up since the grass is going dormant for the winter. On the rare occassion I put some down in the spring I notice the grass is greener in about a week, depending on how much watering is done after application.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:07AM
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althea_gw

Angel, Milorganite isn't organic.

We have an Organic Lawn Care FAQ here on this forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: faq

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:15AM
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squeeze(z8 BC)

actually, being composted sewage, Milorganite is definitely organic, and tho it will also have various contaminents, they're lower than EPA regulated allowable levels - lower than many chemical ferts

Bill

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 1:38PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Ah ?? Lower lead, arsenic, chromium ???

Dioxins not tested

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 7:40PM
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althea_gw

Milorganite comes up on this forum occasionally. This is a link to cached thread earlier this year in which some of the same issues were discussed.

Here is a link that might be useful: google cache

    Bookmark   September 29, 2005 at 8:37PM
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cochiseaz8(az 8)

If you live in a cold climate you should NEVER, NEVER fertilize in the fall!!! Nitrogen makes for water absorbtion, more water in the plant makes for big frost damage... meaning you can effectivley kill your plants, lawn,,, ect by giving them any amount of nitrogen when the weather turns cool, or cold..... don't fert in the fall,,, period!!! Unless you live where the ground never freezes. Milorganite is a trade name for cleaned up city sewarage... depends on how organic you want to be, some are o.k. with it ,,, I prefer not to have meat eaters protein in my compost, horse poop and non-feed lot poop is o.k., but , I have to draw the line at dog, cat, and human. it's just me... I have bit*she standards

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 8:26PM
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william2001(z5 MO)

coshise- hmmm...read here:

http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/lawn/lawncare/fertiliz.html

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/2004/N1030.htm

I personally fertilize with organics such as Ringer Lawn Restore year round, but fall applications will have the most benefit. I can provide pics of my "fertilized every fall" fescue lawn if you want. Let me know.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2005 at 7:26PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Milorganite is the processed sewage sludge from Milwaukee. A similar product from Houston is called Hou-actinite. Both are processed in two steps. The first step is anerobic and results in a material that is thick with dangerous microbes. The second step is the incineration of that sludge at temperatures over 1,000 degrees F for an hour or so. At the end the material is like a fired clay. Milorganite is about as sterile as it can be after that treatment. I don't know how it can have any benefit at all, but I'm not going to go up against millions of happy customers.

Lead, arsenic, and chromium are not problems any more, at least not in San Antonio. Our water system monitors contamination in real time. As soon as they get a blip on their screens, they start sniffing upstream until they find the culprit. When they find him they assess a fine of $1,000 per day until the stuff stops. When you are expecting a monthly sewage charge of $50 and it turns out to be $30,000, it gets your attention.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:18AM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

Because this old house of ours came with a primitive septic system we've been thinking for a long time about composting our 'humanure': poop, pee and sawdust, nothing else. Doing so would take care and dedication but would seem a perfectly reasonable solution to our problem. We just need to get over the gross-out aspect.

By comparison the idea of using the feces of Milwaukee's population mixed with whatever else they flush heedless down their sinks and toilets plus industrial waste, incinerated (at what cost to the environment?) is not at all tempting. IMO buying Milorganite 'enables' a disposal process that is fundamentally wrong.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 7:52AM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Why is it fundamentally wrong Paul? I consider it fairly progressive waste disposal. They break down the human waste biologically, the critters go through their normal cycles and once complete their carcasses are heated to the point where no bad organism could survive and the organic matter resulting is sold inexpensively as fertilzer/soil conditioner.

Seems like a much better solution than what Milwaukee does everytime it rains which is dump the raw sewage into lake Michigan.(Milwaukee's rain water system is one and the same with their sewage system so rainwater exceeds their storage/processing capacity). Maybe by selling Milorganite they can eventually afford to seperate the two systems.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:23AM
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PaulNS(NS zone 6a)

Username, I understand what you're saying. This is far from a perfect world. Even so. Here's how my composting teacher put in:

Isnt our sewage collection and treatment system ludicrous? Take a relatively
uncontaminated, high nutrient organic waste (human waste), dilute it 1000+ times with
water and contaminated industrial effluent, spend a fortune on "wastewater treatment"
(separating the liq from the solid, chemical and biological treatment, etc.), and still end up
with something that is of dubious value because of contaminant content.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:44AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Back in Hunza Valley.........doesn't every organic grower know of Hunza????...they returned every thing back to the land. The people lived about to 105 years. They climbed mountains until about a week or two before passing on to their reward.

Course, the valley was highly isolated from the outside world.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 2:09PM
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bigcityal(z5WI)

I prefer to use Milorganite as a mid-late summer application on my lawn. The Fe greens as much as the N in it. I consider it to be "organic", just not "natural" ,which is not the same thing. It takes 3-4 weeks and 2" of rain/water to work. I do not use it on ornamentals.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 11:26PM
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mountainman_bc(5)

Milorganite is not just from Milwaukee. It is just sewage sludge fert from any town.
I'd use my own (do look up the Humanure Handbook as suggested) but only on shrubs/tres now veggies. But under no means would I use someone elses from 'the plant'. Yuk. All those medicines, they don't break down quick.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 2:16AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Milorganite is not just from Milwaukee. It is just sewage sludge fert from any town.

Are you saying the Milorganite company has franchised outside of the city of Milwaukee? I'm pretty sure San Antonio has their own contract with a local company which uses a composting process rather than an incineration process. And the city of Houston has a contract with the Hou-Actinite company. I suppose Milorganite could have contracts with other cities to satisfy the demand they must have.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 9:48AM
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mountainman_bc(5)

DSA, Honestly I've never heard of the Milwaukee/Houston plants sludge.
All I do know is back in '97 I learned about milorganite in hort school. Out here it's the name given to sewage sludge turned soil.
I now deal with two completely different fert companies which sell it in different manners, and the local landfill has "milorganite" added to their compost they sell.
I personally won't use it in my own garden but have no issues using it on commercial properties, better than the river!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:10PM
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ggosu12(DFW,TX)

SO, are all organic fertlizers (like texas tee) sterilized?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 2:51PM
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cochiseaz8(az 8)

Milorganite is a constant addition on the shelves of the local Home Depot here in south eastern arizona,, and I should've been more specific in the earilier post on not ferting in the fall,, I did mean to include only vegies not lawns,,, since I don't own a lawn, it escaped me, forgive me and mia culpa. It is my understanding that Milorganite is a process more than a Millwake thing, and thats it's certainly regional in nutrient, tilth provision and structure, which is the most sought after here, but can be achieved through more organic measures,, it just takes allitle longer and sometimes it's not always good to take a quick fix for short term. Do it good and you'll enjoy for years

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 11:01PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Are you saying the Milorganite company has franchised outside of the city of Milwaukee?

Milorganite is simply sewage sludge, or more properly the carcasses of the organisms that fed on the sewage sludge.

The process was pioneered in the city of Milwaukee in 1926 (although testing began earlier) and the name simply means MIL-waukee-ORGAnic-NITrogEn It was billed as an organic, slow release source of nitrogen and in it's day was the superior choice since the only alternatives at the time were composts, blood meals and aluminum sulphate and all were more risky to apply to turf or contained lower amounts of nitrogen.

To the best of my knowledge any product sold as milorganite comes from the Milwaukee treatment facility and nowhere else although Milwaukee is no longer the only city selling fried sewage sludge organisms.

The material coming out of Milwaukee is completely safe to use on anything and contains nothing the EPA or anyone else believes harmful. One can eat the stuff and no symptoms will occur other than a potentially darkened stool.

A fact sheet on the studies that have been conducted is available here
for those who wish to make up their own minds based upon the research to date.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 12:54AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

SO, are all organic fertlizers (like texas tee) sterilized?

Not at all. That's the first I've ever heard of that kind of extrapolation. 99.99% of organic fertilizers were once alive. They are made from ground up protein sources like seeds, nuts, and beans and sometimes blood, bone, and feathers. If these materials were incinerated like the Milorganite product you would be left with ash, not clay. The Milorganite product is more like tiny broken bits of ceramic clay. Again, I don't see how the stuff works, but thousands of people claim it does. One thing in the back of my mind is that the resulting material is porous and will absorb things and give microbes places to live. I don't know.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:28PM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

Also note, note in link posted by username

In CA this chemical can cause cancer>>>>>>

Your choice

Dioxins are not tested

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 7:51PM
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username_5(banned for no reason)

Well, in fairness Byron, everything causes cancer in California.

I live in Wisconsin, so I am OK ;-)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 8:06PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

Hi, one reason the sewer sludge in Milwaukee is so nutritious is from all the breweries and Red Star Yeast. The yeast effluent that gets 'flushed' is an important component of Milorganite, supposedly. I haven't read much about it, just lived around Milwaukee much of my life. There was a problem years ago because some company was putting cadmium into the waste stream and it was contaminating the Milorganite. But they found the company and shut them down long ago.

Red Star Yeast is closing locally so maybe Milorganite won't be quite as great! We still have a lot of breweries, though. Funny how beer is good fertilizer AND kills slugs, too. We should all drink more beer - from Milwaukee of course. I thought Milorganite was trademarked and actually from Milwaukee. Hubby says the Brazilian brewing company that bought Miller a few years ago learned how to make sewage with beer byproducts into fertilizer and now does that in Brazil and also calls it Milorganite. So I am not sure. I am the type that doesn't buy fertilizer (all that free organic material out there!) so I am just interested in this topic due to having been born in Milwaukee and so on.

Marcia

    Bookmark   November 8, 2005 at 10:59PM
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huggintreez_yahoo_com

milorganite may have become a generic term but it was invented in Milwaukee. The name is a conjunction ...MILwaukee ORGanic NITrogen. It works because it has tons of good stuff like iron and its slow release phosphorus is safe for ground water. Generally it has 5-2-0 or 6-2-0. The company started in 1925 ish I think

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 9:27PM
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noisynora

I use milorganite on my lawn and bedding plants...dual purpose, feeding the plants AND keeping deer away! It works great as a deer repellent and is slow release so it is hard to over-apply. I recently moved from CT where the deer were a constant challenge and it worked fairly well, and other than the fact one of my dogs loved to eat the stuff, it was great. He would usually just end up throwing it up later, cut never seemed to cause any noticeable harm. Once it was wet from rains, it was not as appealing to him, so I would try and time my applications just before a rain for that reason.
I will not use any chemical products i.e. Scott's, etc, bad for the environment, humans and our waterways.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 5:40PM
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