Frequently Asked Questions

What is Milorganite?
My dog ate Milorganite what should I do?
What is my Spreader Setting?
Is it safe?
Can I use Milorganite for my vegetable garden? 
Where can I buy Milorganite?
Does Milorganite contain heavy metals? 
What does the 5-2-0 on the bag mean? 
What is the difference between Organic and "Regular" fertilizers? 
Does Milorganite need to be watered in to work? 
Can Milorganite be applied in the summer or during drought? 
Can Milorganite be applied to my wet lawn? 
Is it true that Milorganite will keep deer away? 
Can Milorganite be used in combination with other fertilizers (and pesticides)? 
Does Milorganite kill weeds? 
Does Milorganite contain grass seed? 
When can Milorganite be applied? 
What about Milorganite's phosphorus?
Does Milorganite contain Pharmaceuticals?

What is Milorganite?

Milorganite is derived from heat-dried microbes that have digested the organic material in wastewater. Milorganite is manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The District captures wastewater from the metropolitan Milwaukee area, including local industries such as MillerCoors. This water is then treated with microbes to digest nutrients that are found in it. Cleaned water is then returned to Lake Michigan. The resulting microbes are then dried, becoming Milorganite fertilizers. The Milorganite program is one of the world’s largest recycling efforts.

My dog ate Milorganite what should I do?

Milorganite is not toxic if eaten and your dog is not facing a “life threatening” crisis that requires medical care or emergency stomach pumping.

How much discomfort your dog has will depend on how much Milorganite was consumed. Dogs that eat a small amount of Milorganite do not show signs of discomfort. More than a normal food bowl will typically cause gastroenteritis because the Milorganite pellets are coarse, hard and highly abrasive. The abrasion causes inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining. Eating too much Milorganite can induce vomiting, which can lead to dehydration, incontinence (stiffness in the hind legs), atrophy, depression and black stools.

To alleviate discomfort, provide liquids, a bland diet, and contact your local veterinarian for instructions on how to manage gastrointestinal irritation. Some may suggest that the high iron in Milorganite is life threatening, however this is not accurate. The iron in Milorganite is not soluble and is not available for absorption in the mucosal cells of the small intestine. Milorganite pellets pass through a dog’s digestive system causing potential discomfort, but without being absorbed.

If you have further questions, please call (800) 304-6204.

What is my Spreader Setting?

While settings for the most widely used spreaders on the market are printed on the Milorganite bag, it is not possible to test the setting for every available spreader. We have included Spreader Settings for the spreaders which have been tested and step-by-step Spreader Calibration Instructions to determine the proper setting for spreaders that are not listed on the Milorganite bag.

Is it Safe?

Yes. Children and pets can safely go onto areas that have been fertilized with Milorganite. Milorganite meets the most stringent criteria imposed on any fertilizer product for health, safety and environmental concerns. However, use cautionary measures around open bags of Milorganite and store unused portions away from children and pets.

Can I use Milorganite for my vegetable garden?

Yes. Milorganite is an excellent and safe fertilizer for all plants that grow outdoors, including vegetables and other edible crops. Milorganite is practically goof-proof since it won't burn plants - even if it is over applied.

Where can I buy Milorganite?

Home users can find Milorganite at most leading lawn and garden centers across the country (it is America's #1 organic nitrogen fertilizer). Our store locator can help find a store near you. Professional users can get Milorganite from our extensive distributor network, often the same supplier for your other soft goods or turf equipment.

Does Milorganite contain heavy metals?

All fertilizers, both organic and synthetic, contain some heavy metals. In fact, plants need some heavy metals, such as zinc and copper and molybdenum, for normal, healthy growth. Milorganite meets the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Exceptional Quality", which establishes the strictest concentration limits in the fertilizer industry for heavy metals.
Milorganite can be used with confidence for all your fertilizing needs, including use on all types of grass, trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetable gardens.

What does the 5-2-0 on the bag mean?

The 5-2-0 guarantees that Milorganite contains at least 5% Nitrogen, 2% Phosphorous and 0% Potassium by weight.

What is the difference between Organic and "Regular" fertilizers?

Organic nutrients are "stored" in complex organic molecules until soil microorganisms break them down and "release" the nutrients for plant use. Regular synthetic fertilizers are chemical-based and need to be watered in.

Does Milorganite need to be watered in to work?

No. It is not necessary to water in Milorganite for it to work. Milorganite will stay on the soil until rain or irrigation activates soil microbes that break it down into its nutrients. Watering in Milorganite will ensure that the fertilizer achieves soil contact earlier and speed up the fertilizing process, but it is not necessary.

Can Milorganite be applied in the summer or during drought?

Yes. Milorganite does not contain any salts so it will not burn plant leaves during dry or hot periods.

Can Milorganite be applied to my wet lawn?

Yes. Milorganite does not contain any salts so it can be used on a wet lawn.  Milorganite will not burn your lawn.

Is it true that Milorganite will keep deer away?

Research done at Berry College and other sources suggest Milorganite has efficacy as a deer deterrent. The makers of Milorganite do not register its product as a repellent nor actively market it as such.

Can Milorganite be used in combination with other fertilizers (and pesticides)?

Yes. Milorganite can be used as a complete lawn fertility program or with other products as part of your program. When you use Milorganite as part of an overall program, do not over-apply nitrogen fertilizer.

Does Milorganite kill weeds?

No. Milorganite is strictly a fertilizer. However, a thick, healthy lawn will choke out existing weeds and help prevent weeds from germinating seedlings.

Does Milorganite contain grass seed?

No, however mixing grass seed with Milorganite makes it easier to accurately spread seed, especially small-seeded species like bentgrass and bermudagrass.  The standard Milorganite:seed mixing ratio is 4:1 by weight.  When mixing seed and Milorganite, decrease the rate of Milorganite applied as straight fertilizer to avoid over-fertilization.

When can Milorganite be applied?

Milorganite can be applied any time during the growing season and it is suitable for your climate and growing conditions. It can be applied at any time of day.

What about Milorganite's Phosphorous?

The slow-moving phosphorus in Milorganite stays in the soil for the plants to use. University tests in the soil of Florida show that Milorganite’s phosphorus is available to the plants but does not move into the groundwater.

Does Milorganite contain Pharmaceuticals?

Milorganite, like manures and other organic fertilizers, contains micro-levels of pharmaceuticals as well as household and personal care products. Milorganite is actively  monitored for a host of compounds that the EPA has ruled as being hazardous, to ensure consumer safety.  Pharmaceuticals have been passing through humans since their invention, but only recently has analytic science been able to measure the chemicals at the exponentially low concentrations we can see today.  When Milorganite is recycled to soil for nutrients, no evidence of harm has been found in earthworms, the primary exposure group.  Research on earthworms continues as new classes of therapeutic drugs with distinct modes of action become popular.   Public health and safety always comes first at Milorganite.  For additional information go to the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/ppcp