Milorganite is one of the best organic fertilizers on the market. The popular slow-release nitrogen formula, from Milwaukee, WI, now comes in a 32 pound bag and covers 2,500 square feet of lawn. This delivers 0.72 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf.
It also contains the right amount of essential phosphorus, calcium, and iron to keep your lawn in great condition all year long. But with the high demand comes short supply and a hike in prices.
In fact, in both 2018 and 2019, Milorganite was in very short supply. This has caused many lawn care nuts across America to scramble for some last-minute Milorganite alternatives. Be sure to find some Milorganite substitutes early this year, just in case.
Lawn Phix has an updated list of organic nitrogen fertilizer alternatives for 2020. Some you’ll be able to find in your big box stores, others can be found online, and more uniquely we have broken out some Milorganite alternatives by State. You may be able to find these Milorganite alternatives at your local nurseries or even Water Resources Authority – like Bay State Organic Fertilizer in Massachusetts.
The 10 Best Milorganite Alternatives:
We recently tested out the XGN DIY 8-1-8 Carbon Based Fertilizer from Yard Mastery and catapulted it to the No. 1 Milorganite alternative list. The results were nothing short of sensational. We applied this fertilizer at maximum rates (9 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft.) and the lawn quickly “popped”. It spread nicely and evenly through the Spyker spreader.
Also known as X-GReeN, XGN DIY is a slow-release fertilizer that is safe to use throughout the summer, particularly at the lower recommended rates of 4 lbs. / 1,000 sq. ft. You get the slow release benefits like Milorganite, 4% Iron, and the biochar technology that the Carbon Earth Company delivers.
4 lbs = 0.32 lbs N per 1,000 (11,400 sq. ft.)
2 lbs = 0.16 lbs. N per 1,000 sq. ft.
9 lbs = 0.72 lbs. N per 1,000
45 lbs. bag covers 11,250 sq. ft.
20 lbs. bag covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Innova 7-1-2 Organic Fertilizer by The Andersons is a plant-derived, all-natural soybean-based fertilizer. Innova is 100% organic, OMRI-listed homogeneous granular fertilizer. Below are approximate rates based on a 40 lbs bag. The company recommends 3.5 lb. per 1,000.
3.5 lbs = 0.25 lbs N per 1,000 (11,400 sq. ft.)
7 lbs = 0.5 lbs N per 1,000 (5,700 sq. ft.)
11 lbs = 0.78 lbs N per 1,000 (3,600 sq. ft.)
Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore is popular Milorganite alternative. It is a 10-0-6 Phosphorus free, plant-based granular fertilizer. Ringer is 0% Phosfate fertilizer is slow-release and non-burning.
This 25 lbs bag covers up to 5,000 sq. ft. and delivers 0.5 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn area.
Another great substitute to Milorganite is one of Lawn Phix’s top picks, Jonathan Green 8-0-1 Organic Lawn Food. Their new formula is now a 10-0-1 blend of feather meal and soybean meal. The 17 lbs. bag covers 5,000 sq. ft. and 51 lbs. bag covers 15,000 sq. ft. and deliver 0.34 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn.
Next on the list of Milorganite alternatives is Greenedge Slow Release 6-2-0 Fertilizer. The N-P-K ratios are the closest to Milorganite and acts as a bio-activator to increase microbial activity. The 40 lbs. bag covers 3,200 total sq. ft. while delivering 0.75 lbs. of slow-release organic nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf.
Number 7 on our list of top Milorganite substitute is Espoma Organic Lawn Food – Spring Lawn Booster Fertilizer. Epsoma 8-0-0 Spring Lawn Booster is made from feather meal, poultry manure and gypsum. The 30 lbs. bag of organic fertilizer covers 5,000 sq. ft. and delivers 0.48 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. of. of grass.
Epsoma 9-0-0 All Season Lawn Food, like Jonathan Green, is derived from feather meal and poultry manure. comes in 14 lb. and 28 lb. bags which cover 2,500 sq. ft. and 5,000 sq. ft. respectively while applying 0.5 lbs. of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft.
Simple Lawn Solutions is a growing brand with some great liquid fertilizer options. This 6-0-0 Lawn Booster nitrogen fertilizer also contains 5% iron to really make the lawn green up. This quart container covers up to 3,200 in its convenient hose-end sprayer
Another popular liquid fertilizer brand is LawnStar. Like Simple Lawn Solutions, this Green Up Nutrient Blend comes mixed and ready to go in the hose end sprayer. This quart is filled with 12-0-0 N-P-K, with 6% iron for a true “Green Up”. A great deal that covers up to 4,000 sq. ft.
To finish up our top-10 list of Milorganite alternatives, LawnStar 16-4-8 Liquid Fertilizer acts more like a starter fertilizer, but contains seaweed extract. This is a solid liquid fertilizer with a perfect blend of quick release and slow release nitrogen. This quart also covers up to 4,000 sq. ft.
Milorganite Alternatives at Home Depot:
Milorganite Alternatives by State:
(Note: some of these may not be exact clones or biosolid fertilizer replicas, but an alternative nonetheless)
- OrganiCal (California Organic Fertilizers, Inc.) 7-1-2
- Bloom 1.5-1.5-0
- Bay State Fertilizer 4-3-0
- Natural Lawn Fertilizer 4-3-0 (Mernards)
- MightyGrow 4-3-4
- OceanGro 5-5-0
- Poconite 5-2-0
- SoundGRO® Fertilizer 5-5-0
- MetroGro 8-4-1
Why Organic Fertilizers?
Milorganite is a popular organic fertilizer for many reasons. First off, it is a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. This allows you to apply nitrogen fertilizers less frequently, and the slow steady release provides nutrients for up to 10 weeks.
Organic fertilizers like Milorganite are also non-burning. This means it is safer to use during summer months than synthetic fertilizers. The slow-release nitrogen also aids in the non-burning benefits.
These also provide a good source of iron. Iron, of course, is important to provide that deep dark green, picturesque grass that all lawn care addicts yearn for. And unlike liquid iron sulfate products, Milorganite will not stain concrete driveways, patios or walkways.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Milorganite (and some of these alternatives fertilizers) contain a lot of organic matter which helps feed the soil. When the soil is nourished, it feeds and activates soil microbes.
Do you know of any other Milorganite alternatives in your area, or online? If so, please let everyone know by posting a comment below.
Frequently Asked Milorganite Questions
Milorganite is a popular organic fertilizer manufactured by the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. It is a slow-release nitrogen that contains iron, and provides beneficial nutrients to your soil. Read Lawn Phix Why Organic Fertilizers section to learn more.
The Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (N-P-K) analysis is 6-4-0. A full bag rate application, as directed on the 32 pound bag (from their previous 36 pound bags) covers 2,500 square feet and delivers 0.77 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
Depending on where you live and what your lawn care program consists of, but for cool season lawns, you can use Milorganite as frequently as 4-6 times per year. For Massachusetts Zone 6 for example, Lawn Phix suggests five applications between May-September.
Depending on how much Nitrogen you are looking to put down per application and per year, Milorganite is safe to use with other N-P-K fertilizers and supplements. For example, Lawn Phix suggests using Milorganite in conjunction with a starter fertilizer, lime and Kelp4Less when overseeding in the fall. Use our Nitrogen Calculator to help calculate the amount of Nitrogen you’re applying.
Milorganite can be found at some select Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Ace Hardware locations. You can also check your local nurseries, lawn and garden centers, and hardware stores. Milorganite can also be found on Amazon.com and other e-commerce websites. Sometimes Milorganite can be in short supply. You will want to look for some alternatives just in case you can’t find it, or need something cheaper within your budget.
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