Want to try Milorganite

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plynn7
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Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 10th, 2012, 3:35 pm

For the past few years I have been using Scotts program it's worked ok, but now want to start using Milorganite I have read it is much better than the chemical fertilizers. I did put down Scotts pre and feed early March as directed by the bag. So I have few questions, the Milorganite says to start on Memorial day and then July 4th, by me putting down the Scotts already will that harm anything? Also is there anything else I should use with the Milorganite? What else should I consider?
Last edited by plynn7 on April 10th, 2012, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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andy10917
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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by andy10917 » April 10th, 2012, 4:41 pm

Weed and Feed in early March for Pennsylvania? That's what it said on the bag?

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 10th, 2012, 6:12 pm

andy10917 wrote:Weed and Feed in early March for Pennsylvania? That's what it said on the bag?
Yes, Scotts four step program calls for March- April for the first application then the second application May-June third Sept-Oct then follow up late November with their winter stuff.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by HanLawn » April 10th, 2012, 6:15 pm

Scotts 1st step is technically not "weed n feed" {that is their "step 2 product}, the step 1 is pre-emergent and feed.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm

HanLawn wrote:Scotts 1st step is technically not "weed n feed" {that is their "step 2 product}, the step 1 is pre-emergent and feed.
Yes that is what I put down, so used to reading and hearing weed and feed that I wrote weed n feed, but it was the pre and feed. Thanks for catching that HanLawn.


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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by HanLawn » April 10th, 2012, 6:26 pm

No problem.....I was a 4 stepper for decades!

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by Seattle2k » April 12th, 2012, 3:01 am

Plynn, you'll be fine applying Milorganite now. Most organic ferts, Milorganite included, are slow-release.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 14th, 2012, 7:05 am

Now I am confused! I stopped to talk to a neighbor who's lawn looks good year round, deep lush green lawn even in winter, not as green in winter but looks better then most lawns in this area during winter. So I asked him what he uses. He only uses the Scott's 4 step system, but it's the liquid stuff that he sprays on and mows at 2 1/2 inchs, he also puts dowm lime once a season. So now my question is can I use Scott's 4 step with the Milo, would that be too much?

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by Barley » April 14th, 2012, 7:33 am

plynn7 wrote:For the past few years I have been using Scotts program
I copied this from your original post. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but what makes you think that by going back to the 4 step program you'll all of a sudden go from "It's worked ok" (again, your quote), to your neighbor's "lawn (that) looks good year round, deep lush green lawn even in winter"?

How do you know it's the Scott's 4 step system that's giving him the good results? If you're in PA, then chances are your soil is naturally acidic.
plynn7 wrote:he also puts dowm lime once a season.
I think we're getting a little closer to the answer. Of course, I wouldn't even do what he's doing without a soil test. Ask him if he gets a soil analysis done, and if not, how he knows he needs lime once a year. Ask him what kind of lime he uses too. He may know what he is doing, but he may not.

Which brings me to my question (forgive me if it's already been asked). Do you have a soil test? If you really want better results, then in my opinion, the choice between Milorganite and Scott's 4 Step is: Milorganite. And the choice between soil test and no soil test is: soil test. We can help you improve your soil, and with good cultural practices, maybe one day your neighbor will ask you how you do it.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by xxryu139xx » April 14th, 2012, 7:43 am

green across the street doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best looking quality lawn until you are actually standing inside of it. my buddy across the street, his lawn looks really nice and green and nicely manicured, but when i come over and talk to him once in a while, his lawn is not as thick and as lush as mine. you can still see the soil between the grass with his lawn, mine u can barely see it now. he uses lawn doctor for his amendments. the guy drops some sort of fertilizer + lime in spring and fall.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by MorpheusPA » April 14th, 2012, 9:20 am

plynn7 wrote:Now I am confused! I stopped to talk to a neighbor who's lawn looks good year round, deep lush green lawn even in winter, not as green in winter but looks better then most lawns in this area during winter. So I asked him what he uses. He only uses the Scott's 4 step system, but it's the liquid stuff that he sprays on and mows at 2 1/2 inchs, he also puts dowm lime once a season. So now my question is can I use Scott's 4 step with the Milo, would that be too much?
Big +1 to the above. For SE PA, the natural pH tends to be in the 5 range (consider yourself lucky, mine is lower than that!) with the optimal pH being 6.5 to 6.7 in most cases. That lime is probably keeping the soil out of total collapse, but as to whether it's really necessary once a season is unknown without a soil test.

Grasses are pretty tolerant of misbalances in calcium and magnesium, but it's still not a good idea and I'm willing to bet that given the choice between the $15 a bag calcitic and the $4 a bag dolomitic, he's using the cheaper stuff. Which may not be, and probably isn't, correct.

We also tend to be phosphorus short, and your area is more potassium short than mine is. Lime and Scotts do nothing for that.

The $20 Logan soil test is a great idea and pretty easy to do. I do mine yearly, and just found out that my gardens have a modest issue with calcium, magnesium, potassium, and boron. The lawn needs magnesium, potassium, and boron.

With that, we'd know exactly what your soil needs. Without it, we'd be shooting at a black cat in a coal mine at midnight, which I won't even try to do.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by HanLawn » April 14th, 2012, 10:31 am

Seattle2k wrote:Plynn, you'll be fine applying Milorganite now. Most organic ferts, Milorganite included, are slow-release.
Milorganite is 60% slow release, 40% instant release nitrogen.quite different than grains that are all slow release.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 14th, 2012, 1:09 pm

Ok let me try this again. I have been using Scott’s for about for years with ok results on my old lawn. It would look good in spring and fall but bad during the summer. Then last spring I decided to start over and add a sprinkler system and had new sod installed ( mid April). I did not put anything down on the lawn until September as I was told that the sod had plenty of fertilizer from the farm and to wait 4-6 months before applying fertilizer. So this spring will be the first full season with whatever program I decide to use. So I have been reading a ton on this site and the opinion is to use Milo, but when I talked to my neighbor and he has had good results with the liquid Scott’s I started to question what to really use. I was thinking maintaining an established lawn is easier then when I was trying to grow and establish my old lawn and maybe the Scott’s would perform better with the sod. I am just trying to figure what would be the best to keep my lawn looking good year round. I did have a soil test done last fall and posted the results but never got any suggests on what to do. I have already put down Scott's pre and feed in March. So basicly I want to know going forward what would be best?

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by Barley » April 14th, 2012, 1:38 pm

plynn7 wrote:I did have a soil test done last fall and posted the results but never got any suggests on what to do.
I did some digging and found your soil test thread.

http://aroundtheyard.com/soil/soil-test-results-t7137.html

Looks like MorpheusPA gave you some Potassium Recommendations, but we dropped the ball on liming recommendations. That happens during the "busy season". Feel free to "bump" the thread or reply to Andy's "Who's waiting on a soil test recommendation?" threads when he starts them.

Also, I think we were a bit hesitant to recommend anything because we are not familiar with interpreting Penn State soil test reports. With those numbers however, I'm pretty sure we'll be recommending that you do indeed put down some lime...probably good calcitic combined with epsom salts. We'll keep the recommendations on the other thread.

In the meantime, to answer your immediate question, the fact that you put down Step 1 or Step 2 already this year has no bearing on if and when you start fertilizing organically. So Milorganite is good to use any time. If you continue to use synthetics, you'll have to time your apps around your lime apps (space them out by two weeks with a good watering/rain in between).

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by xxryu139xx » April 14th, 2012, 1:43 pm

forget your neighbor's lawn care program. you have no idea as to what condition his soil is in. your lawn and his lawn are completely different. even though, you live in the same area approximately, your soil can be much different than his. you don't know where your individual contractors hauled soil in. maybe they gave him good soil. maybe the contractor scraped off ur good topsoil and put junk in. his lawn could be well established for years and he might be on maintenance mode as far as amendments. you also don't stare at it all season long. sure it may look good now, but do u know when it looks bad? remember the saying, the grass is greener from the other side?

your "new" lawn is around a year old. its still a baby and hasn't fully matured yet. it is still ways off from comparing it to a well-established and taken care of lawn. my lawn looks pretty good for being only 9 months old, but compared to the others' lawns here that is on its 2nd or 3rd year, i still have a long ways to go.

liquid fertilizer is like a shot of espresso. it gives fast green up since it doesn't have to dissolve, but it doesn't leave much available N in the soil. do u know how often he applies it? of course, the same rules still apply with liquid N.

here's an epiphany. most homeowners want to have the best looking lawn/grass. in reality, once u fall deep into the matrix, its not about growing grass or having the best lawn. what you are really growing and taking care of is your soil, the nutrients in it and the micro-organisms that keep it healthy. a huge plus from "growing" your soil is that it helps the grass. lets call it a beneficial side effect that if u take care of your soil u end up with nice grass.

growing your soil takes a couple of years. the beginning is really slow for a soil that was never been taken care of or has only been feeding on synthetic N. it takes a while for those beneficial microorganisms to come back and live on your soil. when i first started dropping Milorganite last year, it would take 3-4 weeks before it disappears. now, it disappears in 2 weeks. i dropped alfalfa 3 weeks ago, most if its still there. others here, that have been cultivating their microbes, their organic dumps disappear in a couple of weeks. i think morph's soil can eat anything in just a week.

patience is the key. i already can't wait until May when my grass really wakes up and my Emblem goes into full assimilation mode. I'm already excited to see results for next spring. take care of your soil first and results will start to come.

another thing is no lawn (except maybe morphs and andys) look good all year round. there are still alot of people on this site with this their lawns still lagging behind in growth and in color because of the weird spring/winter we had. mine looks ok, but looks alot better than where it was late last year. color is darker now and its starting to really get denser. summer is almost here, and everyone's lawn will take a beating. i'm sure even your neighbor's lawn will start to look bad, but that all depends on where he is with lawn care.

i don't know if u have ever read all the threads here yet, but most of us that research a reno has pretty much read every thread in this site. you will notice everyone will complain of how their looks during critical times e.g. summmer, and how excited they get when prime growth season hits. everyone says how amazing their lawn is pick back up when the temps start to drop.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by andy10917 » April 14th, 2012, 1:45 pm

There is no "best" - everything is related to your goals and the effort that you're willing to put into the lawn. If you want a quick hit of green for a few weeks and want to keep the effort to a minimum, liquid fertilizers work OK, but they are expensive for the amount of nutrients you get and don't last. If it easily dissolves in water, it easily flushes out with rain. Milorganite takes 2-3 weeks to green things up, but lasts much longer, and adds OM and Iron. A comprehensive program is more work, but yields very good, consistent results and doesn't crash in Summer.

Your Penn State results can't be easily used for a detailed analysis and a set of recommendations - they just don't provide adequate information. But they do point at a somewhat depleted soil that could use a comprehensive program. And the problems to be solved ain't gonna be fixed by Scott's liquid fertilizer. And a few bags of Milorganite ain't gonna solve it either.

You're at a decision point - do you want to spray-and-pray, or do you want to get to the roots of your problems? Only you can answer that...

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 14th, 2012, 2:04 pm

I have spent a ton of time 4+ years on everyhting from grass seed to dethatching and every thing in between to get my old lawn to look good, and when I could not I decided to replace it with sod, I spent a ton of money to add the sprinkler and sod. So it is safe to say I am willing to to what needs to be done to keep it looking good. My only issue is that I do not have any feed stores close to me to get some of the things that are suggested, also alot of the things you guys mention to use would I have no idea how to apply like 1lb to 1000sq ft. I use a droper spreadr for all my fert apps and just go by what the bag says to set it on. I am a city boy and just moved the burbs five years ago (never had a Lawn), so I am still learning after all the mistakes I have made with this lawn. I do plan on doing another soil test with Logan labs, just have not gotten around to it. I am not looking for a quick fix, I want to give my lawn the best chance to survive. I do appreciate eveyones advice.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by andy10917 » April 14th, 2012, 2:27 pm

We are here to help - we honestly enjoy doing this stuff...

And we can help you to get all of the details right, including application rates, etc for a "city boy".

The one thing we CAN'T help with is commitment. We are upfront and tell you right from the start that the path to a really nice, consistent lawn takes a while. And that the spray-and-pray solutions will look better than the long-haul solutions two weeks after the people doing the programs start.

Believe this: we were all at the point you were at during the past sometime. And most of us moved to the solutions we're using today because we found that the solution-in-a-bag didn't work for us when viewed over the long-haul. I experienced what I call the "yo-yo effect" - it took more and more nutrients applied sooner and sooner to keep the lawn looking the way I wanted, and even then the incidence of disease increased. I bailed out and looked for alternatives.

We aren't intolerant here - if something works for you, do it. We don't insist that you drink the Kool-Aid. But if you really want to leverage what we have learned and take advantage of the tools that we have to share, then welcome to the club and never feel embarassed to ask 500 questions.

We'll jump on the Logan results as soon as you have them!

PS: there are lots of Agways, JDL's, etc. within an easily-driveable distances of you. You're driving probably right by them - but they are doors at the back of a warehouse building often. The thing to get out of your head is that idea that "if Home Depot doesn't have it, it doesn't exist". It does.

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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by plynn7 » April 14th, 2012, 2:38 pm

Thanks andy10917, I do want to do what is best for my lawn, but the only thing I ever knew was the Home Depot stuff. With that said, if I can get a clear direction from you fine gentlemen I would be more then eager to commit the time and energy needed.

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andy10917
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Re: Want to try Milorganite

Post by andy10917 » April 14th, 2012, 2:42 pm

OK, then start with getting the soil test into the mail, and telling us about your mowing and watering habits (that's 75% of the battle).

Also, tell us your town or zip code so we can start telling you which of those warehouse doors is really a JDL.

And start thinking about what you're going to say to the neighbor next door when he asks why you are kicking his butt - because you WILL do it.

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