Confused on Milorganite legality in MD

Asked July 29, 2019, 12:03 PM EDT

Hello, I am a new Montgomery County resident and a lawn care enthusiast. I am also someone who cares about environmental stewardship and strives to abide the law without exception. I am confused regarding the legality of Milorganite organic fertilizer for established lawns. I see it in MD stores, so I assumed it was legal at first. But it contains P (4 percent) which I thought was illegal save for new lawns or for lawns that have a P deficiency. Is Milorganite legal because it’s organic/slow release? If Milorganite is not permissible, are there other compliant brands of organic turf fertilizer that you can recommend? I strongly prefer to avoid synthetics in my lawn care program. Thank you!

Montgomery County Maryland lawns and turf fertilizer

1 Response

Milorganite organic fertilizer is a general fertilizer (for gardens too, not just lawns) and so you will find it available for sale. With regard to fertilizing a lawn, you have to abide by the Maryland Fertilizer Law. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/soils/fertilizer
Phosphorus can be incorporated when establishing a new lawn or applied if you have a soil test that indicates you have a soil phosphorus deficiency. Otherwise, for an established lawn, you cannot use a fertilizer containing phosphorus. There are other organic fertilizers on the market that provide nitrogen but zero phosphorus.

Since you are in Montgomery County, please see the information provided by your Department of Environmental Protection with regard to organic lawn care. https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/lawns/

In addition, here is information about how to test your soil. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/soil-testing

Christa