Apply Milorganite Before or After Mowing Your Lawn?

For best results, mow your lawn before spreading Milorganite. Shorter grass helps the Milorganite granules more easily reach the soil, where they can break down and add nutrients to your lawn. Long grass can capture the Milorganite as you spread it and prevent some of it from reaching the ground. However, there’s no need to scalp your yard before you spread your Milorganite. Mowing to a standard height is sufficient.

A bag of Milorganite next to a lawn spreader and lawn mower.

Why Should You Mow Before Spreading Milorganite?

Milorganite is a granular fertilizer that enters the soil when it is watered in. Tall grass can catch some of the Milorganite granules as you spread them. This will prevent the fertilizer from reaching the soil. If this happens, rain or watering may wash the Milorganite away. Alternatively, Milorganite that dissolves before it reaches the soil might only penetrate to a shallow degree. To truly make sure your Milorganite breaks down and works deep into the ground, spread it on recently mowed grass, so the fertilizer gets down to the soil level at high rates.

  • Long grass prevents Milorganite granules from reaching the soil.
  • Fertilizer granules trapped in long grass may be washed away or fail to penetrate soil when water/rain arrives.
  • Mow your yard 1–3 days before spreading Milorganite, to get the most out of your fertilizer.
  • Mow at your regular height—mowing the grass too low in order to get more out of your Milorganite can be counterproductive.
A lawn mower set to a little over 3 inches to mow the lawn before applying Milorganite.
I set my mower to cut grass at a height a little over 3 inches before applying Milorganite to my lawn.

Most lawn grasses thrive at a height of 3 inches (7.5 cm) or taller. Don’t give in to the temptation to mow lower before you spread fertilizer. The damage done to a tall grass variety, such as St. Augustine, by mowing too low will set your yard back and undo some of the benefits of fertilizer. Apply Milorganite to a healthy lawn mowed to the correct height for best results.

Is it Safe to Mow After Applying Milorganite?

Great Slow-Release Fertilizer
Milorganite | Slow-Release Nitrogen Fertilizer
  • Helps green up your lawn within a few weeks.
  • Can be used on your lawn, trees, flowers, and shrubs.
  • Slow-release fertilizer and does not contain any salt.
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When possible, wait until after rainfall or at least one watering session before mowing a lawn where Milorgante has been spread. Mowing a lawn where granular Milorganite has recently been applied has a chance of spreading granular Milorganite unevenly across your lawn. Fertilizer granules can be sucked up into mower blades and fired out of the chute. This is a small risk, but why would you want to undo the hard work you put into spreading your fertilizer evenly throughout your yard?

  • Wait until after rainfall or one lawn watering session before mowing a yard where Milorganite has been spread.
  • Mowing can redistribute fertilizer granules that haven’t broken down yet, causing uneven lawn fertilization.
  • For best results, mow before spreading Milorganite, follow your regular watering schedule, and mow again 1 week after the Milorganite application.
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Milorganite is excellent at breaking down and entering soil once it is watered in. Wait a week after applying Milorganite before mowing. During this time, water your lawn deeply two times. This deep watering will pull the nutrients in Milorganite down to grass root level.

Is it Better to Mow Before or After Spreading Milorganite?

Bag of Milorganite next to a lawn mower before the lawn is mowed and the Milorganite is applied.
The bag of Milorganite I applied after mowing my lawn.

To get the most out of your fertilizer, mow before you spread Milorganite. This mowing can take place a few days before you spread the fertilizer or the same day. By trimming your grass, you increase the rate at which fertilizer granules come in contact with your soil. This helps Milorganite penetrate deeply into the soil, to feed grass roots, and promote shoot growth. Milorganite spread on long grass may be washed away. In order to get the best results, mow before application, spread the Milorganite, water your lawn 2 times in the following week, and then resume mowing as normal.

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