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What's all this I read about Cornmeal Gluten?  RSS feed

 
                                      
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Does this stuff have similar things in common with regular organic feritilizers like Ringer?
 
Jeremy Bunag
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Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a processed part of the corn kernel that is purported to prevent germination and thus got fame for using first thing as part of your lawncare plan, to prevent germination of crabgrass an other opportunistic weed seeds.  It also prevents any new grass seed you've thrown from germinating.  It's also one of the more expensive per pound materials you can get for your lawn...

corn, cracked corn, corn meal, and corn gluten meal also have a bit of a fungal feeding component (I think) and can be used as a mild organic fertilizer.

Ringer has lots of different organic components (though mainly feather meal) and more "Nitrogen convertable" ingredients.
 
                                      
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What do you recommend?  I haven't even touched my lawn this season.  I'm in oklahoma.  I'm waiting for my soil results to come back.  I have a bunch of weeds.  Thanks for the response.
 
Jeremy Bunag
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Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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It's too expensive for me, I have 3 acres to tend to, but others like it.  I think Mr. Wheaton isn't too hot about it either, partly for it's price.

It can only help, but don't depend on just this as fertilizer.  Plus if weed seeds have already germinated then this will be useless as a pre-emergent herbicide.

If you're in it for the long haul, I'd just follow the site's recommendations of mowing high and watering infrequently and using some good organic fertilizers a few times this year.  If you like the raw stuff there's soybean meal, alfafa meal, feather meal, stuff like that.  Ringer's is a nice mix that doesn't scare people with it's ingredient mix, and the Scott's Organic reads well, but some people don't like Scott's on principle (don't trust 'em).  I'm okay with everything in this paragraph.
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I won't use it.

What it does is say to all seeds "ON'T GERMINATE .... (yet)" .... 

So you notice you have hardly any weeds .... wow, the stuff works!  And then .....

[size=40pt]BLAMO![/size]

You have TONS of weeds!  More weeds than ever!  Ahhhhhh .... did you forget to keep buying product and putting it down in a timely fashion?

Of course, all of the weed seeds from everywhere else kept landing on your lawn and wanted to germinate ...  but the corn gluten kept them from germinating.  Until it wasn't there any more. 

Oh - there's one more thing:  Did you know that lots of your weeds are perennial?  Yup - no seed needed!  Those weeds just looooooove the corn gluten.  Dandelions!  Yum, yum!

So ... my obnoxious advice:

1)  follow the directions at www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp  --- that will get you much closer to the monoculture you seek (just one type of grass).

2)  Rather than a direction of monoculture, consider a direction of polyculture.  Fill your lawn with mowable wildflowers, crocuses, yarrow, chamomile.  Embrace the dandelion.  Go and blow a puffball once in a while.  Just give it a thought.


 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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Well, to an extent I'm sure that weed seed buildup is true, but in a thread like this one where the goal is to get a foothold for grass I don't think that is as big a problem. All that poster needs is to hold mack the weeds in a defined area for a season or so in order to get the grass in place and suppress the weeds in a less labor intensive manner. While corn gluten may be very unattractive as a long term solution it certainly has a place.
 
paul wheaton
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I don't agree. 

I think the mission for some folks is to have crisp, military precision monoculture lawn.  While I am not into that, I am okay with helping folks get there organically. 

The corn gluten stuff is yet another product to buy and then you add in the labor of putting it on.  And then it doesn't eliminate weeds, it just postpones them. 

A tall thick turf will eliminate those same weeds. 

Supposing you have a weed seed hit a gluten lawn.  The seed is told to postpone germination.  So the seed remains and is still viable and will germinate later.  $100 per year, plus labor to apply it.

Suppose you have the same weed seed hit my lawn.  The seed germinates and the little baby weed dies in its infancy from lack of sun and lack of water.  FREE!  And no labor.

Plus, I worry about how natural the corn gluten meal REALLY is. 


 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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Did you read my post in this thread?
 
                          
Posts: 40
Location: Portland Oregon
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I ran into this article when tending the phones at the local extension office.

http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/Horticultural%20Myths_files/Myths/Corn%20gluten.pdf

This lady, a phd from WSU comes at the subject from a "research based" perspective. I interpret the article as saying, "corn gluten, nice try but no cigar"
Hank
 
Scott Reil
Posts: 179
Location: Colchester, CT
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I think the case for corn gluten has been oversold, but that it remains a tool in the tool box. It is a perfectly effective way to get organic nitrogen on the ground, with a mild pre-emergent effect WHEN and IF applied at the right time (almost never the case from what I see). And while the price is inflated now, I think it will correct as most folks figure out as Paul is implying you don't REALLY need it (every year anyway) or you can make do with feather meal, or compost or any of a dozen other different nitrogen sources, especially if you aren't anal retentive about weeds...

I haven't used it in two years; there was a little more weed this year, but not bad. Dandelions were down to a dull roar and I hand pulled most (still a little work in the bottom of the yard). Growing out some sorrel I pulled out of the lawn for salad greens, and propagating some lambsquarter's in the garden for salad and pot greens. I like the self heal with that purple flower, and the clover is doing most of the feeding in my lawn...

What's a weed? Plants you don't want... what if we just change our minds? What if we stop trusting the lawns that DON'T have dandelions? What if we decide monocultural green carpets are BAD?

Skew your view, and share it...

S
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Al Loria
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Location: New York
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This morning I stopped by the cooperative extension and picked up some leaflets on lawns and plants. Marty Petrovic, a turf specialist at the Dept. of Horticulture at Cornell Univ., mentions corn gluten only as a source of nitrogen.  No mention of using it for suppressing weeds. 
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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paul wheaton wrote:
yes.




And how do you get from thick annual weed cover to a tall turf of St. augustine?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Emerson White wrote:
And how do you get from thick annual weed cover to a tall turf of St. augustine?


I am not familiar with St. augustine, so I need to step aside and let those that are answer your question.

Plus, a question like that cries out for a new thread.  After all, fans of st. augustine might not look in a thread about corn gluten. 
 
Emerson White
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Location: Alaska
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We had a thread, it's locked now...
 
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