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Corn Gluten Meal For Weed Control

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There Are Two Types Of Corn Gluten Meal

Corn Gluten Meal – Does it Work? – Organic Weed Control for Lawns

There are two types of corn gluten meal? Yes, and most organic gardening experts dont even know this fact. There is a more expensive corn gluten meal that is 60% protein and there is a less expensive corn gluten meal that is 20% protein, yet they have the exact same name. There is a huge price difference between the two different types of corn gluten meal products. Some manufacturers will use the much less expensive 20% CGM or mix in a 50%/50% blend to save money, but the results will be vastly different.

A 60% protein corn gluten meal product will control weeds when applied at a 20 pounds per 1000 square feet rate. Yet the 20% protein corn gluten meal will only control weeds if applied at 60 pounds per 1000 square feet. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell from an ingredient list if the corn gluten meal used in a product is 20% protein or 60% protein.

At Organo-Lawn we make sure that the corn gluten meal we use in our Synergy product is a 60% protein CGM.

How Much Is Needed

Application rates vary by form: powder, pelletized or granulated. The standard application rate is 20 pounds of corn gluten per 1,000 square feet of lawn. This rate also provides about 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

The effects of corn gluten are cumulative, meaning that the results improve with repeated use over time.

How Does Corn Gluten Meal Work

Corn gluten is a byproduct of corn milling that has historically been used as a supplement in animal feed. This product was discovered to kill weeds before they establish. Corn gluten does not prevent weed seed from germinating but inhibits the young weed plants from developing roots.

The newly germinated weed plants are thus left without a mechanism to absorb water and they quickly die of dehydration. The application or this organic weed killer has to be timed just when the weeds have germinated.

Corn gluten meal becomes ineffective when applied any time before weed seed germinate or after the weed plants have established and grown strong root system. At this time, the product will only serve as a fertilizer to your grass and weeds as well.

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When Should I Add Corn Gluten To My Lawn

Corn gluten meal needs to be applied just before weed seeds start to germinate. Most weed seed germinates in spring, with a second flush happening in fall. For crab grass control, it is recommended that you apply it when the forsythias start to bloom.

Simply so, how do I apply corn gluten meal to my lawn?

To apply corn gluten meal as a yard treatment, spread it evenly over the lawn at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. After applying, water your lawn lightly to activate the oils in the corn gluten meal that suppress weed growth.

Additionally, does corn gluten meal kill grass? Corn gluten won’t kill all weeds in your lawn, but it’s effective against such weeds as crabgrass, dandelions, quack grass and curly dock. Because it works well with most grassy weeds, there’s a downside: it also is effective at keeping your grass seed from germinating.

Also, what does corn gluten do for your lawn?

Corn Gluten: An Organic Pre-Emergent Herbicide. Corn gluten meal is a powdery byproduct of the corn milling process. It can be effective as a pre-emergent herbicide used to control crabgrass and other lawn weeds, and it also has nutritional properties.

How does corn gluten kill weeds?

Corn gluten meal works by inhibiting root formation in weeds at the time of germination. It doesn’t inhibit roots of mature plants or transplants unless it is used at a very high rate of 80 pounds/1000 sq. ft. or more. Weeds germinate and form a shoot, but no root, which prevents growth.

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How To Use Corn Gluten Effectively:

  • It must be applied precisely 2 weeks before germination of the weeds to have any effect.
  • Weed germination must be followed by a 5-day dry period to have optimal effect.
  • There is NO post-emergence control of ANY weed!
  • IF it works, it will also prevent grass seed germination, which is an important part of healthy lawn care.
  • Has a very sweet taste and smell that attracts bees and mice.

Additional research can be found at:

Bottom line:Any well-fertilized lawn will significantly reduce weed control 90% over 1-3 years. Further weed inhibiting activity is achieved by proper mowing and watering .

9.2/10 rating with over 300+ reviews

Cornmeal For Weed Killing And Pest Control

Using Cornmeal Gluten In The Garden

Is this something you have tried? We would love to hear your successes and failure along with other suggestions for organic weed and pest control, so we can share the knowledge. Corn gluten meal , is the by-product of corn wet milling. It is mainly used to feed cattle, fish, dogs, and poultry and as a food source in some less developed areas of the world. Accidental research has found that Gluten meal is a natural substitute for chemical pre-emergent herbicides, which means it can stops weeds from germinating. There appears to be lots of evidence that shows through using this cornmeal, results in a fantastic weed killer or weed preventer. Showing that it is a great way to eradicate weeds without the threat of toxic chemicals something that we are all for here at Friendly Organics. If you have pets or small children or prefer the more natural route, gluten meal is a much safer option.

As I mentioned the weed killing attributes were discovered by accident through research carried out by Iowa State University, they were actually looking into disease research but observed that cornmeal gluten acts as an herbicide as it kept grass and other seeds, such as crabgrass, dandelions and chickweed, from sprouting.

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Corn Gluten Meal Did Not Prevent Weeds From Germinating In Osu Study

CORVALLIS, Ore. Corn gluten meal is a natural substitute for a synthetic pre-emergence herbicide and has been advertised as a more environmentally friendly way to control weeds.

A pre-emergent herbicide is one that kills seedlings as they germinate. Pre-emergent herbicides generally have to be applied and watered in before weed seeds germinate. Other herbicides, such as glyphosate kill plants after they have emerged.

A by-product of commercial corn milling, corn gluten meal contains protein from the corn. It poses no health risk to people or animals when used as an herbicide. With 60 percent protein it is used as feed for livestock, fish and dogs. It contains 10 percent nitrogen, by weight, so it acts as a fertilizer as well.

The use of corn gluten meal as an herbicide was discovered by accident during turfgrass disease research at Iowa State University. Researchers noticed that it prevented grass seeds from sprouting. Further research at Iowa State showed that it also effectively prevents other seeds from sprouting, including seeds from many weeds such as crabgrass, chickweed, and even dandelions. Components in corn gluten meal called dipeptides are apparently responsible for herbicidal activity.

In their trials with corn gluten meal, Hilgert and Cook found the following:

Over the winter, the composted material will mix with the soil, so a second application of mulch in March or April will keep your garden soil in better condition.

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Gluten Cornmeal As Weed Killer

5 Reasons Why Corn Gluten Meal Didn’t Work – Organic Weed Control using Corn Meal

Researchers at Iowa State University discovered by accident that cornmeal gluten acts as an herbicide while they were doing disease research. They saw that corn gluten meal kept grass and other seeds, such as crabgrass, dandelions, and chickweed from sprouting.

It is important to note that cornmeal gluten is only effective against seeds, not plants that are mature, and is most effective with corn gluten having at least 60% proteins in it. For annual weeds that are growing, plain cornmeal products will not kill it. These weeds include:

However, cornmeal gluten will stop the seeds that these weeds shed in the summer so that the weeds will not increase. With consistent use of gluten meal products, these weeds will gradually decline.

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Applied The Corn Gluten Meal Too Late In The Season

Many homeowners make the same mistake. In late spring the man of the house looks at their lawn and notices there are a lot of yellow dandelions growing. Not liking these unwanted intruders, he yells to his wife, Honey, I am going to go to the store and get some dandelion control. She yells back, Make sure it is safe for the kids and dog! He yells back, Of course honey! He then hops in his car and heads to the local hardware store or nursery and picks up the only product on the shelf that says organic weed control, which is a bag of corn gluten meal. He heads back and applies the product at the 20 pounds per 1000 square foot rate and a week later there are 1000s of dandelions!

So why didnt the corn gluten meal work? Simple, if you are already seeing dandelions growing in the lawn, then it is too late for corn gluten meal!

Corn gluten meal is a pre-emergent weed control and fertilizer, which means it needs to be applied prior to the weeds germinating. In Colorado, depending on the weather, the majority of the dandelions start to germinate around April 15th and the peak dandelion season is around May 1st.

As long as there isnt snow on the ground we recommend applying corn gluten meal as soon as March 1st and we continue to apply the product up to April 10th. The earlier in the season that we corn gluten meal is applied, the better it will control weeds!

Corn Glutens Herbicidal Short

Some studies show corn gluten, when not properly applied at the right time, can feed weeds due to its high nitrogen content. Thats because it does not negatively impact emerged weeds, so these will need to be hoed out or hand-weeded before applying any pre-emergent. It is also important to note that corn gluten does not work on all weed seeds. A Washington State Univerisity overview of corn gluten states: Corn gluten meal is not a selective product, nor is it effective on all weed types. Several species of weeds, flowers, and vegetables are inhibited by corn gluten meal, while others are not. Effectiveness in greenhouse trials generally increases with application rate .

As for me, I rarely apply pre-emergents. This is because I favor various mulches and hand weeding to stop weeds in my gardens. For me, these are the two best methods to keep weeds away. Here is an article along these lines.

I hope that this helps!

Happy gardening,

Black Gold Horticulturist

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Corn Gluten Meal Does It Work

Dr. Nick Christians original field work showed that corn gluten meal applied at 99, 198, 297, 396, 495, and 594 g/m2 reduced crab grass infestation by 50, 65, 80, 95, and 93%, respectively when applied 1 week before crab grass germination. Applying it 4 weeks before germination required higher amounts to have the same effect.

When 22 different weeds were tested they found that all were reduced, but the degree of reduction varied by both species and application rate. At low rates some weeds were unaffected. Since this work was done, other research has identified a few weeds that seem to be immune to corn gluten meal.

Most discussions refer to weeds, but non-weed seeds like grass, perennials and vegetables are also affected.

Others have also tested corn gluten meal. A study out of Oregon State University says that they could not replicate the initial field findings. I am not sure that this work was ever published? The work was part of a Masters degree and is available as a Thesis. It found that corn gluten meal did not reduce the number of weeds. In its conclusion it states that this could be due to the fact that the testing was done on clear soil, with no grass and therefore no competition, or that it might be due to an old product. The product was not tested in the lab to verify it worked. The work did not record rain fall during the tests and Oregon can be quite wet, so it is also possible that excess rain kept the product from working.

Other Tips For Using Corn Gluten Meal

Concern Weed Prevention Plus 100% Natural Corn Gluten pre ...
  • If youre using corn gluten meal to control weeds, make sure your product label says that its a meant for pre-emergent weed control. Corn gluten meal packaged as animal feed may not have enough protein to prevent sprouting seeds.
  • Coverage depends on which form of corn gluten youre using, so read the package for accurate application. In general, corn gluten is applied at 20 40 lbs per 1500sq ft. For best results, it should be applied twice a year in spring and fall.
  • Corn gluten will not work until wetted, so wet it down using a fine soft spray after applying.
  • One application effectively supresses weeds for 4 6 weeks.

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Does Corn Gluten Really Prevent Weeds

What is your opinion of using Cornmeal Gluten to prevent weeds starting from seeds? Question from Kathy of Loomis, California

Answer: Corn gluten is a popular all-natural pre-emergent herbicide that will stop the germination of certain seedlings when properly applied. That means that it keeps weed seeds from sprouting. For this reason, it is important to apply it well before cool-season weed seeds get going in late winter and spring and warm-season weed seeds get going in summer.

Corn gluten is an all-natural byproduct of the corn industry. Essentially, it is comprised of corn protein. For this reason, it is not harmful to people or wildlife, while stopping some weed seeds from sprouting. With that said, there are some different opinions and studies with varying reports on its efficacy. Here are the two sides.

The Bonding Agent Used To Pelletize The Cgm Is Very Important

What does a bonding agent have to do with weed control? A bonding agent is the product used to hold the powder form of corn gluten meal into a granule or pellet so it can be spread easily and evenly. If the bonding agent is too strong then the corn gluten meal will take a long time to get into the soil.

The easiest and least expensive way to granulate a product like corn gluten meal is to go to a animal feed processor where they can turn the powder form of corn gluten meal into game pellets. The bonding agents typically used in animal feed products are starch based and will hold the granule very tight, but they are not very water soluble and are designed to break up when they are chewed.

Starch based bonding agents are a major problem if they are used in a lawn care corn gluten meal. As explained earlier, corn gluten meal needs to be applied to a lawn before weeds germinate. The problem is that to get the best weed control results the corn gluten meal needs to be watered into the soil after the application however, in Colorado it is too cold to turn on a sprinkler system in March. Therefore, after a spring application, most people wait for rain or snow from Mother Nature to push the corn gluten meal into the soil. If the granule is starch based it might take 4 or 5 rain or snow storms to break up the granule and get it into the soil. Mother Nature might not cooperate and by the time it rains 4 or 5 times it might be too late and the weeds have already germinated.

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