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Corn gluten as preemergent

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by rutgers1, Jun 30, 2007.

  1. rutgers1

    rutgers1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hello everyone. New here. I was wondering what people's success rate has been using corn gluten meal as a preemergent. I have read the studies on it but wonder how it works "in the field." If you believe the studies, it apparently works as good as Halts, though takes longer to reach that level of success.

    Your insight is appreciated.
  2. green_mark

    green_mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    CGM at its best controls 80% of weed seeds. That is achieved only after 3 years applied at 20 lbs per 1,000 twice a year. The 20% that escape after that still need other treatment or they will go to see and 20% of those seeds will grow.

    This also needs to be applied about 45 - 90 days in advance of the weed germination cycle to allow for microbial breakdown so the Gly-Ala and Ala-Ala chains are broken down into a form that is adsorb-able by the seed and the starch to sugar conversion process is disrupted.

    I still like the product as an add on to a good program but at these rates and with Corn prices escalating it is now a very cost prohibitive program.
  3. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    If CGM isn't the organic answer to weed control, then what is? I'm new to this and thought CGM was THE weed control.
  4. green_mark

    green_mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    We let customers know they are the best pre-emergent weed control.

    Don't let your mower wheel drop off the curb and scalp the edge.
    Mow at the proper height 3" for most northern grasses.
    Water properly
    Fertilize properly - we also put down CGM for the fertility and organic matter soil building effects.
    and often for us with a large amount of salt on Blvds. Lime is the best answer.

    Once these are followed most lawns just don't get it.
    Over the last 20 years in this business I have not purchased more than a few tons of chem pre-emergent and that was back when I was just getting started.
  5. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    2 quick follow-ups... Since I have Zoysia then my mowing height would be the exact opposite of your suggestion, i.e., 1-1.5" correct? And 2, I've been using SBM and ACT as Fert/soil amendments. Would I gain by switching up the type of grain I use, say, to CGM or Alfalfa, or maybe plain corn meal? Or do I just use whats closest and most economical?
    Thanks for the help.
  6. green_mark

    green_mark LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 494

    I believe sticking with what is readily available and effective is the best.

    If you decided to use Alfalfa that could wipe out your lawn. It needs to be applied very sparingly as it will burn.
  7. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 664

    Alfalfa will burn a lawn? I thought organics were all pretty slow in their release. How can it burn lawns up? Does it have to be over a certain temperature? Do you have a source or study that states this?

  8. flgtr95

    flgtr95 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    Alfalfa is a "green" manure and produces heat as it decomposes. If you put it in your compost pile it will get pretty hot. Lawn application rate should be about 10-20 lbs per 1000 sqft.
  9. A72CUTLAS

    A72CUTLAS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    So will it get hot enough to burn my new sod? :confused: And what is better to use, Alfalfa Meal or the pellets I can get at the feed/pet store for rabbits or gerbils? I know some of those have sodium in them and thats to be avoided:nono: , right? I know these are a lot of questions, but I really do appreciate it. I started out 2mos ago knowing nothing... not just about organics but serious lawncare in general, so I'm learning a lot from you guys.:clapping: :clapping: :clapping:
    It is well appreciated, you all have converted 1 person to the organic lifestyle.
  10. flgtr95

    flgtr95 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 20

    No, it won't burn your sod (unless you don't spread it and leave it in piles on your lawn :hammerhead: ). About 10 lbs/1,000 sqft of Alfalfa meal equates to 1 lb of Nitrogen. Alfalfa meal is better, but difficult to spread. Get the easier to spread Alfalfa pellets at a feed store in the 50 lb bags ($8-$9/bag here). Alfalfa does stink some as it breaks down ;), but it disipates in a few days. :clapping:

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