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Corn Gluten Users

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Organic-man, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Are any of you using corn gluten in your application businesses?
    I am looking for advice on how to use it and what results to expect. Any replies will be appreciated, as long as they are civil and polite. :) Thanks alot.
  2. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    I don't use it, I did take classes to learn about it.

    Looks like it has potential, but our client base won't justify a 2nd look: It's very expensive, has limited uses and the results are inferior to chemicals.

    It is, however, the most promising "organic" herbicide.
  3. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    It has much more development to go through before it becomes ideal. I have heard of a substance from beets called betaine having better results, but it is only in the developing stages.
  4. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    I don't think Corn Gluten is going to be developed into "ideal".

    It is well documented what it does and it IS effective.

    But the COST and PERFORMANCE of it are unacceptable for those competing in the lawn business.

    If I were groundskeeper at a SCHOOL, I'd be much more exited about such a product because:

    1.) You can use it over a period of years and phase out herbicides.
    2.) You don't have to compete on price.
    3.) It's completely safe around children. (You can EAT the stuff.)
  5. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    I found out today that PA requires you to notify all schoolchildren and their parents about the pesticides you apply to school grounds and when you will be doing it every single time.
    I am in favor of corn gluten for the sake of the children in our area. But I know it is expensive. It is good to implement it into a program that phases it out as the turf gets stronger. Most people pay for pre-em every year, not realizing it is not always necessary. I would tell them that corn gluten is more expensive, but gives longer lasting results, and that my organic program will phase out any repeated need for it. Another approach to cut costs would be to apply it only to the problem areas later on, skipping the healthy turf. Is this a wise step?
  6. How does it give longer lasting results?

    What is the definition of a pesticide?

  7. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Some research has proven that corn gluten applied spring of one year can severely limit grass seedling germination and growth the next year. Hence it can be trouble if you have patches to overseed. This is one of the drawbacks I would have with using this, especially with all the jobs I get overseeding peoples lawns. But on an established lawn it uses this characteristic as a help, by retarding the growth of the few remaining weed seeds. In three years the average lawn could see a reduction of weeds by about 90%.

    There are cheaper methods of discouraging weed growth though. Corn gluten is only for those who will spend the bucks for it. I would prefer a balanced organic fertilizer to increase the lawns natural weed defence.

    I made a mistake on the last post. SYNTHETIC pesticides are regulated in PA. Corn gluten is a pesticide but has been granted an EPA exemption from all licencing and regulations, except proper labeling.
  8. ciuld it be any good balance fert program that address any of the soil problems, along with proper culture pratices defer weeds.
  9. Organic-man

    Organic-man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Make it a point to understand the benefits of organic/ synthetic before debunking anything I say. Does a fertilizer with 20 trace minerals and 50%-80% WIN exist in the synthetic world. What do you consider to be "balanced"?

    Yes, a balanced fert program will do more than anything else to discourage/inhibit weed growth. There is no question about it.
  10. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4,664

    I had some customers who wanted to try it a couple of years ago instead of using the regular pre-emergent materials. I found it takes twice as much material and the material costs twice as much as the regular pre-emergent I used. Thus cost to customer was 4 times higher. It was impossible to spread with even just a slight breeze. Any wind at all, and you were treating the whole block. Results were terrible. It did not even look like it had ever been applied. Weeds were everywhere.
    My advice is do not waste your money or your customers money.
    Oh, our local City Parks Dept. got on an "organic kick" a few years ago and started using corn gluten. It was a total disaster as far as weed control was concerned. They will never use that stuff again they said.:(

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