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I'm a little cornfused

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by marquis de sod, May 30, 2008.

  1. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Just tried my hand at corn meal application on my soccer field, spread @ 14#/1000 with a John Deere pull behind rotary fertilizer spreader. I bought ground corn from my local grain elevator at $103/ 1000#. I was pleased with the price for an acre and a half but the spreading was difficult. The ground corn would not "flow" very smoothly through my wide open metering throat. I had to drive like a madman and let the bumps jostle it down throught the hole. Is this normal? Do I have the right "corn meal"? Would rolled or cracked corn work as well and flow better? I would like to use this on my mowing accounts but would hesitate given the flow problem.
    Second question: The elevator also has corn gluten meal, but it is in pellet form, not a powder or "meal". That would spread better I believe but would the more concentrated amounts of meal spread in sparser pattern have the same effect. The CGM is $155/ton at 18% protien. What rate should I use to spread it.
    And finally, my soccer field was just overseeded with fescue May 1, should I follow the corn meal with molasses for the new grass, or compost tea?
    Thanks for all your help.
  2. jrzmac

    jrzmac LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I may be wrong but I think the corn meal will kill the grass you just put down. The compost tea might be a good idea though. Someone else may want to chime in here, but I would hold off on the corn meal til one of the expert's on here gives the go ahead.
  3. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    The interseeded fescue is up and @ 2" tall already. it was seeded with a special turf drill the first of May and has had timely rains since. I believe it should all be germinated by now. Does corn meal have the same anti germination traits as CGM?
  4. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    corn meal and corn meal gluten are 2 different things, they are both good foods for the soil, the CMG is a weed root inhibitor, we have use both for different reasons. we can say that any corn product seems to act as a fungus inhibitor, in that it supports some fungus eating fungus. ict bill has a new liquid product cumming soon, lets see if he chimes in.
  5. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I understand the use of the two different corn products in the abstract, my question concerns the physical characteristics of the two in the form I found them at the local feed store in the Midwest. The corn meal was hard to spread and the CGM was in pelletized form, like a cylindrical extrusion @ 1/4 in diameter ( much like the hog and cattle protien supplements we used to feed). Does CGM in this form work as well as a fertilizer as the ground or powdered form?
    Should my ground corn be flour-like with small bits of the yellow part of the kernel still intact? How do you spread it with some accuracy?
  6. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,911

    accuracy in my book is over rated, pellets are good. when they get wet do they crumble. i would say yes use them if you want, there should be no problems.

    if i had a nickle for ever spreader trouble, i would be rich like an oil tycoon

    ps love the name! have you read his works.
  7. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Yes, the pellets would crumble, they could possibly even be "rolled" or "cracked" at the feed mill and come out in a less than powdery state. I guess I'll just give them all a try. The prices were eye opening, much less that bagged fertilizer for the same application. Is a 15# application of corn meal somewhat equivalent to a 1# application of chemical N, just with a biological pace of response?
    And no, I've never read an entire work of his, just some exerpts. I lived in France for a few years and can't resist a bilingual pun. Thanks for your help
  8. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    For application rates in this range, look at a moving belt spreader, rather than a cone style broadcast spreader. The moving belt spreader is much more tolerant of moisture and "clingy" materials.

    I have an old Turfco Mete-R-Matic that I bought as a pile of rusted junk from a golf course. A couple days in the shop, a couple hundred dollars worth of parts, about a gallon of paint, and I have an $8,000 spreader for just over a thousand.

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