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Organic Pre-emergent Timing

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by harryww, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. harryww

    harryww LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    I want to experiement with an organic pre-emergent on my lawn but I have some questions about timing for my area..Salt Lake City. It's been alternating between cold and snowy(25-30 degrees) for a few days but also 45-55 and sunny for a few days at a time over the last month.

    What is the best pre-emergent? Corn gluten meal?

    What sustained temperature do I want to apply it at?

    Can I apply a thin layer of compost and/or other organic fertilizer..ie soy bean meal?

    Can I seed at the same time?

    Thanks for the help,

  2. salandscape

    salandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 168

    You can not seed for about 90 days after corn gluten. In NE I apply around the first of April or so, sometimes mid April. Corn Gluten is the only organic pre that I know of. You may be able to apply early then wait till you have a sustainable ground temp of 60 then topdress and seed into that. You will need the 60 ground temp to grow grass but the weeds only need about 50 or so. Get the pre down early. Also did you do do a pre in the fall? You will need this to stop winter annuals from germinating. My advice is if you have any new organic customers that did not do a fall application and get weeds this spring, make sure they understand that they germinated in the late fall and your application can't stop them now.
  3. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 115

    Exactly, The fall application is key especially with Corn Gluten. Seeding is actually better to do in the fall as part of an aeration and topdress with compost, only if you can hold off that long. We apply our pre-emergent early to mid-april and we get nice control, and you can even re-apply as part of a second round.
  4. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    I would like to use Corn Gluten in my program, it just seems that you need a lot of product per thousand square feet which translates to a very costly product. For you guys using it in your program, what are your costs per k?
  5. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    On this site, it depends on who you look at for costs per k. If you use branded pelletized CGM from Safe Lawn or Nutrients Plus, your costs are higher. I think Iowa State take their cut. Some guys use the stuff from the feed mill and costs are much cheaper, but the products is dustier and there's debate on the herbicidal properties, but I really don't know how true that is.

    Honestly, it's about double your costs from a conventional pre-em at the beginning of the season if you're applying at 20-25lbs per k.
  6. haybaler

    haybaler LawnSite Senior Member
    from ma
    Posts: 511

    I've never heard of pre in the fall, is it just for organic?
  7. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Some situations call for fall pre emergant. Research it and you will find info. It doesn't work for me because I aerate and seed my lawns in the fall. Annual bluegrass problems call for fall pre emergent to help.
  8. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    I dug deep into my storage shed this week and found that rats had found my corn gluten meal during the off season. I wish I had thought of that. They ate a lot of it.
  9. turfsolutions

    turfsolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 852

    Mice got at my seed and ate through the fert bags one year. What a mess.

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