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Where to buy Corn...& What do you think of...

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Grn Mtn, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Okay, I would really like to try introducing organic fertilizers for turfgrass applications. I do not have my pesticide applications license, nor do I plan on heading that direction (I'll leave that to the professionals.) Organics would fit vary nicely into my business philosophy. I am not sure where to buy it. I would like to try to avoid using a name brand for cost reasons. This is why I am very interested in using corn. However, I realize you (as a commercial business) just can't go to the feed store and buy corn labeled for feed and spread it out as a fert/herbicide (at high doses.) BTW, I would be spreading this with my Lesco rotary. Will the birds eat it all before it has time to soak in? Or turn the lawn yellow?

    My other question is anyone familiar with (www.gardensalive.com) WOW Plus? it looks very promising, other than the cost @ $47.99 per 40lbs bag.

    I'm not a huge fan of Milorganite, weird smell and a hard sell for most people. Thank you for any help.
  2. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Maybe I'm being a little harsh here, but you have no desire to get your license, but want to "leave that to the professionals". Well what does that make you?

    For the lawn care business to progress and be looked at in a different light we need knowledgable people doing the apps and talking to customers, especially on the organic side of things.
  3. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    No your not being harsh, just making assumptions, which is very easy to do when only reading short little threads.

    I am not a fly by niter, I have been involved in the green industry for 20 years, started my own business 5 years ago as a means to raise my 3 boys without daycare. Each year the business grows and I incorporate something new to improve the business (last fall I added 2mil GL and commercial vehicle insurance.) NY makes it incredibly difficult to get your license. In my position right now I cannot devote the time (200+ hours working for someone with a license) to getting a commercial pesticide applicators license. Plus I have no desire to spray/spread dangerous chemicals (I almost lost my puppy to fert poisoning from licking it off his paws after visiting a friend.) I do not need it to apply organics, and frankly we should all switch to it anyways. I do however need to keep my customers happy, and the more I can do for them, the better the chance I won't lose them to someone else, not to mention make more money and put food on the table.

    I consider myself to be professional, and when time allows it, I will follow up with certification, which is something not required in NY unless your an Landscape Architect or Nursery or Pesticide Applicator.

    Now back to my original question, are you able to help me or just continue to make unhelpful judgments?
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    I can continue to make unhelpful judgements. I'm getting quite good at it.
    Seriously, I apologize, and I didn't know the laws of NY as far as applying organics goes. I know nocutting let his lapse and he's on Long Island, so I should have thought of that.

    Anyway, here's a link to the company we use:

    It's not cheap, and we charge twice as much as a synthetic pre-emergent app. It's very possible you could find a feed mill in your area to buy it from at a much cheaper rate.

    <<Will the birds eat it all before it has time to soak in? Or turn the lawn yellow?>>

    The birds might grab a kernel or two, but they won't affect the application as you're putting cgm down at 20-50lbs per k. The only things that will turn yellow will be your pants and spreader! It's somewhat dusty.

    I'm not familiar with soils alive fert. A few people on here use www.nutrientsplus.com for fertilizer other than the cgm. Most of their ferts contain poultry manure and biosolids, so they're not OMRI certified (except for the 4-3-2). I know you didn't want to use milorganite, but NP ferts are reasonably priced compared to other ferts on the market.
  5. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Thank you and sorry for my outburst.
  6. when using cgm on cool season turf, you apply too much n in the spring!!!!!!!
  7. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 617

    Corn gluten meal is cheaper bought from a feed store than a fertilizer store. Here in the corn belt I have narrowed the price down to about 10 bucks per 50 lbs. If you are wondering about it being packaged and labeled as a pesticide, there are exemptions from the EPA for this, you probably need a copy of the exemption form and paperwork proving what it is you are applying. I believe if you are applying it as fertilizer you need to have the specs on what it contains handy as well. If applied as fertilizer, it just incidently happens to have a desirable effect on weed seeds. I have a buddy who uses it mixed with 2% iron chelate of some sort, and achieves an extremely dark green turf that lingers for a long time.
  8. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    Awesome guys, thanks.
  9. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643


    I think you might have posted this before and I did some looking around...I found this on another site posted by our moderator, who I don't think is ever on here... Make sense of the whole too much N issue (to me anyway).

    <<.No, no, NO! You're talking organic and still thinking chemicals. If you dissolved the corn meal in hydrochloric acid you might get a nitrogen value, but plants don't use hydrochloric acid. What you need to be interested in is the protein content of the corn meal. Nitrogen is a chemical with no food value. Protein is a food for the microbes. Protein is made up of many chemicals including nitrogen, but still I don't want to talk about nitrogen at all (I know, too late). Organic gardening is all about feeding real food (sugars, proteins, vitamins, and minerals) to the soil microbes. NPK, winterizer, and starter fertilizer are among the terms you will have to forget you ever knew. Instead you will need to brush up on bacteria, fungi, humic acid, compost, mulch, and a few other terms that are slipping my memory.

    Getting to your question, you can get the general gist of the answer from what username posted. Corn meal is low on the protein list. Soy bean meal is very high. Blood meal and urine are both high but there is another consideration with organic food sources. That consideration is time to release the protein and convert it to plant food. Blood and urine convert so fast that you can burn your plant roots. That's a bad thing. If you will stick to the ground up grains on username's list you cannot go wrong. A good rate for corn meal is 10-40 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Alfalfa can go out at 10-25 pounds per 1,000. A good rate for soy bean meal is 5-20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The range can vary depending on how deep your pockets are and what plants you're growing. Can you use too much? Yes. When you smother the grass you've used too much. If you use a lot and it rains right away, you might get a sour stink as the protein decomposes a little too fast. I think if you can use a mixture of grains with a dash of blood meal, you have a great home made organic fertilizer. If you're just starting out with organic, still to the low values of my suggested application rates.>>
  10. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Also found this @ http://www.gardensalive.com/article_mcgrath.asp?ai=1&bhcd2=1139369115

    Labeling: &#8220;Corn gluten meal&#8221; sold as animal feed is not the same thing. It is not licensed by Iowa State, so the university is not compensated when you buy it; and it often does not contain the right protein concentration to achieve seed death. I have received many emails from listeners who thought they were getting a huge break on the price, only to discover they were simply feeding their emerging crabgrass.

    Products licensed by Iowa State will say something like &#8220;pre-emergent herbicide&#8221; on the label, have the correct protein concentration, and carry complete instructions for proper use. They are more expensive than animal feed CGM because they use a much higher quality gluten&#8212;which sells at a premium&#8212;and the manufacturer pays that fee to the university to fund research to find more cool stuff like this. By law, animal feed gluten cannot say anything about herbicidal effects and will not have directions for any weed-killing use. It also might not work&#8212;did I mention that?

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