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Corn gluten

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by siklid1066, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 680

    great question because when i heard someone was applying 20 lbs of it per 1,000 sq ft. isn't that 2 lbs. N/1,000 sq ft. if is 10% N? is my math off or is that correct? if so, that is a lot of N for the spring and i wouldn't be surprised if you saw disease and had to mow every day. has anyone heard of a corn gluten meal liquid that is supposed to be coming out?

    any good articles or research making progress toward a selective organic weed control that is safe for children and pets?
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334


  3. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Don't forget, you're talking about an organic fertilizer that is very slow release. There is no damage from using that amount of CGM. I've been using it every year for the last 7 years and have never had any type of disease. I put down, in fact, 26 lbs per 1000 sq ft, twice a year, early spring and late summer. If you soil has a healthy soil foodweb, you won't have any diseases or insect problems. It's only when you start using synthetic chemicals, the worst be pesticides and fungicides, that you weaken the soil's natural defense system and throw things out of whack. That is not the result of using CGM, not in the least. If you are having disease problems, its from some other imbalance in your soil, most likely from using synthetic chemicals.

    CGM and other protein meals are completely safe for you, your children, your pets and the benefical insects and the soil biology.
  4. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,643

    Great post Gerry. CGM breakdown is a slow and metered process. It takes about 3 seasons to build up enough of the natural enzyme in the soil to inhibit about 70-80% of weed germination. I'll take your word on buying feed grade CGM as being effective. We use SafeLawn and NP CGM at much higher prices. I've always wondered the difference between the feed grade and the more expensive, and I'm starting to think it's just the licensing fee given to Iowa State.

    The biggest difference between the chemical pre-emergent and CGM I have found is there's much less room for error on the CGM side. You might get away with some scalped edges with Barricade per se, but after a few times with CGM expect breakthrough. Good cultural practices are needed (mow at 3 inches, no scalping edges).

    Also, has anyone worked with CGM hydrolysate? Is it available yet?
  5. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    You are exactly right, you are paying for the licensing fee for Iowa State University. In WI, a professional lawn care company cannot use any BUT the more expensive type of CGM or get very heavily fined.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Here is a note from NICK CHRISTIANS Iowa State University, he and his team apparently invented the application in 1993 and patented it through the univ.

    Corn gluten meal works by inhibiting the root formation of germinating plants. It generally does not inhibit the roots of mature plants or transplants until your reach very high rates (80 pounds/1000 ft2 or higher). It should be applied before germination of the weeds. The weed will germinate and usually forms a shoot, but does not form a root. After germination, a short drying period is needed to kill the plants that have germinated but have not formed a root. Timing is critical. If it is too wet during germination, the plants will recover and form a root. (This is also true of chemical preemergence herbicides).

    It is preemergence only, there is no postemergence effect on established weeds. In fact, it makes a great fertilizer for germinated weeds.

    If it does not rain in 5 days of application, water it in with approximately .25 inches of water. Then leave a drying period after germination.

    It will usually work for about 5 to 6 weeks following germination.

    Rates will vary depending on crop and target weed. I generally recommend 20 lbs product per 1000 ft2. This provides about 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 ft2.

    The material is generally about 10% nitrogen by weight. One hundred pounds has 10 lbs of nitrogen.

    The nitrogen will release slowly over a 3 to 4 month period after application.

    Bill here, So the trick is getting it on the ground before or while the weed seeds germinate, HMMM they say timing is everything especially with corn Gluten Meal
  7. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Other studies by the Iowa State University indicated that using only 20lbs per 1000 sq ft is actually not enough to see the pre-emergent benefits of CGM and in fact, 40 lbs per year, not all at one time, is the preferred amount to be used for best results.

    As I have already mentioned, the timing is important for success for weed control. The time to apply CGM is when you see the Forsythia bushes start to bloom in the early spring. Use nature as your indicator for the timing of your CGM application.


    I should add that If you used pesticides or inorganic fertilizers during the growing
    season, at ANY time, then it is a necessity to put back the organisms that were killed by the use of those materials. You will have poor pre-emergent results if the proper soil biology is missing.
  8. siklid1066

    siklid1066 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    So are you saying that in time you can have a quality turf by using organics? Compared to a Scotts 4-step? :cool2:
  9. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 504

    Without any doubt.
  10. siklid1066

    siklid1066 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    Gerry since (your the man).How can one get rid of wild onion?And is corn gluten a registerd herbicide?Thanks,Kenny.

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