Cracked corn just as good as CGM?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by rbeitz, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    I have been trying to go all organic. I have just over 2 acres with approx. 55000 sq ft in lawn in SE PA. Back in September I aerated and then rented a Lesco renovator and over-seeded with Lesco Teammates 90% Tall Fescue and 10% Rye. I also put down an organic fertilizer. Soil test called for 7-5-5 at 14#/1000. I couldn't't find 7-5-5 so I put down 4-6-4 at 14#/1000. Soil test also called for Lime at 90#/1000. I'm still working on putting the lime out. I have 1/2 of it spread so far and hope to get the rest out this week.

    My yard was very weed infested but my wife would not let me use herbicides to kill them off. Since aerating and over-seeding it is looking pretty good but there are still some weeds and I know they will come back in the spring.
    I have been reading up on natural weed and feed products and I came across the corn gluten meal pellets. It sounds like it may work OK but at $40+ for a 50# bag it is a bit costly to use on a regular basis. I was wondering if cracked corn would work just as well? I can buy 50# bags of cracked corn for $5/bag at the farm supply store. Has anyone tried this? Or, do you know a more affordable source for CGM pellets?
  2. SystemXpert

    SystemXpert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Ok, I asked myself the same question in a quest to go organic....

    1. Cracked Corn and PLAIN corn meal are the same. Both products come from grinding corn. Cracked corn is just larger particles while corn meal is almost a powder. There may be some pre-emergent value, but I'm not sure how effective it really is. Generally, it is used as a natural fungicide and a mild organic fertilizer. In fact many people say it is great to use on young seedlings to prevent damping off.

    2. Corn GLUTEN meal is a byproduct from making corn starch syrup. It is a much higher in protein content and can be used as a pre-emergent. However, timing is very very very important. CGM is only effective on seeds that have not germinated. Established weeds, even young seedlings, it will not control. If you put it down to soon the microbes in the soil will digest it before it can stop weed seeds. If you put it down too late,....well you know.

    3. If you wife is trying to get you to go organic you might try SOP based Dimension. Lesco carrys it. Dimension 0-0-7m SOP has a low salt index and is low in chlorine. 1 or 2 applications a year will not destroy your soil structure. Dimension has a long residual and will stop weeds through the spring and early summer. Now, I know its not totally organic, but its not as bad as some other products.

    Just my 2 cents. Do a search on this forum about CGM. You will find a wide variety of opinions on CGM. Some people claim its the best, others claim its a worthless marketing scheme.

  3. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,264

    I have not seen that Cracked corn has any weed pre-em quality's claims, or in my use seen any. I have not used CGM.
  4. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thanks for the responses. I'll look into the Dimension 0-0-7m SOP product at Lesco. I really want to give my grass a fighting chance.
  5. twoowls

    twoowls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Try asking for CGM at your local feed store, mine has it for 20.00 for a 50# bag. Timing is every thing!
  6. Liberty Lawncare

    Liberty Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 484

    I used demension for two seasons at a previous job. The product worked excelent.
  7. rbeitz

    rbeitz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Lesco's site does not list a whole lot of info on the Dimension product. When is the best time to apply it? Early spring? Should I reapply as necessary until I have the weeds somewhat under control and then switch to all organic? :confused:

    Also, would I put down a good organic fertilizer at the same time? What NPK composition would be recommended? Should I plan on a soil test every year or is there an acepted level of NPK for annual application? :confused:

  8. dehpdx

    dehpdx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    You talk about a soil test. Did you do that yourself? Can you recommend equipment and etc for this process? Thanks, dehpdx
  9. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    i dont know of anyone that has ever seen any corn product work as a preemergant for any weed! but they are selling tons of it! even the university results for corn/anything are not very convincing of its herbicidal qualitys!
  10. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    here is your common response for why corn didnt work for you when you inquire of someone as to why it hasnt worked in your lawn the last 5 years after you have put down 18 semi loads of CGM on your lawn,,,,,,"Timing is everything"......if it didnt work, you must have missed that 30 second window to apply the product for it to have actually worked for you!

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