Fortunately, we’re all becoming so much more aware of our environment these days that we’re looking for new and better ways to garden. And one of the most interesting ideas is the push for organic weed control methods and products.
The new star of the show is corn gluten meal, a byproduct of the corn industry that has until recently only been fed to pigs and poultry. However, research has now shown that it’s qualities are far more beneficial that just feeding a herd of hogs.
Firstly, the NPK ratio of corn gluten meal is 9-1-0 which is perfect for lawns as a spring fertiliser. The boost of nitrogen will feed the grass and produce a flurry of dark green blades while the low levels of phosphorous will allow the lawn to grow without seeping out into our watercourses.
But that’s not where the benefits of corn gluten end. In fact, using corn gluten meal as a fertiliser is really on a byproduct of this byproduct. The real beauty of this substance is it’s effectiveness at killing weeds without damaging your lawn or using chemical herbicides.
Organic Weed Control
Corn gluten meal is a ‘pre-emergent’ form of organic weed control in that it dries out weed seeds before they begin to germinate and sprout. So, an application of corn gluten at the start of spring will see most of your lawn weeds (crabgrass, dandelions, barnyard grass, bindii, purslane and others) fail to grow while your lawn gets a head start.
An application of corn gluten meal will last as a weed killer between 4-6 weeks and can be reapplied after that. In fact, as a weed killer it has a cumulative effect and will build up in the soil and become even more a powerful form of organic weed control.
Where can I buy corn gluten meal?
You can buy it readily in the stores prepacked like Concern’s Weed Prevention Shaker (aff.) or you could even buy it bulk from a rural supplier or stockfeeds outlet.
In it’s unprocessed form, such as how it would come from a stockfeeds outlet, it can only be used on new plantings such as prior to laying your turf. While the pelletized and granulated forms can be applied either by hand sowing or using a lawn spreader.
Photo source: wharman