Where Can I Buy Corn Gluten Meal
Corn Meal will still be very difficult to find in Australia, which is mainly due to our slow uptake of using organic lawn and gardening products. But the more we all ask for it from resellers and retailers, the more it will become readily known and available to us all. If the supermarket-style hardware shops and other retailers dont stock Corn Meal, then its high time that we all start putting some pressure onto them to begin to stock these organic products as an alternative to the chemical options.
So for now, while it may still be difficult to obtain, we must still discuss it in this article, and we all must start to ask for this and other organic lawn care products from suppliers.
Corn Gluten Meal: A Fertilizer And Natural Herbicide
Corn gluten meal has gotten a weird reputation. Some people swear by it as a natural herbicide. Others claim it has no effect on weeds whatsoever. But it is a potent natural fertilizer, either way!
We all think of corn as a delicious food. Its also now a reputable fuel supply, as it can be processed into ethanol. But in recent years, studies have shown that a principal protein in corn can be used as a fertilizer. While it doesnt contain gluten, its called corn gluten or corn gluten meal.
Lets explore this fantastic option and determine if its right for your garden space!
Good Sources For Corn Gluten Meal
Need An Organic Weed Control Solution
Corn gluten meal for weed control is an effective alternative to using synthetic chemical herbicides that can pose a number of risks both for the environment and health.
At Organic Lawns by LUNSETH, we have years of experience in carefully and effectively applying OMRI-certified corn gluten to lawns and achieving impressive results that protect your lawn and the environment.
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Cornmeal For Weed Killing And Pest Control
Using Cornmeal Gluten In The Garden
Is this something you have tried? We would love to hear your successes and failure along with other suggestions for organic weed and pest control, so we can share the knowledge. Corn gluten meal , is the by-product of corn wet milling. It is mainly used to feed cattle, fish, dogs, and poultry and as a food source in some less developed areas of the world. Accidental research has found that Gluten meal is a natural substitute for chemical pre-emergent herbicides, which means it can stops weeds from germinating. There appears to be lots of evidence that shows through using this cornmeal, results in a fantastic weed killer or weed preventer. Showing that it is a great way to eradicate weeds without the threat of toxic chemicals something that we are all for here at Friendly Organics. If you have pets or small children or prefer the more natural route, gluten meal is a much safer option.
As I mentioned the weed killing attributes were discovered by accident through research carried out by Iowa State University, they were actually looking into disease research but observed that cornmeal gluten acts as an herbicide as it kept grass and other seeds, such as crabgrass, dandelions and chickweed, from sprouting.
What Corn Gluten Meal Does
Proponents of corn gluten meal recommend applying it in the spring before weed seeds have a chance to germinate. In ideal conditions, the corn gluten meal robs the soil of its moisture, resulting in stunted root growth as the seeds sprout. Without adequate root support and moisture, the seed perishes.
In reality, a significant amount of corn gluten meal must be broadcast over the soil for it to work properly as a desiccant, and this makes it an expensive option. In addition, corn gluten meal contains 10 percent nitrogen, which means it actually acts as an organic lawn fertilizer for the surviving weeds. If significant amounts of corn gluten meal are broadcast into the soil, it could introduce too much nitrogen to the area, which is harmful to the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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How Do You Use Corn Gluten Meal
In Corn Gluten Meal, the nitrogen has a very high mineralization rate, which is often greater than 80 percent. Mid-season application as a side/top garment for long-season, heavy-feeding crops is recommended. Although not approved for organic usage, certificates are a fantastic alternative to harmful herbicides for a variety of applications.
Other Organic Weed Killers
There are a few other methods to naturally kill lawn weeds.
Similar to a vinegar type of product, Acetic acid-based weed killers should be available at your local garden nursery.
Soap-Based Weed Killers
Another naturally derived product that you should be able to find at your local nursery.
Boiling water is not suitable for all weeds, but can still kill many weed types. Boiling water is best suited in situations where hand pulling is not an option. One such environment would be where weeds are growing in the cracks of paving
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Corn Gluten Meal To Kill Lawn Weeds
Corn Gluten Meal is a godsend for the organic lawn. Corn Gluten Meal is a by-product from the manufacture of Corn Starch, and its a fully natural weed killer which can destroy many different weed types.
Corn Gluten Meal is a natural pre-emergent weed killer. Pre-emergent means that this product will kill weeds at the stage when they are first sprouting from their seeds and before they have become noticeable on the lawn surface.
Timing is crucial with pre-emergent weed killers because they need to be applied at a time when we cannot even see the weeds. However, the easiest way to use these products to the greatest effect is to apply at the beginning of spring and again at the beginning of autumn.
Another great feature of Corn Gluten Meal is that it is naturally high in Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a major nutritional element that is vital for the health of lawns. So not only are we applying a weed killer, but were also naturally and organically fertilising our lawns at the same time, and with no extra effort or expense.
There Are Two Types Of Corn Gluten Meal
There are two types of corn gluten meal? Yes, and most organic gardening experts dont even know this fact. There is a more expensive corn gluten meal that is 60% protein and there is a less expensive corn gluten meal that is 20% protein, yet they have the exact same name. There is a huge price difference between the two different types of corn gluten meal products. Some manufacturers will use the much less expensive 20% CGM or mix in a 50%/50% blend to save money, but the results will be vastly different.
A 60% protein corn gluten meal product will control weeds when applied at a 20 pounds per 1000 square feet rate. Yet the 20% protein corn gluten meal will only control weeds if applied at 60 pounds per 1000 square feet. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell from an ingredient list if the corn gluten meal used in a product is 20% protein or 60% protein.
At Organo-Lawn we make sure that the corn gluten meal we use in our Synergy product is a 60% protein CGM.
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What Is Corn Gluten Meal
Like other fertilizers such as cottonseed meal, corn gluten meal is a byproduct. In this case, its a byproduct of manufacturing corn starch or oils to produce ethanol. It is a residue left behind by wet-milling.
A natural source of protein found in the endosperm of the corn kernel, corn gluten is a good nitrogen source. It averages at 60% protein for the wet-milled gluten. Other processing forms can render a 20% protein version which isnt as effective.
On average, a 60% protein variation will result in a slow nitrogen release of 10%. As the corn gluten meal breaks down, it enriches the soil and adds organic matter.
It should be noted that this isnt the same as the corn meal we make cornbread from. Corn meal is ground dried corn. While it contains part of the endosperm, its lower in protein. Corn gluten meal is mostly endosperm, the food which corn plants rely on to germinate.
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The Downside Of Using Corn Gluten
- Existing weeds may also benefit from the fertilizer when applied at a wrong time, which may bring even a bigger weed problem in your lawn.
- Corn gluten is expensive than chemical pre-emergent herbicides. The cost of corn gluten meal has been rising yearly.
- Seed germination sometimes vary based on species of the weed and changes in climatic conditions. It may not be easy to time appropriately. This is why most gardeners end up frustrated after spending thousands of dollars without achieving good results.
Corn gluten meal is a great alternative to conventional pre-emergent herbicides, however, timing is very critical in achieving full weed control. When applied consecutively for several years, corn gluten meal will effectively suppress weeds for good. Additionally, healthy lawn care practices such as proper watering, weeding and mowing will give your grasses an advantage over undesired weed plants.
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Using Cornmeal Gluten To Kill Ants
Cornmeal gluten is also a popular method to control ants. Pouring it wherever you see ants traveling is the best option. They will pick up the gluten and take it to the nest where they will feed on it. Since the ants cannot digest this cornmeal product, they will starve to death. It may take up to a week or so before you see your ant population dwindling.
Tip: If you have large areas to cover, you can try a spray form for ease of application. Apply every four weeks, or after heavy rains, during the growing season to maintain effectiveness.
How Corn Gluten Works
Corn gluten does not prevent weed seeds from germinating, but it does inhibit those seeds from forming roots after germination. This means that applications must be very carefully timed. When the application of corn gluten is timed correctly, crabgrass seeds germinating will form shoots but not roots, and will therefore die, provided there is a short dry period after seed germination. However, if conditions are too wet immediately after seed germination, the weed can recover and establish a root.
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Corn Gluten As Fertilizer
As a plant food, corn gluten has a N-P-K ratio of 8-0-0. It will fertilize your lawn, and prevent the growth of new weeds. Because it prevents seeds from sprouting, make sure you wait 60 days after application before spreading grass seed. Corn Gluten can also be used to fertilize shrubs and transplants. As a fertilizer, corn gluten can be applied at any time of year. The nitrogen releases slowly over a 3-4 month period after application.
Total Nitrogen : 8%. Water-insoluble nitrogen: 7%. Nutrients for this product are derived from 100% Non-GMO Corn Gluten Meal, and contain no animal manure or fillers.
Natural Weed Control For Grass
Synergy with corn gluten meal is one of the best organic fertilizers because it produces a long lasting green-up of grass. Synergy is a natural weed control made from corn and does not contain any synthetic chemicals. Synergy is a great option for those looking for a natural way to prevent weed seeds from germinating properly in your Boulder lawn.
We recommend spring applications of Synergy in March or early April and a fall application is also recommended in late September or October.
Lawns in the Boulder and Fort Collins area respond extremely well to Synergy applications because all the nitrogen is 100% organic and naturally slow release. This means the nitrogen in this organic fertilizer will only become available to the grass after the microbes in the soil decompose the corn gluten meal. This means the corn gluten meal will slowly feed the lawn and it is impossible to burn a lawn using a 100% slow release organic fertilizer. Since organic fertilizers are naturally slow release, the end result is a long lasting beautiful deep-dark green colored lawn.
Synergy with corn gluten meal is derived from only the highest quality natural ingredients and is considered non-toxic to people, pets, dogs, cats and children.
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How Is Corn Gluten Meal Made
The process of processing corn for oils or cornstarch results in this useful byproduct. To make corn gluten meal, theres two different methods, but they both start in the same place.
Harvested corn will be taken to a mill. At the mill, the corn will be cleaned and then steeped to soften the kernels.
Once the kernels have become soft, a coarse grinding stage happens. The resulting ground corn travels down one of two paths. One results in corn oil as well as corn gluten meal feed for animals. The other results in cornstarch and a less-potent corn gluten meal.
For feed grade gluten meal, the grinding stage then moves on to a germ separation stage. The germ is then pressed to extract oil.
The resulting pressed meal is blended with ground corn bran and some of the steeping liquid. This creates wet corn gluten feed. It may be kept loose or pressed into pellets. The resulting feed is then dried for long-term storage.
The other process also begins at the grinding stage. Unlike the meal for pressing oil, meal for extracting cornstarch requires further grinding. Its then screened to remove bran, which is sent to the feed prep area.
The finely-ground meal is made into a slurry with water. Its repeatedly washed and cycled through centrifuges to extract the starches. Once the cornstarch has been extracted, the water is removed and the meal dried into corn gluten meal.
Not Applying Corn Gluten Meal Heavy Enough
I have had many homeowners say, your corn gluten meal application works so much better than the one I did myself. They proceed to take me to their garage or shed and show me a small 20 pound bag of CGM that is half used and they say I applied this last year and I had tons of weeds. I tell them that the entire 20 pound bag would only cover about 1/5th of their entire lawn. That is when their eyes get big, they laugh out loud and say something like, oh, so I didnt use nearly enough.
For corn gluten meal to control weeds, it needs to be applied at 20 pounds per 1000 square feet. This is a very heavy application rate, especially compared to a chemical fertilizer, which typically has an application rate of 2-3 lbs per 1000 square feet. Most broadcast spreaders are not designed to apply corn gluten meal and even at the highest setting they cannot apply at a 20 pounds per 1000 square feet rate. Therefore, multiple passes may be necessary for certain spreaders.
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How To Use Corn Gluten Meal
To use corn gluten meals natural herbicidal effect, it takes more than you would expect. A basic estimate is 20 pounds of meal for 1,000 square feet. That quantity increases if the soil is poor.
For lawns, you can use a spreader to evenly spread the meal across the entire lawns surface. This is especially easy with the pelletized and granular forms available.
Be cautious of using corn gluten meal in garden use if you plan on direct-sowing seeds. That natural pre-emergence herbicide may prevent your seeds from developing.
As a fertilizer in the garden, wait until your plants are already established. You can then lightly work it into the surface or top-dress with it, as desired.
In the fall, work some corn gluten through your soil and spread another layer overtop. This will prevent winter and early spring weeds and start breaking down in the soil. If you plan on growing winter crops, be sure theyre already established first!
Wait to fertilize with corn gluten fertilizer until any seeds youve planted have sprouted and formed their first pair of true leaves. This ensures that theyve already started to develop healthy roots. In the case of grass seed, wait until theres at least 1.5 of grass height before fertilizing.
While some people do mix corn gluten in water and make a corn gluten fertilizer tea, it is less effective that way. For a light weekly application of fertilizer, this is useful, but much less potent than the meal is.
When To Apply Corn Gluten On Your Lawn
Majority of weed seed germinate during late winter and early spring. This is the period when forsythia plants bloom before even their leaves emerge. Apply the corn gluten meal during this short window in which the dreaded crabgrass and other weeds are germinating.
To effectively prevent winter annual weeds such as bittercress, deadnettle, henbit and chickweed or other perennial weeds whose seeds usually germinate in the late summer or fall, apply the corn gluten meal in the late summer, as soon as daytime temperatures start to decrease.
Further the amount you apply will also determine how fully it will defeat the weeds. The recommended rate of application is 20 lbs. of corn gluten per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Anything short of that means money gone down the drain.
The effectiveness of corn gluten also depends on the your watering or rainfall pattern. After the application, the product need to be driven into the soil by watering or rainfall. Ideally a watering or rainfall of about 1/4 inch is great for application of corn gluten.
That is not all, a short dry period of three to seven days is necessary to completely deny the germinated weeds some water. While it can be difficult to achieve this with rainfall, it is much possible with artificial watering. Another application after one month or in late summer will guarantee full control of the weeds.
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