Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mother Nature’s Amazing Corn Gluten

If you ever need further proof of how wondrous Mother Nature is, look no further than Corn Gluten. This by-product of processed corn is nature’s weed and feed and can perform seemingly contradictory functions. Corn Gluten has the ability to be a powerful pre-emergent herbicide for weeds while also being a potent fertilizer for established plants.

Corn Gluten (whether liquid or granular), when used in sufficient volume, will inhibit the emergence of dormant weed seeds. As the seeds crack open to sprout, the Corn Gluten dries it out, which will stop the germination process. When germination stops, root development stops and the weed will cease to grow. Corn Gluten works well against most weeds, but not all. Types of weeds that are affected by Corn Gluten include:
  • Bermuda Grass
  • Crabgrass
  • Creeping Bentgrass
  • Curly Dock 
  • Dandelions
  • Foxtail
  • Lambsquarter
  • Pigweed
  • Purslane
  • Redroot Bigweed
  • Smart Weed

Corn Gluten, when applied in a lesser volume than the rate for herbicidal action, acts as a phenomenal fertilizer. This is due to its Nitrogen-rich properties (9-0-0). When used on established lawns and plants (those that are rooted with true leaves), Corn Gluten will promote richer turf color, thicker lawns and all-around healthier growth. Each additional application will build on what’s already there to encourage continued greening. As the slow release of the nitrogen greens up your growth, it will also aid in the creation of richer, healthier soil. An added dimension of weed control in Corn Gluten is that weeds prosper in poor soil; so, as your soil becomes healthier, you will see a natural reduction of weeds.

Here are a few other things to bear in mind before using Corn Gluten:

  • When using for weed control, apply when rain is not expected for a few days. It’s important to water in the Corn Gluten and then let it dry out.
  • Don’t sow a lawn or plant seeds for six weeks after applying Corn Gluten. This will give it a chance to lose its herbicidal qualities.
  • Corn Gluten will not change to pH in your soil. 
  • The Corn Gluten Meal sold as animal feed is not the same thing. Often people are lured by the lower price of this variation, but it simply does not have the same protein concentration to be effective as a seed killer.
So, to re-cap: Get your Corn Gluten out early and stop weeds in their tracks. Then, wait six weeks and begin using it again to add a blast of nitrogen to your lawn or garden. Continued usage will keep what you’re growing vibrant and aid in developing healthy, weed-resistant soil.

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