Corn gluten meal is a natural lawn treatment that’s derived from the part of the corn kernel that is not used when making corn meal. It’s high in protein and nitrogen, which can make it a beneficial and natural lawn fertilizer, but corn gluten meal is more commonly utilized to control weeds. The oily coating on the corn gluten meal doesn’t allow plant roots to form, so newly germinated seedlings die if it’s used at the right time.
Corn Meal and Corn Gluten Meal
When treating your lawn with corn meal, then it is important to work with the right product. Corn meal and corn gluten meal (CGM) originate from whole kernels of corn, but they’re used for very different purposes. The corn meal you use as a coating for food is ground up corn, while corn gluten meal is just a byproduct of this procedure. Although the two may occasionally look very similar based on the grinding procedure, you cannot substitute corn meal for corn gluten meal as a lawn remedy because corn meal used in food preparation won’t suppress weeds.
Corn gluten meal can be found in many greenhouses and garden centres in pelletized or powdered forms. Both types are equally effective at suppressing weeds, however, the pelletized form is generally easier to handle and apply. To apply corn gluten meal as a lawn therapy, spread it evenly around the yard at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. After applying, water your lawn lightly to trigger the oils in the corn gluten meal that suppress weed growth.
The key to successful weed suppression with corn gluten meal is timing of the applications. Because it’s a pre-emergent herbicide, it must be applied before weeds grow. While annual and perennial weed seeds typically sprout in late spring to early summer, there are some winter annuals that sprout in the fall too. Both phases of germination require therapy to be able to acquire control on the weeds in your yard. If certain weeds such as chickweed or crabgrass are permitted to sprout in the fall, their roots can endure the winter underground, and this gives them the edge the following spring. Since they’re established, a spring application of corn gluten meal won’t kill them. To make sure you suppress all the weeds, apply corn gluten meal in two programs, together with the initial in late spring and the second in late summer.
Corn gluten meal doesn’t provide dramatic effects initially. For each consecutive year you apply it, however, you must see much better weed suppression than you did the prior year. Corn gluten meal is effective only against seeds, not established plants. Weeds that are already growing may not be affected by the application of corn gluten meal, however, any seeds produced by these plants immediately prior to or after program shouldn’t sprout. Corn gluten meal must effectively suppress new grass development for five to six weeks after each program.