Does Corn Gluten Meal & Weed Control Work?

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By Stacy Skoldberg on May 1, 2013, 2:22pm Last modified: May 2, 2013, 9:20am

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Every time I open a gardening magazine, I find yet another "miracle" formula which is supposed to keep weeds at bay. All the rage now is to talk about corn gluten meal, but does it work? Or is the claim that corn gluten meal (CGM) is an effective organic herbicide false?

First, what does corn gluten meal do? Corn gluten meal stops the germination of ALL seeds. Did you catch that? ALL SEEDS. If you have new grass seed, it's toast, the wind carries it near your garden seed, it's toast. See where I am going with this? The active ingredient in CGM inhibits seed germination.

Here's how corn gluten meal can be used organically-although in my experience in the organic pesticide business I have never seen this works-not even 1 time-I kid you not. 

In theory, hand pull all weeds in your yard. Let's begin with idea that the majority of people can not identify the 14 most common lawn weeds in Connecticut, can you? Are you pulling out a grassy weed or a grass that you an not recognize? Let's move onto hand pulling ALL weeds in the yard-really? Do you have a job? This is a time drain! Perhaps if you have a postage size yard this is feasible and even then, is this how you want to spend your life?

Next spread corn gluten meal over area and water it in with 1 inch of water. Do you know how much water one inch represents and how difficult that is to achieve A-without running the product off and B-without irrigation? 

Did I forget to say that you have to perform these incredibly Herculean tasks at the EXACT right time of year before weeds begin to grow or IT FEEDS THE WEED? Can you imagine if you suffered through all of that only to feed the weeds? And remember, it has no effect on existing weeds. 

CMG is thought to be effective in the mid-western US only although there is no scientific data to support this claim. 

CMG is NOT an effective weed control solution if you live in Connecticut. The old fashion hand pulling of weeds or spot spraying for weeds is the best bet once you ensure that your soil has the right nutrients. Often times soil lacks in certain compounds which open the door to weeds.

Have you ever tried CMG?

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Stacy Skoldberg

Town: Orange, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since March 2013.

Articles: 60

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