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 (CGM), 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.
Perennial weeds will not be damaged either as their roots survive and they return each year, as mentioned cornmeal will stop their seeds becoming further plants so reducing the weeding you have to carry out. With consistent use of gluten meal products, these weeds will gradually decline and eventually you should have a weed free garden.
However, it is important to note that cornmeal gluten is only effective against seeds, not plants that are mature and is most effective with corn gluten having at least 60% proteins in it. For annual weeds that are growing, plain cornmeal products will not kill it but it will help prevent their spread via seeds.
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.
Using Cornmeal Gluten In The Garden
Corn Gluten is a pre-emergent, which is a fancy way of saying that is it is a seed birth-control. Corn meal scattered around an area will keep any seed in that area from growing into a plant. This means a weed seed or a desirable seed. This method is a good option for areas that you plan on planting grown plants in.
Hit the link for six more ways to kill unwanted growth in your garden, and share your own weed-stomping tips in the comments. Photo by Cyrstl .
Spring brings with it eager thoughts of planting for gardeners, along with ominous thoughts of keeping weeds at bay. If you're planning on using pre-potted plants or want to protect an entire area from the ever-growing menace, try corn meal, according to the This Garden is Illegal blog:
Cornmeal is flour ground from dried corn. It's not a weed killer but can be used as a fungicide. Grocery stores' food grade cornmeal works fine but it's expensive and usually comes in small quantities. Horticultural cornmeal is generally used for animal feed. It's a good choice to use as fungicide because it's cheap and available in bulk. Cornmeal is also a source of nutrients for the soil.
Corn Gluten Meal is a byproduct of corn processing. Corn gluten meal's proteins are able to inhibit seed germination, therefore it can be used as a pre-emergent weed killer. It works by stopping root formation. It also breaks down over time to become an organic nitrogen source.
The biggest mistake that most people take with this natural weed remedy is running out to buy cornmeal from the grocery store shelves. The type of cornmeal that you eat is not the same as what you need for weed killing purposes.
Since corn gluten meal has high levels of protein, nitrogen, and oils, it is also used for lawn fertilization and weed control purposes. It is sold in lawn and gardening stores rather than at your local grocery store.
What is Cornmeal vs. Corn Gluten Meal?
The cornmeal in your pantry is made from ground-up corn kernels. This is what you use as an ingredient in recipes for cornbread and other dishes.
Pre-emergent sprays work similarly to corn gluten meal by suppressing weed growth at the seed level, but it is a little different. A pre-emergent spray prevents seed germination. The seeds never develop roots or sprouts.
There have been multiple studies on the use of corn gluten meal as an effective weed killer with mixed results. The primary issue with this method is the difficulty of applying it at just the right time to knock out the weed seeds.