Re: [tomato] Corn Gluten as a weedicide

Tantrika (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Sat, 03 Jul 1999 08:56:48 -0700

Corn Gluten meal is a nontoxic byproduct of corn syrup processing, so it's
not a chemical, at least not a synthetic one that is, it's a foodstuff that
basically releases a natural herbicide that prevents seedlings from setting
roots, which in turn kills the plants.  From what I understand it has a
nitrogen content of 10% just because of what it is, so you don't want to
put it on beds that will have plants that don't like a lot of nitrogen,
like carrots. But most gardens and lawns need nitrogen, so it's nitrogen
content has an added benefit of helping to fertilize as well. It is shown
to be 60% effective the first year, and 90% effective after a few years.  

If it burned weeds then it would harm established plants, which it doesn't.
 The EPA has approved it for use on turfweed.

Because it prevents seedlings from setting roots, it wouldn't do anything
for established weeds (like your bindweed)

And I got this from Organic Gardening, whom I trust.

I'm not an employee of gardens alive! or anything, in fact I've not even
tried it though I'm going to order some!  It just so happened I had read
about corn gluten meal in an article the same day that someone here posted
about it....go figure, because a few days before I had called Organic
Gardening to get information on Round Up and alternatives to it, so I have
about three articles they sent me two of which mention the gorn gluten
meal.  I hadn't heard of it until right then either.  Oh they also have a
guide for identifying common weeds, controlling them through natural means,
why they show up in your garden (they can indicate things about your soil)
and why you just might want to KEEP them in your garden.  An example:  A
mulch of dried Quackgrass kills slugs.  Dandelion greens are good in
salads, Clover fixes nitrogen into nitrogen deprived soil (in fact it is
attracted to nitrogen-poor soil and is often used by gardeners and farmers
as a cover crop), and encourages honeybees to visit.

Unfortunately they had nothing positive to say about bindweed :/.... and
their advice for getting rid of it was to keep up with pulling it out.


You can order it on-line from http://www.gardens-alive.com/ and it is now
called WOW! Plus.


"WOW! Plus lets you control crab-grass, dandelions and other pesky weeds
while feeding your lawn with a complete, balanced, all-natural fertilizer!
Itís easy to apply and saves you time and effort. You can now weed and feed
your lawn organically with just one application! 
"A by-product of corn syrup production, our pre-emergence weed control
eliminates germinating weeds. It helps you achieve a beautiful lawn your
neighbors will envy. And thereís no need to post "Keep Off - Herbicide
Warning" signs, because kids and pets can play on the lawn right after
application! 
....
"How WOW! Plus works 

"Soon after sprouting, young weeds send out secondary "feeder" roots, which
are especially adept at drawing nutrients from the soil. But WOW! Plus
stops these feeder roots from developing. Without them, seedlings quickly
die - usually before you notice any green top growth! Dandelions,
crab-grass, creeping bentgrass, foxtail, lambís-quarters, purslane, redroot
pigweed and many others canít survive their first few days, and canít make
your lawn an eyesore. 

"Donít worry about over-applying WOW! Plus. You can use eight times the
recommended rate without harming your grass, and youíll find that high
doses are even more effective in controlling weeds. [though I wouldn't add
any nitrogen fertilizer if you used that much on your lawn or your garden]

"And donít worry about lingering synthetic chemicals! There arenít any!
Unlike traditional chemical treatments, WOW! Plus lets your family, friends
and pets enjoy your lawn immediately after application. "

They have something called "Scythe Weed Killer" which might work on your
bindweed, Pam, though I'm not positive.  I might want to use it on the
blackberries and thistles though I'm not sure ANYTHING will work on those :/

If you have more questions about the product you might ask your county
Extension Office or call Gardens Alive!

At 01:50 AM 7/3/99 -0400, you wrote:
>this info is interesting..im reading here that it works cuz it is high in 
>nitrogen and burns off the pest weeds? and it dissolves harmlessly? no 
>chemical residue? kind of sounds too good ...
>