Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More Fall Lawn Care

One of the fall lawn care products you'll see in stores now are fertilizers featuring corn gluten. Corn gluten is an interesting by-product of corn milling that is quite safe to eat but doesn't let seeds germinate.

Research has pointed out that this is an excellent and totally benign way to stop weed seed from getting started in your lawn. It won't kill existing weeds but it does stop the new ones from starting.

The warning here is that you can't use any of these corn gluten products at the same time as you topdress (see previous post) to thicken up your lawn or want to establish your fall lawn care routine. Corn gluten kills off grass seed as quickly as it kills off crab grass seed and dandelion seeds.

So - use corn gluten in the spring - sow grass seed in the fall.

This way, the grass gets going strongly before next spring and the spring application of corn gluten stops crab grass and other annual weeds from germinating.

So - now go out and get that fall lawn care program underway.


At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am wondering; would corn glutin work as an 'anti-weed' care item in a perennial flower bed as well? Hmmm.
Love all of your info & pics.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Doug Green said...

Yes, it will. However, it will also stop perennial seed from germinating. So if you rely on self-sowing to keep certain perennials alive (columbine, corn poppies, shasta, delphinium etc) then you'll be stopping them from regenerating.

However, if you sow your own from collected seed, it works.

Having said that - I mulch my perennial flower beds because I want them to get the soil improvement benefits (and weed control) of mulch. :-)

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long after you apply the corn gluten can you plant grass seed. I suspect we will have to plant seed both this fall and in the spring to fill in the areas of crab grass.

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Doug Green said...

You can figure *at least* between 5-6 weeks although the data is sometimes contradictory on labels.

I'd still top dress in the fall to sow seed and corn gluten in the spring to control annual weeds.


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