I having been using corn gluten for a number of years as a preemergent weed control. However, with the new laws passed in Maryland I can no longer do that though I can use a reduced level to feed my lawn. Are there any other organic weed controls that I can use in place of the now restricted use of corn gluten? Thank you.
Montgomery County Maryland
The least toxic controls are hand pulling and using weeding tools. There are a number of organic and less toxic controls on the market. These active ingredients include Acetic acid (vinegar), cinnamon oil, iron chelate, potassium salts of fatty acid, citric acid, and clove oil. These are non selective, contact herbicides. They are NOT effective on mature or perennial weeds that have a substantial root system.
The most difficult aspect of a more natural or organic approach to lawn care is controlling weeds. You will have to be prepared to tolerate some weeds for organic controls.
Basically some organic lawn care practices include a testing your soil every 3-4 years for pH, liming, and nutrient deficiencies; type of grass seed to sow; overseeding & renovation; mowing at the proper height; leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing; and fertilizing in the fall for cool season grasses. Here are our publications on Turfgrasss