Corn Gluten meal use

Asked April 25, 2019, 7:21 PM EDT

I have been using milorganite in the fall for fertilizer. In the fall I also seed in spots. I seem to always have weeds even though I seed-chickweed etc. Plus the neighbor has a poorly cared for lawn and no doubt seeds come to my lawn. If I seed then I can't use pre emergents in the fall. Someone mentioned corn gluten as a weed preventer and fertilizer. I looked briefly on the internet and there is so much information and ads. It seems there are different types of this product and different rates of application. I am tired of always fighting the weeds but prefer not to get one of these lawn companies which use lots of chemicals. I have a very small lawn, maybe 1300 square feet. Can you advise?

Anne Arundel County Maryland lawns and turf weeds

1 Response

Corn gluten meal has been promoted as an organic pre-emergent herbicide, but research has shown that it is not very effective for weed control. It can, however, be used as an organic fertilizer (as a nitrogen source) as long as the application rate is 0.9 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. and no more than three applications are made to your lawn per year. Here is more information about corn gluten. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/corn-gluten-crabgrass-control

High numbers of weeds in a lawn can result from improper mowing practices (mowing too short), frequent, shallow watering, bare spots, and/or poor soil conditions (compaction). Take a look at our information on lawn weed prevention and management: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/tips-lawn-weed-prevention-and-management

University of Maryland research has shown that simply mowing higher (3-4" or on your mower's highest setting) significantly reduces chances for weed growth. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/mowing-grasscycling-lawns

It is better to spot-treat weeds rather than broadcasting an herbicide. Different types of weeds require different types of treatments. You can refer to our website for photos and information on common lawn weeds and how to manage them.
During the growing season, you also can send us photos of weeds and we can help you identify what you have. In general, good cultural practices go a long way to help with weed management. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/best-practices-lawn-care

Christa