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Corn Gluten as Weed Killer?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Soooo -- we have a lot of dandelions this year. The city's walking path goes past our house, and there are tons of dandelions growing along IT, and they have seeded into our lawn. I'm OK with some dandelions, I'm much more paranoid about pulling the bindweed we have .... But we've got too many dandelions.

FIL thinks we should just use weed 'n feed -- but I talked dh into using a dandelion fork and paying dd1 for each dandelion she picks (she however quickly realized that the more seeds sprout, the more money she makes ). The dandelion fork works OK but often it just takes off the crown (from what I've read, I just need more practice, of which I am beginning to accrue plenty ).

This is taking all. my. time. And they are still going to seed, and I know it's going to be worse next year.

I've read that corn gluten, sprayed on the lawn in 'early spring' can get rid of dandelions. Is this true? And is it safe? It's been recommended as a 'natural' alternative. We are thinking about trying it next spring, not only on our lawn, but for several yards down the walking path too. How does it work?
post #2 of 6
I think "how it works" is that corn gluten inhibits root growth in broadleaf plants, the plant will germinate, but the root system will not develop properly so after water stress on the plant, the plant dies. Later the corn gluten will break down, providing nitrogen for the remaining plants.

I've never used it, our son has a severe allergy to corn - so for him, not safe at all. It would be as toxic or more toxic than using hardcore chemicals.
post #3 of 6
if you do use some, check label carefully - i have only ever seen it w/other crap in it (in my very limited experience, never used the stuuff just looked at it)
post #4 of 6
It is supposed to work really well but there is a very particular time in early spring when it should be applied.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyoftwo View Post
It is supposed to work really well but there is a very particular time in early spring when it should be applied.
Yup, we use an organic lawn service, and corn gluten is what they use. Unfortunately, we didn't hire them until it was too late to apply it for the first round of dandelions. As previous posters have said, it prevents weed seeds from germinating, but won't kill anything that has already started to sprout.

They said they have a non-selective organic/natural herbicide that is very effective on dandelions, but you have to have really good aim to use it, or it'll kill the grass around it, too. I can't remember the brand name, starts with an "A".

They'll do another corn treatment in a month or two, and then hopefully next year we'll catch it early enough to make some progress on the dandelions. Organic/natural lawn care is not a quick process, apparently.
post #6 of 6
We did our own corn gluten application this spring, and I can tell you that it did great for the thistles and bindweed, but the dandlions grew just fine, all over the yard. Guess they appreciated the lack of competition. Best thing I've found is getting your grass really healthy. Really healthy grass seems to choke out weeds very effectively. Not that we have reached that ideal, but in areas of the lawn where we have, weeds are not a problem.

Good luck!
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