Corn Meal Versus Crabgrass

March is the time many gardeners apply chemicals to prevent emergence of annual weeds such as crabgrass and dandelions. Pre-emergent herbicides work by inhibiting root development after seed germination. Gardeners concerned about safe trafficking by children and pets after application sometimes desire an organic-based alternative. Corn gluten, a byproduct of the corn-milling process, has proved successful in combating the establishment of certain weeds in lawns, beds and vegetable plots. It also releases nitrogen that fertilizes desirable plants as it degrades. For a list of product names and sources, visit the Corn Gluten Meal Research Site at www.gluten.iastate.edu.

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