It’s time to start taking care of your lawn again. Winter had one last gust last week in many parts of the United States. But Spring is slowly showing itself. With the change of season comes the responsibility of yard work for many of us. Now is the time to start thinking about applying natural fertilizer and weed control. Unfortunately most of you will end up choosing a chemical solution to feed your lawn and kill weeds. No matter how many times people are shown the negatives of chemicals they just can’t seem to stop using them. Even when the natural products are shown to perform better.
Right now before applying any natural fertilizer our lawn looks thicker and fuller than our neighbors. Most of the neighborhood just recently got their seasonal dose of poison from a well known local company. There are some dead patches in our yard. Those were brought on by my use of some old chemical weed and feed. This stuff had been sitting in the garage for a few years. As usual I over applied it and the results were very nasty. It’s interesting how this doesn’t happen when using natural products. I didn’t want to wait to purchase more vinegar. So I used the old chemical garbage just to get rid of it. Vinegar is a great weed killer – but it kills the grass along with the weeds. This leaves your yard looking less than nice.
Late last year we tried corn gluten for the first time. Keep in mind that time of year isn’t optimal for applying this solution. The brand we used was Concern Weed Prevention Plus 100% Natural Corn Gluten. The results seem varied. In my opinion for that time of year this was to be expected. The fertilizer within that product did seem to slightly increase the grass growth.
This year our local Lowe’s didn’t have the Concern corn gluten in stock. We ended up finding another brand at our local Ace Hardware. That is the product pictured above. There are several differences between the Concern and Espoma options. The Espoma comes in a much larger bag for a reasonable price. But the Espoma contents look entirely different from what Concern offers. The Concern corn gluten was more of a solid pellet. We couldn’t find any bulk bags of the product last year. Espoma Corn Gluten Organic Weed Preventer is more of crushed mixture. Not to the point of being a powder but definitely less pellet like.
When I first saw this it concerned me. From what I read last year some companies try to claim they use 100% corn gluten when in fact they are using an inferior form of the product that won’t prevent weeds. The first thing I did is check to see if Espoma was on the approved list of companies authorized to use corn gluten. I would assume any manufacturer listed would have to follow strict guidelines in regards to what they are producing for consumers.
I’ll link last years article so you can compare packaging and learn more about corn gluten. I’ve also found the most recent approved list which I will provide to readers.
In recent years, we have seen an increased substitution of corn gluten feed and distillers grain for real corn gluten meal.