Corn gluten test 1 update

A little less than a week ago I started a little test to see if the corn gluten I had purchased as a pre-emergent herbicide would have any effect -- there have been some studies done that produced conflicting results. I made up a little tray of soil, applied the corn gluten product to half of it, then sprinkled grass seed over the whole thing.

Remember that I had some doubts about my test, mainly that the corn gluten wouldn't  have time to break down before the seeds germinated. Those doubts appear to have been quite reasonable.


Upon reviewing the early results of this test, I have to conclude... well, I won't say before letting you have a look and drawing your own conclusions:

Although I haven't counted each blade of grass on each half, nor have I counted the seeds to begin with, measured the amount of water given to each half, monitored light levels, temperature, etc., I have to conclude that both sides germinated pretty equally. I was hoping that the left side would have been free of green, but that's not the case.

This just tells me that I should repeat the test, but this time put the herbicide down on the soil for a few days before adding the seeds. I'll try to think this through a little more, and maybe come up with a couple of other tests too.

Right now it's impossible to tell if 1) the corn gluten is not working or 2) the experiment was flawed. More tests are the only way to determine this. I'll have more on this next week.


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Masha  – (March 9, 2011 at 10:23 AM)  

Thanks for the update. So far not so good, but at the very least it could act as an organic soil amendment, right?

Alan  – (March 9, 2011 at 10:30 AM)  

Masha: yes, it's a good organic fertilizer. That's why I won't be too upset even if it doesn't prevent any weeds.

Toni - Signature Gardens  – (March 9, 2011 at 11:57 AM)  

And you might want to follow the recommendations of Texas A&M Extension who recommended putting down 3 applications 2 weeks apart (so 3 applications over a 5 week period). There was an article in the Texas Gardener magazine -- not sure if you have access to it.

Alan  – (March 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM)  

Toni: Thanks! Yes, that study was talked about in the comments of the previous post. Texas A&M recommended about 4x the application rate as the package, and they recommended 3 applications. That's impractical unless you have a very cheap, readily-available source of corn gluten. Most people don't I think. I'm holding off on final conclusions until all of my tests are done though.

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