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Re: Misplaced Plants in the Garden

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Misplaced Plants in the Garden
  • From: scolli@columbus.rr.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 02:54:00 -0400

I was wondering if anyone had any experience using corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent herbicide.  Corn gluten meal is a by-product of processing corn and is used in animal feed.  I understand that it is sprinkled onto soil and then it kills weed seeds as they germinate, as pre-emergents do.  It can be purchased as a commercial organic herbicide and is expensive, however, it can also be purchased very inexpensively at graineries and feed stores, as plain old corn gluten meal.  It was discovered by accident by a researcher at Iowa State University.  From what I've read, proteins in the meal inhibit root formation at the time of germination.  Timing would be an important factor in the effectiveness of this. I have no personal experience with this but always thought it would be fun to try.  Sounds like it could be a real winner in a large garden.  Check out the link below.
Also, when using newspaper as a mulch, wet it before placing it on to keep it in place (dipping in 5 gallon buckets of water works).  Covering the newspaper after it is placed with straw or leaves keeps the paper in place throughout the season.  Yes, this is labor intensive, but so is weeding!
Happy Gardening!
----- Original Message -----
From: Jim Call
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 11:16 PM
Subject: [cg] Misplaced Plants in the Garden

This year, because of the abnormal amount of rainfall we are experiencing, we seem to have an abundance
of misplaced plants, a.k.a. weeds in our garden.
Before spring planting next year, I am determined to resolve this issue.
Our garden has about 2000' ft of planted rows.
Here are some of my options:
A -- Use newspaper (sections).
        Pro: No cost.  Promotes recycling in the garden.
               Can be tilled in after season.
       Con: Very labor intensive.
B--   Use commercial grade (25 year) landscape fabric
        Pro:  Easy to roll out, can be used year after year.
        Con: Costly. 
C--  Rolled heavy duty brown wrapping paper.
        Pro: Easy to roll out, can be tilled in after season.
        Con: Haven't determined cost yet.
I will not use:
Broken up cardboard boxes.
    Pro: Easy to acquire
    Con: Too labor extensive to prepare and install.
            Not sure if it will degrade enough to till in after season.
Plastic in any form.
Option B can accomplished via donations to purchase landscape fabric.
If I go with Option A, I will have volunteers paper tape each section together prior
to Plant Day (this is the option I am leaning toward).
By properly laying down this weed barrier and leaf mulch, I can eliminate many
hours required to remove the weeds within the rows. Our volunteers love to harvest, but
weeding is not at the top of the list of enjoyable tasks.  Such is gardening.
Actually, most of our volunteers do not own a hoe or know how to use one.
When I first moved to Huntsville, Alabama, within the first week, I witnessed two
strange events.
While checking out at a 7-11. a guy with pocket protector actually pulled out
a slide rule to calculate his purchase.
A few days later, I noticed the neighborhood news delivery kid was throwing newspapers from
the passenger seat of a Corvette driven by his mother.
I thought, what planet did I land on?
Thanks for any input to the weed barrier options,
Jim Call, CASA Community Garden Volunteer Dir.

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