We’re all looking for ways to be healthier, but when it comes to lawn care many of us often fall into the habit of buying dangerous chemical-laden fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. We do this because we either haven’t found a decent non-toxic alternative or the non-toxic alternatives that we have tried simply failed to do the job.
Unfortunately, when we use commercial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides we expose ourselves, our kids, our pets, our neighbors and our water supply to countless well known carcinogens and neurotoxins. So what’s a busy parent to do?
In terms of lawn care, there’s a wonderful, completely safe and non-toxic fertilizer that also works as a pre-emergent weed killer, if applied before weeds begin to emerge, and that’s corn gluten. Corn gluten is 100% non-toxic. It’s simply the byproduct of corn starch and corn syrup production and I am here to tell you from experience, that corn gluten works very well as fertilizer. We tried it two years ago and I had to admit that I was more than a little skeptical. However, my skepticism was short-lived. With just one application, our lawn became one of the greenest and most lush lawns in the neighborhood. Not only that, but my son was able to help me apply it because corn gluten is so non-toxic that you could eat it (not that you’d want to).
The reason corn gluten works so well as a fertilizer is that it’s loaded with nitrogen, amino acids and minerals necessary to keep your lawn healthy and green. It works as a pre-emergent weed killer because, when applied before weeds sprout and develop roots, it prevents weed seeds from sprouting. The first year we used it, we failed to apply it before the dandelions had taken root. Corn gluten does not kill established weeds so we did have some dandelions in the yard.
It’s best to apply corn gluten in March before the weeds begin to sprout and just before the forsythia bloom.
Corn gluten looks like little pellets and often comes in large bags. It also comes in a liquid spray. For more information, talk to your local garden center or order it online.