The Corn Meal Question...

RTinFLApril 21, 2003

Here is a link to another post on the Organic gardening board. Apparently there are others that find corn meal to be the cure all.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Gardening Corn Meal Question

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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Here is a link that might be useful.

Here is a link that might be useful: corn meal

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 2:44PM
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Field

Cornmeal has indeed been shown to have some antifungal properties, but there are some folks, as usual, who go completely gaga over these seemingly magical potions. For example, here is a partial log of some of the proclamations from our local organic gardening guru, Howard Garrett, the self-named "Doctor of Dirt."

As far back as August 31, 1997, he was up to his usual vices when he declared, "Cornmeal will not only kill diseases in the soil, but also viruses up in the plant."

During his radio program on January 27, 2001, a caller wanted to know about using cornmeal on botrytis. The "Dirt Doctor" asked him whether botrytis was a fungus or a bacteria because, he explained, cornmeal is effective against fungal diseases but not bacterial ones.

So, to this point, he apparently believes that cornmeal will kill viruses in plants but not bacterial diseases.

On January 11, 2002, the "Dirt Doctor" defined cornmeal as "a natural soil amendment that is used to stimulate beneficial soil biology to control fungal diseases" (no mention of viruses, however). Then, in the next few installments of his weekly newspaper column, he recommended cornmeal for a variety of purposes.

February 1: "My standard bed preparation -- compost, volcanic sand, cornmeal and organic fertilizer mixed into native soil."

February 8: "Apply cornmeal to the soil for fungal disease control."

February 20: "Cornmeal amendment to the soil is 'critical' for control of the bacterial grape disease transmitted by sharpshooter bugs." (But, only a year earlier, he said cornmeal didn't kill bacterial diseases.)

March 8: "A thin layer of horticultural cornmeal will control spider mites on indoor plants." (Spider mites?)

And in the March, 2002, issue of The Dirt Doctor's Dirt, he wrote, "According to Researcher Reports, cornmeal is also effective on athlete's foot, psoriasis, warts and other skin problems."

Then, on his noonday radio spot on May 15, 2002, he declared, "We haven't run into a fungus yet that it won't control."

11/10/02: A listener to his Sunday radio program called in and said, "Thanks for telling us about cornmeal. I soaked my fingernail for 30 minutes. The next day, it was soft, and I just tore it off."

(Somehow, I don't think that's a proper cure for nail fungus. And, for that matter, aren't warts caused by a viral infection?)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 4:40PM
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RTinFL

I can see how if it grows a fungus on it, then it can control other fungi. I know that one way of controlling salmanella on eggs, is by spraying the eggs with a benign bacteria. (commercially, they are still using antibiotics though). Then when the salmanella tries to take hold, the benign bateria kills it off since it has already been established in a large colony. It is probably the same thing with fungi on plants. Get a good fungus growing, and it will kill off other types of fungus. I would imagine though, that you would be able to find a good type of fungus spores commercially available to spray plants with, or the soil with. I think they are already out there, and it may be better than the corn meal solution. anyone know?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 9:25PM
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jimax1920(8 SC)

Some years ago I read an article in Acres USA about Texas A & M University having a problem with a field of peanuts that was dying from a fungus. They had used many different fungicides to no avail. Someone suggested they dust with cornmeal. It stopped it in 24 hours. Their theory was that it fed beneficial bacteris that destroyed the fungus.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 11:48AM
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aiaral(z5NY)

I decided to use cornmeal on my tomatoes this year. I looked out the window on a rainy day and noticed squirrels nibling on my tomato leaves. Went out to check the garden this morning and sure enough the squirrels had chewed off all the bottom leaves on the tomato plants. The leaves were left on the ground so they didn't care for them. It had to be the cornmeal that drew them. That ends my experiement with cormeal on tomato plants! I may still try it on my roses.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2003 at 11:43AM
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byron(4a/5b NH)

It works for fly spec fungus..

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 8:50PM
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Coleus4me(Z5 WI)

I've also read and tried sprinkling it on top of the dirt to feed your worms!! I tried it and at night I went outside w/ a flashlight and low and behold worms laying on top of the dirt with the cornmeal!! I'll feed them every day--- the more worms the better

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 9:38PM
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FlwrLdy52(z7a)

I sprinkled the cornmeal around tomatoes, cukes, squash and several ornamentals. When I went back to check in a couple of hours, I found HORDES of ants carrying off the grains of cornmeal! I'm talking about ribbons of ants, five to eight inches wide, working their little behinds off carrying away my protective cornmeal! I don't know what kind of ants they were; having had a number of run-ins with fire ants (and I am ALWAYS the loser), I didn't get in their way. I don't think I want to know where they live, either! They probably won't have athletes' foot, despite all the marching they did...

    Bookmark   July 10, 2003 at 10:45PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

Interesting thread. Who else has used cornmeal before this season? What did you use it for and what results did you get?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:18AM
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wally_1936(8b)

We get slime in the small ponds we have down here and corn meal may be used to kill some of it off, but it has to be removed after a day or you end up with more problems when it starts to rot.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 8:51PM
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robinthegarden

With all the rain in the Northeast this year, my slug population was causing quite a problem in my garden. I read that feed grade cornmeal was good for killing slugs because as they are attracted to the cornmeal itself, they scrape themselves causing terminal damage. I went to the local Blue Seal shop, picked up a bag and tried it out around a number of my plants and then waited to see what would happen. Though I have not seen the slugs dying (maybe they head off and slowly die?), it has done a couple of other wonderful things. First, the slugs are so attracted to the cornmeal that they are leaving my plants alone. Second, it has made them extremely easy to catch; each night I head out to the garden with a cup of salt, a flashlight and a pair of chopsticks and pick them right off the cornmeal ring. I have already noticed healthier plants and a reduction in the slug catch each evening.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 9:04AM
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