We have had steady rain for 3-4 weeks in middle TN. I can't find cornmeal in or around Nashville. Can anyone point me to a source? Also, what's the take on Actinovate?
While some plant disease are fungal applying some kind of fungicide may not be the best thing. There are also some much less expensive things to use to control these disease pathogens then this product.
Do you want cormeal or Corn Gluten Meal?
stan, where I live (Huntsville, AL) you can purchase large bags of corn meal at Sam's and Costco. Have you tried those places?
I am very intrigued by what I read and hear about Actinovate, but have not used it myself.
Thanks, rhizo. Still need help. TN area Costco and Sam's don't carry bulk corn meal.
Have you tried all the feed stores in the area to find ordinary corn meal? If they don't carry corn meal they should carry cracked corn. It works the same but you sometimes get little corn plants popping up. Once they are mowed down they disappear.
Last year I had a season-long battle with fungus. We had twice our normal annual rainfall by March last year and my lawn never got started. I tried corn meal and Actinovate. Neither one seemed to touch it.
like rhizo I am intrigued by Actinovate and other biological fungicides. Some university studies are showing promise for these things. As for corn meal/gluten all the research that I have seen is that these have absolutely no affect on fungus, other than supplying nitrogen which can help with the control of some fungi, but can hinder it others. It is rather an expensive way of getting nitrogen however. If any one knows of any studies that show it will control fungus (that is a study by real scientists using controls, and not by industry funded "scientists") please let me know.
dchall, I'm curious about your experience last year. Did you use both Actinovate and cornmeal simultaneousely? Are they compatible? Also, why do you think the cornmeal and Actinovate were ineffective? I thought cornmeal is quite reliable. Is the solution tied to an early detection?
Cornmeal has always worked for me. In fact it was the effectiveness of cornmeal that caused me to start my organic program. The reason I believe it was ineffective was that in all of last season I might have mowed a total of 3 inches of grass. It simply did not grow. The entire yard was yellow. New blades would look nice but before they got tall enough to mow they turned yellow and stopped growing. Then they turned brown and fell over. That happened all season long. I used cornmeal several times. Actinovate once, and milk several times. I do not recall whether I used Actinovate on the same day as the corn meal, but my normal mode is to only apply one material per week. The grass never got started.
This year things are back to normal. In fact it seems the grass is getting the benefit of the nutrients applied last year. My original flush of new growth started in March and has not stopped yet. Of course I am applying corn gluten meal every month for my wife's edification, so that is part of the renewed health. But I might say again that last year I applied fertilizer trying to wake it up and it was ineffective.
IpmMan - you might have the wrong forum. This is not a peer reviewed forum. Those people hang out in a much different place. This is the forum where the masses write in with issues and the masses write back to share their experience. As far as I have seen, there are no completed studies of corn meal against fungus. Nor is there an industry that cares enough to fund corn meal research. The only reference I have ever seed was from Texas A&M University at Stephenville. After searching for some time I determined that the statements about it on their site have been the same since the mid 1990s. They update the year on their website and keep the content the same. But that was not finished research. What they started to say in their web page was that the use of corn meal on peanut crops allowed the immediate replanting of peanuts without having to fallow the ground for a year. That is a pretty important finding. So, IpmMan, what research have you uncovered that shows it is not effective? I can't find any research one way or another. And why do you think corn meal is an expensive way to get nitrogen? I started using corn meal because it was the cheapest way to green up my lawn on a per square foot per season basis. I don't measure nitrogen because nitrogen is not specified in food. If I was a stickler I would measure protein which contains nitrogen in the amino acid molecules. I just apply it and watch the grass turn dark green.
Ye cats and little fishes!!!
No cornmeal in Nashville?
No worry, one might as well use grits!
On a more serious note of response, I would note that if it were a damp season around Nashville, one should be glad that he couldn't find cornmeal to put on the lawn at 20# - 40# per 1000 sq. feet, as some revered, but poorly informed gardening gurus suggest. (1) It's a mess. (2) The antifungal properties are grossly overrated. (3) It's ineffective as a pre-emergent during wet conditions. I suggest that one read up on exactly how to use it as a pre-emergent, and then, substitute so-called corn gluten meal (which actually does not contain gluten, but contains certain proteins that are milled off from whole corn, and variably sold at high prices to organic gardeners or at low prices to animal food manufacturers) for the cornmeal, if you are interested in any positive results. The use of corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent requires that you are using it on an established lawn, then watering a very short period, and then waiting long enough for the germinating weed seeds against which it is supposed to be effective to germinate and then to dry out. If you were to maintain a damp enough environment, then those seedling that you would want to kill, such as crabgrass, would recover, and you would have defeated your purpose. As a fertilizer, yes, many high protein organic sources will decompose to release Nitrogen, but corn gluten meal is much more expensive than many. Check out % of available N in this stuff vs other sources, and dollars/lb of N, and you'll see what I mean. Lastly, stop paying attention to the likes of Howard Garrett!
You may have luck finding bulk corn meal at a farmers market that specializes in bulk (exotic) restaurant foods (if there is something like that in TN). I live in Florida, and we have a Sanwa market (also in Atlanta) that I just bought a 50# bag today. My local Costco and Sam's club do not carry it. FWIW, I have noticed a reduction in weed germination when I use it regularly, especially during the rainly summer months.