Help! Brown Patch...using corn meal, soymeal, etc.???

ghollyJuly 17, 2011

hi all! i've been diligently trying to search for answers...but have finally reverted to just asking directly for help. I believe our lawn has succumbed to brown patch disease...and I want to try to treat organically. We are in Northern NJ & have KBG. After some research, I thought I would go with Corn Gluten Meal treatment...BUT I am having a tough time finding a place that sells it. So then I saw soymeal might be a good option? but i'm not sure if soymeal is just good for soil, but not good at treating brown patch/fungus. Is it? Then lastly...I did find a farm place that sells cracked corn...this is TOTALLY different from corn gluten meal, right? And also CGM is totally different from just cornmeal?

The other questions are...does it matter what "animal" the feed is for? Are some better than others for organic gardening? horses, goats, pigs, rabbits, etc. AHHH! such confusion! First & foremost, our front lawn is in terrible condition & is getting worse by the day! So please help! Thanks!

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I live in Orlando and got hit with a fungus problem last year in one 20 x 20 area. I attacked it with Corn Meal I bought from Walmart. The grass that was affected slowly recovered and is very healthy this year.

I don't think soybean meal will help much with a fungus problem from what I have read on this and other boards. They either recommend corn meal or milk/water, or commercial product sold from Home Depot.

From what I read, don't put fert. down if you have a fungus problem. This might make it much worse. Cure the fungus before applying fert. Some people recommend milk/water combination if you can't use corn meal.

I used the CGM in March for prevent of crab grass/weeds and it worked 100 percent. I had zero problems crabgrass this year but the downsize is the cost for CGM, 50.00 for 50lbs. I used Bradfield Organics brand CGM.

Corn Meal - I could not find a large amount of Corn Meal until 15 minutes ago when I found a local ethnic store that sells 50 lbs for 18 dollars, which for me, is a decent price. From reading the last few days about Corn Meal as a prevent/cure for fungus it seems to have a pretty good following with the organic lawn people. So I will buy some tomorrow and put it down Friday and once a month until the rains go away in Oct.

The cracked corn is different from the CGM. The CGM is really good fertilizer but expensive. It really prevented my weed problem and "greened up" my lawn.

I've "gone organic" on my lawn for about 1.5 years and for the most part and happy with the results. It is a "learning curve" for the fungus problem and obtaining CGM.

I liked the green results from soybean meal too. It is 18 dollars for 50 lbs down here.

There advice I got from this and other boards has been very helpful. Mowing high, water deep/infrequent, CGM worked well. I had a terrible lawn when I started and it has greatly improved. A few tips -

- I ripped out the worse parts and put down alfalfa and black cow mixed together. Then I put down the sod, with more alfalfa on top. That section is deep dark green after one year and weed free. It borders my neighbor who has nothing but weeds but those weeds never grow on that section of my lawn. Amazing.... So using Black Cow/Alfalfa if you have to redo sections of your lawn is something to consider.

- The alfalfa down here is sold for horse feed...same with the soybean meal, dried molasses.

CGM is different from the corn meal and cracked corn.

If you rip out your lawn make sure you prep your yard before dropping new sod. There is another site (best lawn info) dedicated to organic lawn info. They have some great info too and some amazing results.

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 5:43PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Corn GLUTEN meal is a strong, organic fertilizer and might have some ability to stop seedlings from taking root (the so called, preemergent, capability).

Ordinary corn meal and cracked corn are weak organic fertilizers and seem to lead to the death of several lawn diseases. These materials do not kill the disease directly but the result is the same.

Corn is very expensive this year and is fixin to go higher with the hot, dry summer.

Soybean meal is an excellent organic fertilizer and is fairly inexpensive this year, although its price may have bottomed out with the heat, too.

Alfalfa pellets (rabbit food is small, horse feed is large) is a pretty good organic fertilizer.

Neither soybean meal nor alfalfa have any known effects on disease.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 9:28PM
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Hi! Thanks SO MUCH for your feedback & help. So I'm thrilled that I found a place that sold corn meal although it was an hr drive away (50 lb bag for $12.10...not bad, right?) Now I started researching application methods & it seems like there are mixed thoughts on this. Some people do not have much luck in drop or rotary spreaders bc of the find nature of the meal...some put in a coffee can & spread with there hands...i'm going to try our scotts spreader & see what happens. My next question is...are there any rules on when to mow after application, whether or not we need to water after applying it...or any other tips on the "after application" period? I know we will need to patiently wait 3 weeks before starting to see any results...but I can't wait.

Next question is on fertilizing with soybean meal (or maybe even alfalfa pellets), do I need to wait a while after the CM settles in?

ooh...I'm so excited for this...but I hope this works!!!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 10:04AM
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I do not know if others agree with me, but I use a hand held de-thatcher rake to rake up most of the dead brown grass, before I apply cornmeal to the area that has Brown Patch disease.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 1:18PM
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That is a great price for CM but don't "stock up" on it because you might get mice it, toss it down. I put it down tonight and 50 lbs only covered about 1/2 of my lawn. I'm really worried about fungus problems since we have been getting a lot of rain these last few weeks. I put down the CM by tossing it around since my spreader did not work too well.

I really liked the results of soybean meal when I put it down. Areas under my oak trees started to green up and my lawn looked very dark green. I would wait a few weeks since the CM has a little nitrogen in it. I lightly watered my CM after I put it down. It is a very mild fert and more for fungus control, at least that is what I read from the various boards.

I put down 100 lbs of alfalfa pellets about 9 weeks ago and I did not notice much greening up but I was just going for the enriching the soil and a variety of meals. You have to water it after it goes down so it will start to break apart.

I also played around with liquid molasses on some areas to see the effects. I put it into a hose spreader that mixed it with water and just sprayed it around. Some people recommend dried molasses but it is hard to obtain down here. I just used the liquid black jack from whole foods.

I made "alfalfa tea" (alfalfa in a old milk jug with water) let it sit for a few expands so you have to let the air out and wow did it stink, and put it down on the bushes. You don't have to let it sit but I wanted to experiment with it.

It is a bit more fun than the old traditional way of lawn care. Not much cheaper but perhaps more cleaner way to go.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 8:43PM
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Totsuka...can I ask where in orlando you found the cornmeal...i live here as well and am having a major brown patch prob..

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 3:09PM
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If it is a small area you can treat it with milk. It is simple and effective.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 5:51PM
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