My plan is to overwinter seed and than place cornmeal/cracked corn down in mid april. Should I be concerned with the cornmeal impacting germination?h
I'm pretty sure that only Corn Gluten Meal (CGM) has preemergent qualities and corn meal would act as a fertilizer with no ill effects on germination.
The only university research I'm aware of for preemergence was done with corn gluten meal; however, GardenWeb's Nandina has done research using ordinary corn meal as an antifungal material. In tests against fungi that rot seeds, Nandina found fewer plants taking root in the corn meal group.
You could always use another type of meal. If you can get corn you can usually get alfalfa or soybean. Personally I have used alfalfa with new seed without any problems. I normally use the soybean meal for regular applications.
I'm big on alfalfa for general use, but especially for new seed. Apply 3 weeks prior to seeding.
Thanks, I want to put the corn meal down in the spring for a light fertilizer, fungal control and perhaps as a pre-emergent. I recall that the corn gluten discovery came after someone noted that corn meal surpresed weeds and then studied various components of corn meal to find the active ingredient of CGM. I'll probably through my remaining seed down anyways and hopes it germinates before I spread corn meal in the early spring.
I always use alfalfa ~ 3 weeks before I seed.
I seem to remember that too.
This discussion comes up on a regular basis. Corn meal/cracked corn has very little value as a fertilizer. Original research with corn meal by Texas A&M was for use killing algae spores in the water in fish farms. It has also proved useful in curing fungal problems in lawns and helping to control black spot on roses. IMO, its use for any other purpose on residential lawns is a waste of money.
Corn gluten meal on the other hand,is the byproduct of the wet milling of corn to produce oil and syrup. CGM has been used for years as a cattle feed. It contains an element that prevents seedlings from absorbing moisture therefore killing the seedling. CGM can't tell weed seeds from grass seed so it works the same on both. Since CGM is about 60% protien, that translates to 9% nitrogen. I suggest its use on established lawns and use it twice a year on my St. Augustine lawn. With proper timing it will clean up winter weeds and summer weeds such as grab grass. It is ineffective on perennial weeds that grow by runners, actually fertilizing them. Two examples are wild strawberries and dollar weed.
TexasRedHead makes excellent points based on my research.
CGM can prevent the emergence of grass. CM is bird food.
Just to play the devil's advocate, why would corn meal be any less useful as a carb source for the microherd than other grain meals? If you are going organic to feed the soil, doesn't just about any biodegradeable "stuff" that breaks down, like all the stuff we put in the compost pile, feed the soil?
Just like compost, which some hate to refer to as fertilizer, I see it as one in the context it feeds the soil. It may take more, depending on the stuff used to make it, but, it can certainly maintain anything you want to grow if you use enough and properly. My two cents on that similar but unrelated issue is that it is one of the better ways to feed your soil if you have the time, money and inclination to apply enough of it.
Personally, I shoot for one application of cornmeal at about 20 lbs a thousand for one of my fertilization applications simply to feed the soil that app and with hopes it might encourage "good" fungi that might help with fungus and disease issues in my cool season lawn during the hottest weather.
Now, even as the Devil's Advocate on this thread I wouldn't claim for a certainty that corn meal has any of the other benefits claimed by some, such as anti-fungal properties (though the encouragement of certain beneficial fungi seems to make sense, though science doesn't always back up what makes sense), but, I can't see why it isn't at least similarly good enough "stuff" compared to other plant "stuff." So, in that many organic gardeners suggest meals are the best way to fertilize the lawn and feed the soil, why would corm meal be much different than other meals?
In other words, it feeds the soil. And, it might even have some other beneficial aspects. Cost versus amount needed might make it more expensive to use than some other grain meals on the amount of bang you get for the buck, that, I haven't tried to check on. But, outside of that...?
Few months ago, I added a couple of scoopes of corn meal, several cubes of alfalfa, an oz or two of liquid molasses to five gallon bucket and allowed it to soak in water for few days. Watered some patches in my lawn, (some brown patches and the grass is poorly growing.)
The grass is turned green and growing. It took about 3 weeks or so to show some response. There is a definite growth
LOL...corn gluten meal is 60% protienn and inhibits seed germination by inhibiting root hair formation. It degrates with nature...The product, after it has passed its efficiacy as a pre-emergrnt has some residual N. But, it is NOT a fertilizer in the sence of N-P-K of other organbic fertilizers. CGM is 100% CGM. Fertilizers are typically blends of organic inputs to achieve the N-P-K.