Getting rid of weeds is not an easy process; it is time-consuming. It can also be an expensive endeavor when you have tough weeds. On top of that, you have to worry about some herbicides and fungicides that are ineffective.
Therefore, it is not surprising that many seek alternative weed control techniques that are more effective or less expensive. One such method that a lot of people are recommending is cornmeal. Here, we will take a look at whether cornmeal can control weeds and, if so, how.
Can you use cornmeal to kill weeds?
Cornmeal is one of the many alternative weed control methods that are recommended by farmers and homeowners on the internet. However, a search for this method will bring you lots of mixed reviews that can leave you even more confused.
So, does it work? Before answering this question, you should understand what cornmeal is. It is basically ground maize that is produced during the maize milling process.
However, this process also produces another by-product, the yellow cornmeal-like substance (though coarser), which is known as cornmeal gluten or corn gluten meal (C.G.M)
There is evidence that both of these substances can help control weeds. Cornmeal (the fine ground maize meal) contains antifungal properties. These properties can help to kill some types of fungal weeds.
However, store-bought cornmeal is quite expensive and wouldn’t be an ideal option if you are planning to apply it to your garden or yard. Therefore, the best product to use is agricultural cornmeal.
Note that the substance at the center of many claims of weed-killing is cornmeal gluten. Its benefits were discovered by accident by the Iowa State University in a research project while growing turfgrass.
Since then, it has been used by many homeowners, small-scale farmers, and even large-scale farming projects to control various weeds.
Cornmeal gluten for weed control
How exactly does cornmeal gluten control weeds? Unlike most chemicals that kill the weeds through contact and absorption, C.G.M is a pre-emergent weed killer. This means that it kills weeds by preventing their seeds from germinating. This is because of its oily nature, which coats the seeds, thus preventing them from forming roots.
However, you should note that corn gluten meal is not selective. Instead, it will prevent the germination of any type of seeds, even the beneficial ones.
Therefore, if you are planning to apply cornmeal in the garden for weed control, you should only do so after your plants have germinated.
Will cornmeal gluten kill weeds permanently?
As stated above, cornmeal kills weed seeds instead of weed plants. Therefore, any weeds that are currently growing will not be affected, and if not controlled, they might grow to maturity and shed more seeds.
However, applying several times can help to kill the new seeds, thus preventing the germination of weeds over time.
The best part about the continuous application is that cornmeal is rich in gluten and nitrogen, which makes it an excellent soil additive.
Kill weeds with cornmeal
If you are frustrated by tough weeds and ineffective herbicides, cornmeal and corn gluten meal are two alternative weed killers that you can use.
While their effects might not be immediate, they can help to get rid of weeds over time. On top of that, they are inorganic, safe, and even have the added benefit of enriching your soil.
IW’s Chief Editor and a lover of green spaces.